John 15:5: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
In our last lesson we learned the wonderful truth that we are IN CHRIST. Because we are in Christ, we have a new standing before God. God sees us as perfect in Christ.
In this lesson we are going to learn more about what happened when we were born again. Not only do we have a new standing before God, but we also have a new relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This new relationship can be expressed in two short sentences:
1. I am in Christ.
2. Christ is in me.
To help us understand this new relationship between Himself and the believer, the Lord Jesus used an illustration from nature. He said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” The Lord Jesus is the Vine; the believers are the branches. So in this lesson when the “vine” is mentioned, let us think of the Lord Jesus; when the “branches” are mentioned, let us think of ourselves.
First, notice that the vine and the branches are one. They share one life. The same life that flows through the vine also flows through the branches.
This teaches us that we are one with the Lord Jesus. The Bible says, “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” The very instant we receive the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, we are joined to Him. We are made part of Him. Just as the branches are joined to the vine, so we are joined to the Lord Jesus.
Now, notice how the branch is in the Vine. This teaches us that we are IN CHRIST. We have already learned this great truth—that we are in Christ—but now we see that our union with Him is a living union. As the branch is joined to the living vine, so we are joined to the living Lord Jesus Christ.
We were not always in Christ. Before we became a child of God, we were in Adam. We were joined to him. We shared his life, and we had his nature in us. But when we were saved, God took us out of Adam and grafted us into Christ.
To graft a branch means to take it out of one vine and join it to another vine. The branch is first cut away from the old vine. Then a cut is made in the new vine, and the branch is fitted into this cut place and securely bound. Soon the life of the new vine begins to flow through it, and the branch is joined to the new vine in a living union.
Now we can see what a wonderful thing God did for us. When we were born again, God took us out of Adam and grafted us into Christ. The Bible says, “But of Him [God] you are in Christ Jesus…”
We are now joined to the Lord Jesus Christ in a living union. He is the new Vine, and we are living branches in Him. We share His life and we have His nature in us. The Bible says that we are “partakers of the divine nature.”