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  • David

    October 25, 2020 at 7:06 am

    The first thing that jumps out at me is that every branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off and every branch that does will be pruned, ouch! Either way we suffer, but being pruned is a lot better than being cut off. One alternative is painful, the other is terminal. This text is sometimes interpreted to warn us that we can loose or salvation if we don’t produce fruit. I don’t think this is the case.

    The reason I feel this way is that Jesus says, “you are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” If we believe in Christ, accept His Word as truth, and are born again, we are declared righteous and we will produce fruit. The person that does not produce fruit is a dead branch, does not believe, and will be cut off. This text has to do with sanctification not salvation. The person that does produce fruit is a live branch and will be pruned to produce more fruit through abiding/remaining in Christ. We do the abiding, He does the pruning. I welcome His pruning because I love Him and want to please Him, and tell/show others about Him.

    As far as JD’s take on this, I definitely believe that our symbols/structures/form (buildings, budgets, and bureaucracies) can obscure our signs (function/purpose). Our sole purpose is to become more like Jesus through abiding in Him (sanctification) for the sake of others in order to glorify God. When our symbols or form gets in the way of our doing this we need to change/repent. We need pruning in the church today!