John 15:5-6 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
I have a serious question, and I need you to answer it with complete honesty. Have you ever prayed “Lord help me to be the person that You want me to be,” and then got up off your knees, went out into the world, tried your best to change, and then wondered why nothing was different? It seemed like you were still falling into sin, failing to witness for Jesus Christ, and etc. I’ll be honest with you and say that I have, and it took me until recently to figure out why. It’s in the question itself. I tried MY best to change.
Jesus tells us in this passage to abide in him. The Greek word for abide means “to remain in”. So Jesus tells us “Whoever ‘remains in me’ and I in him, he it is that bears fruit, for apart from me (here it is folks) YOU CAN DO NOTHING.” Ouch!! I don’t know about you but that hit me right in the chest! Jesus clearly tells us that by our own power we can do nothing! So then what does it take to change? It takes the constant Grace of God poured out because of Jesus Christ. We must remain in Him.
Some of you may be scoffing right now, “I don’t believe you Blake! I know how to run my life. I know what I’m doing!” Well let’s see what Jesus says in verse 6. “If anyone does NOT ‘remain in me’ he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” OUCH!! That hurt even more. Jesus says “Look, if you don’t remain in me you are like a withered up branch. You are useless. So I will cut you off just to be thrown into the fire.” Sounds to me like this is speaking of future judgement in Hell. You may say, “But but Blake, I’m truly saved. So surely Jesus wouldn’t send me to Hell for not ‘remaining in him’ right?”
You have just unlocked the key to the whole passage with that question! If we are truly saved, our desire in life would not be to try OUR best to change, but rather have the attitude that knows we can’t do it by ourselves. We need a Savior, and praise God He gave us one! Each and every day Christian we must wake up with the attitude that we can’t do it alone, and then pray that God through His Grace, and His Perfection, and His Righteousness, would help make you more like who He wants you to be. Abide or remain in Him Christian, not Yourself.