The Bookends of Faith (Part 5)

February 23, 2011 at 11:00 am | Posted in The Bookends of Faith | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Bookends of Faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ: The first and last of the seven “I AM” statements in the Book of John

Last time we looked at two proofs of abiding as branches in the True Vine Who is Jesus Christ:

1. Pruning is proof.
2. Producing is proof.
Now we see that,
3. Proliferating is proof.

When the fruit of abiding is produced in our lives the principle of proliferation or multiplication goes into effect. Fruit has seeds. When your fruit starts to produce more fruit, better fruit, and much fruit, it is proof you are abiding.

One bookend is the Bread of Life. If you have partaken of the Bread of Life, you HAVE (present tense eternal) eternal life. You could lean all your books on that bookend, but, if you have ever tried to line up books on a bookshelf, you know that if you only have one bookend, eventually the books are going to lose balance. They will fall down or get pushed over. If you lean too hard on the first I AM statement to the exclusion of the last I AM statement, you will fall down. And falling down, you will live a defeated Christian life. The Lord has put this last bookend – I AM the True Vine – at the other end, lest we believe one of two fallacies:

1. The fallacy that the guarantee of eternal life is a license to sin.

2. The fallacy that a branch can stop being a branch.

One who is born again cannot be unborn. One who has eternal life can not have temporary life. We cannot work for our salvation, and no amount of works will seal our salvation. This bookend – I AM the True Vine and those branches who abide will bear fruit – draws the distinction between victorious Christian living and defeated Christian living – between the spiritual Christian and the carnal Christian. Branches that do not abide experience severe chastening (pruning), and, if they will not return to abiding they may be cast into the fire and burned. HOWEVER, this fire is not the fire of hell – not the fire of eternal damnation. These verses must not be used to teach that doctrine. Both bookends are equally strong, and they do not contradict the books in the middle. The “fire” into which non-abiding, unfruitful branches may be thrown is the most severe judgment the Lord administers to His Own children – it is the judgment of letting them have their own way. This fire is the physical, not the eternal, not the spiritual, death of a believer. It is the ultimate chastening due to disobedience. It is the “sin unto death” of which I John 5:16 – written to believers – speaks.

Advertisements

6 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. […] Next time, we will look at yet another proof that you are abiding. LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. Very good teaching. I will be back to read more. God bless you for your faithfulness!

  3. Thank you, Marianne. It’s good to hear from you again!

  4. That was interesting. I’m not scholarly enough to know how accurate it all is, but it ceretainly sounds fitting & I plan on researching the Scriptures and studying more (as I already should have) to know. I do agree wholeheartdly that the Holy Scriptures are clear and do indeed (incl Jesus own words) that eternal life is forever & thus can’t be lost…so as you explained those passages do make since.

  5. Thanks for commenting, Lynne. “I plan on researching the Scriptures and studying more…” That’s what we all need to do!

  6. […] also compared Israel to a vine, but a vine that had become withered and unfruitful. Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: