November 18th, 2021 – John 15:7

Verse of the Day Devotion  John 15:7  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.  

This verse is best understood when it is looked at in relation to Jesus’ words in the first six verses of this chapter.  He starts by discussing the relationship between a vine and a branch of that vine.  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5.  In this mashal, which is Hebrew for a short parable with a moral lesson of religious allegory, Jesus pictures himself as a vine within the vineyard with His Father as the vinedresser.  The role of the vinedresser is one who is the keeper of a vineyard.  And Jesus’ disciples are the branches on the vine.  

He then tells them that as a branch they must be attached to Him, the vine, in order to be bear fruit, for apart from the vine the branches cannot bear any fruit.  He then doubles down on this idea in the next verse. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6. Failure to produce fruit brings a severe warning concerning the certain end of unfruitfulness.  John separates any unfruitful person from the faithful, persevering, fruitful disciples/branches and indicates that such a person is thrown away and withers. 

So, now to our focus verse.  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7.  The idea regarding the focus verse continues the theme of abiding or remaining in Jesus, the Vine, but that theme is here linked to the subject of prayer.  Jesus warned His disciples that failing to abide means that life fails. A branch only has life as it is connected to the stock of the vine; a disciple only spiritually lives as they are connected to the Master. 

Abiding in Jesus means abiding in His words, and having His words live in us, His disciples. We should not overlook the importance of the reference to ‘my words’. The teaching of Christ is important and is not lightly to be passed over in the interests of promoting religious feeling.  The connection is maintained by obedience and prayer. To remain in Christ and to allow his words to remain in us means a conscious acceptance of the authority of the word of God and constant contact with him by prayer. And being faithful, we should expect answered prayer as part of our relationship with Jesus. A failure to see prayer answered means something is not right in our disciple’s relationship. Perhaps something is not right in the abiding, and prayers are amiss and unanswered. Perhaps something is not right in the asking and there is no perception of what Jesus wants to do in and through us.  Charles Spurgeon puts it this way. “It shall be done for you: It becomes safe for God to say to the sanctified soul, ‘Ask what thou wilt, and it shall be done unto thee.’ The heavenly instincts of that man lead him right; the grace that is within his soul thrusts down all covetous lusting’s and foul desires, and his will is the actual shadow of God’s will. The spiritual life is master in him, and so his aspirations are holy, heavenly, Godlike.”

It is important that in our relationship with Christ that we abide with Him.  It pictures an intimate, close relationship, and not just a superficial acquaintance. In our focus verse, Jesus tells His disciples that drawing life from Him is essential.  In fact, one of the proofs of salvation is perseverance, or sustained abiding in Christ. The proofs of abiding in Christ, proof that one is truly saved and not just pretending, include these four things.

1: Obedience to Christ – “And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” 1 John 3:24.

2: Following Jesus’ examples – “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6.

3: Living free from habitual sin – “No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” 1 John 3:6,

4: The awareness of a divine presence in His life – “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:13.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

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