At John 15: 1-17 Jesus/Yashua said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” [NIV]
As long as we remain in the “true vine”, Jesus/Yahshua said his Father will prune us so we will be more fruitful. What does that mean? Other Bibles translate the word “prune” as clean. So the Father will clean us. But first, we must become part of the vine and remain in that vine. We need to come into a close relationship with Christ and stick with him. Many organized religions today teach that we need to stick close to their organization or system of beliefs. However, if we stick close to Christ by remaining in the vine we can expect the Father to keep us clean so we can bear more fruit. Many religions today try to take the place of the Father by going beyond what is written in scripture. They try to “clean” us according to their standards. By legalistic rules and regulations they trap unexpected ones into joining them and not focusing on the “true vine” Jesus Christ. They take our Christian freedom away buy binding us under their code of conduct and beliefs.
Notice what Christ said here at Matthew 15:8-9, “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” So how do we know if they are human rules? They are not found in the Bible. Remember Jesus command to “Love each other”? That really covers most everything. If it’s not loving, don’t do it…
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Your brother in Christ,