The Inner Workings Of
This Life Within
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. II Cor. 5:17
Praise God my old life has been changed and I have a new life now. The Amplified Bible says, “Therefore if any person is (engrafted) in Christ the Messiah, He is (a new creature altogether) a new creation: The old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold the fresh and new has come.”
Thank God we are in vital union with Christ Jesus our Messiah. A union is a state of being united; it is a combination as the result of joining two or more things into one. The Good News Bible says, “You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ Himself.” Gal 3:27. I say this union with Christ Jesus gives me His qualities and personality. This life we have within is a real life. It draws all its resources from the vine.
In John 15:1-10 Jesus is the vine, and I am the branch. I am in union with the vine, and the same life that flows through the vine flows through me. Over and over in the Old Testament Israel is pictured as the vine or vineyard of God. Psalms 80:8 says, “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: Thou has cast out the heathen and planted it.” Isa 5:7 says, “For the vineyard of the LORD of host is the house of Israel and men of Judah His pleasant plant.”
A little bit of history about this vine. The vine was a plant grown all over Israel and it needs a great deal of attention for the best fruit to be grown. The ground has to be perfectly clean with careful preparation of the soil. It grows luxuriantly and drastic. Pruning is necessary. A young vine is not allowed to fruit for the first three years, and each year is cut back drastically to develop and conserve its life and energy. When it is matured, it is pruned in December and January. It bears two kinds of branches: One that bears fruit, and one that does not. The branches that do not bear are pruned back, so they will not drain away any of the plants strength. The wood of the vine cannot be used for anything; it is good for nothing. At certain times of the year the people must bring offerings of wood to the temple for altar fires, but not the wood of the vine. The only thing it is good for is to make a bonfire of it and destroy it. The vine had actually become the symbol of the nation of Israel. It was the emblem on the coins of the Maccabees. One of the glories of the temple was the great golden vine upon the front of the holy place. The vine was part and parcel of Jewish imagery and the very symbol of Israel. Now we see why Jesus called Himself the true vine. The symbol of the vine is never used in the Old Testament apart from the idea of degeneration.
Jeremiah 2:21 says, “Yet I had planted you [O house of Israel] a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned into degenerate shoots of wild vine alien to me?” Israel was a degenerate vine, and the prophets Jeremiah and Hosea saw that. Jesus said I am the true vine and in order to be saved you must be a branch of the true vine. A useless branch is a branch with all leaves and no fruit.
John 15:4 says, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit in its own strength, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me.” (Braclay).
John 15:5 says, “It is the man who shares My life and whose life I share who proves fruitful.” (Phillips).
Our salvation depends, relies on continual contact with the strength of the vine to defeat the enemy. The secret of Jesus’ life was close contact and union with the Father. He maintained His fellowship and prayer life. He did it deliberately. John 5:56 says, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” I John 2:6 says “He that saith He abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.”
Finally Col 2:6-7 says, “And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him too for each day’s problems; live in vital union with Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. (Living Bible) Let us allow this new life within to dominate us so we can live a victorious life continually.
Elder Carolyn Prescod