“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that bears no fruit, He takes away. And every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean through the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me.John 15:1–4 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
I am. The statement Jesus makes has a deep significance. He is proclaiming His bona fides, that is authentication to His identity.
In this, we also get another analogy that is agrarian in nature. It would be something easy for those hearing to understand. In it Jesus references Himself as the true vine. The one vine that bears fruit. That idea sets the tone here. It establishes context.
That context isn’t about salvation at all. As Jesus clearly stated that His disciples (His immediate audience) were already clean. (Even before this, that statement was made.) They were already saved by the Word He spoke to them.
Jesus encourages His followers to remain in Him. This isn’t about salvation, remember. The remaining in Him is to bear fruit. The Father wants you to bear fruit. There is only one way to do it, and that is by remaining in Jesus. That’s the work on our part. It’s not to keep being saved or to live right. Bearing fruit is to reproduce in kind… To make disciples. It is to be of use to the Father.
But what happens if you don’t bear fruit?
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing. If a man does not remain in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.John 15:5–6 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It’s a simple thing. Without Jesus, we can do nothing useful for the Kingdom. If we remain obstinate, not wanting to do the will of the Father, there are grave consequences. Just as unproductive branches are removed from the vine and destroyed, a saved Christian can be removed from the vine and destroyed.
That destruction isn’t about Hell or perdition. Even with the mention of being burned, this isn’t saying folks go to Hell.
If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.John 15:7–8 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It’s going to be a tough night for these men. Jesus is preparing them with an encouraging message to stay the course. It’s not to discourage them at all.
Remember that greater context that comes before those where Jesus speaks of the promised Holy Spirit.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, that He may be with you forever: the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, for it does not see Him, neither does it know Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you fatherless. I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more. But you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.John 14:15–19 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
It’s all part of the same message. It’s gonna get tough for these guys tonight. Jesus speaks to them at length.
Jesus is saying the Holy Spirit is promised. When the Counselor comes, He will be with them forever. Jesus says He won’t leave them fatherless. Those things are sure.
If you’re saved, get to bearing fruit. You can only do that in Jesus. And if you are in Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit in you. He won’t leave. Jesus promises to not leave you fatherless.
Considering that, why do you think Jesus the Son promises them a Father forever?