Hanging by a thread” is the way I see things right now. Someone wrote about Southern Baptists some years ago, “Ropes of Sand with the Strength of Steel.” Both of these statements can be true for life is given and taken away by the act of God, always. Jesus said this, “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4 NET2.
It is imperative that everyone who claims the Name of Jesus understands His words. Some seem to think that if a person claims Jesus as Savior and does not remain faithful he will destroy the relationship, that is, lose salvation. But, this is not it at all. The idea of ‘remaining’ indicates ‘fruit-bearing’ and that is the result of knowing Him. Without His presence there will be no fruit-bearing possible. Simply because one claims to know Him is not significant without the initial relationship brought about by the ‘new birth’ by faith in Him. Jesus, explains this in John chapter 3. But, there is more.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me—and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. If anyone does not in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.” John 15:5-8. One can only remain in Christ because His words, His teachings remain a practical and integral part of the one professing His Name. Jesus told a group of new Believers, “Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “We are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be really free. ” John 8:31-36. The last phrase is the practical clue, Believers are given the power, the ability in Christ to be free from the bondage of sin. And Paul writes about this in Romans chapters 5-8. If anyone continues to practice sin but claims to be ‘Christian,’ there is NO Truth present.
Let us finish with these words of Jesus, “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-11. ‘Obedience’ is the foundation of the relationship between Jesus and anyone who expresses faith in Him. Without obedience to His teachings there is no relationship with Him. If there is no obedience toward His teachings the result is the ‘burning lake of fire.’ Are you obedient?
Jesus is Lord.