Ours is a multi-faceted identity.
We are not only called saints, we are called slaves of righteousness. Did you know that when we were born again and freed from sin, that we really just exchanged Masters? Then, where is our freedom? The glory is that now, finally, we can be what we were created to be – vessels of righteousness, the very slaves of righteousness. GLORY!
We are also called “children of God” and that is glorious because it provides us with a family and especially a real Father instead of our former father the devil.
We are called soldiers because we must never forget that we are in a war. If we are not prepared for and ready to fight at any moment, there is a very real danger that we will become a casualty and fall into a sin that might have devastating consequences.
We are called the light of the world, we are called vessels of mercy, we are called living letters and on and on it goes. Father wants us to understand the full glory of Who He is, who we are in Him and ALL that He longs to do in and through us as we trust Him by faith. I will say it again as I have said it so often,
“God wants to be ALL that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.”
That is why I would share with you today, one of our identities that I don’t believe we hear enough about. We are “BRANCHES!” John 15 records how important this aspect of our identity truly is. Jesus told us in that passage, that we are branches, and that He and HE ALONE is the true vine. Please understand that a branch does not produce fruit because it cannot produce fruit. A branch is just a branch, something that really is worthless without being connected to the vine.
This reality should put a lot of preachers out of business. Can you hear them? “You wicked branch! Look at you! You haven’t produced any fruit! You are lazy and slothful, are you even born again?” And the poor little branch speaks in a muffled voice, “But I tried!” And the preacher screams back, “You need to re-dedicate your life to God and try harder!!!” And now, with tears streaming down his/her cheeks, the little branch “rededicates” his/her life to go back out into the world and try harder to produce fruit, which of course, they will NEVER be able to do on their own. Their Christian life will be lived in perpetual frustration and failure. They may even reject the faith and claim that Christianity does not work.
That is so very sad. They are trying to do what they can never do because they do not understand who they are. They are a BRANCH! End of discussion! God said it is so. A branch does not produce fruit. The only responsibility a branch has is to connect to the Vine. When connected to the Vine, the LIFE that is in the Vine will flow through the branch and that Vine LIFE flowing through the branch will produce the fruit that the branch will now bear!
Please hear the words of Jesus. It is not your job to produce fruit. It is your job to bear fruit, but that will only occur when you are intimately connected to and dependent on our Vine Jesus, to express His life through you as you trust Him by faith. I don’t believe Jesus could have made it more clear than when He said in John 15, “Without Me you can do nothing!”
I believe that we have a two-fold problem. Far too many people just don’t believe or appropriate what He said, and then off they go to try and do what they cannot do because they don’t understand who they really are. You are a weak, frail, branch! End of discussion! But, when you connect to the Vine and His LIFE is flowing through, you are strong, complete, and so full of life bearing fruit that others can come to you and experience God Himself living His Life in and through you.
My name is Branch Frank, and I hope that I have encouraged you in our own “branchness” to abide in Him that you might bear much fruit.