Today’s lesson focuses on the parallel of the vine and branches, and Christ and believers.
I recently heard a commentary about being grafted into the vine. I began to be curious as to what it really meant. What was the process of grafting? We know in Biblical days, Jesus and other teachers taught in parables or in parallels with things that the people then could relate to so that they could best understand. In reading history we discover that the process of plant grafting has been around for thousands of years. The people that Jesus spoke to and taught then, would have been able to relate to this parallel and understand how the Father redeems us and we are adopted into his family by faith through Jesus Christ. Jesus said in,
John 15:4 “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.”
Jesus is explaining that he is our source of life and strength. Without him we are lifeless and unfruitful. He is the vine. We are the branches. Keep this verse in mind as we go along in the lesson. Let’s go now to Romans 11:16-25. Here, Paul is speaking to Gentile believers and he is warning them not to feel superior to Jews because some of them did not believe, therefore they were broken off the vine and gentile believers were then graffed or grafted in. He is telling them that Both Jews and Gentiles now can and do share the vine’s nourishment and depend on Christ for life and not heritage or culture for salvation. It’s all in the vine, in Christ.
Romans 11:17 “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree: 18. Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear:
So we know now that we were not part of the vine to begin with, but by faith we can be grafted in to become part of the vine.
There is an actual plant grafting process. It’s been around for thousands of years. I wanted to know exactly how it’s done so I did some research on exactly what happens during that process. It was a blessing to me to fully understand what it meant. There are many different reasons in which the grafting process is used, some of which is to increase the growth rate of seedlings, and another reason is to repair damaged plants. One can take a damaged, sick, browned stem and can “connect” it to a healthy main vine, and that damaged, brown stem will draw nourishment from the main root system and will be green again and grow to bear fruit. Just like damaged plants with brown leaves and lying sick almost totally dead, we were dead in our sins before we were saved or grafted into the true vine which is Christ Jesus. In order for the grafting process to be successful, four things must take place.
In order for a person to be saved or grafted into the vine, we must be compatible with the will of the Father and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and know that He is the only way to the Father and to Heaven. Secondly, we must be at the proper stage, which is, we must come to the realization that we are lost without Christ and that we need him in order to be saved. Next, we must come to the Lord in faith and He will meet us there but we must reach out in faith believing. Finally, the graft union must be kept. We cannot keep ourselves, just as a grafted stem cannot keep itself connected to the vine. We are kept by the Father, the husbandman. With things in place now through faith we are ready to be grafted in.
In the grafting process, one takes the limp, half dead, damaged plant or stem, and grafts it into the main vine and by that process it will live and in time produce fruit. In order for the grafting process to work, the main vine, must be cut so that the dead stem can be placed inside and draw nourishment from it. Without that cut, the stem cannot be connected to the main vine, and cannot draw life from it. The Father looked down with compassion on us, half dead, hopeless, damaged, dry dying souls and had love and mercy and saw us for what He could make us, and what the law and the world threw away, God took and gave life by grafting us into the main vine. Christ Jesus. Hallelujah for what Jesus did for us so that we could be grafted into him, the vine.
Isaiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was a bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed.”
Christ left paradise, came here to a sinful world. He was mocked, rejected, beaten, cut, killed so that we could be grafted in…Praise the LORD! Jesus was God in human flesh, thus he gave himself, oh how much he loves us. Praise Him.
After the lifeless stem is placed in that cut in the grafting process, it is totally depending on the main vine for life, hanging there. It must be kept. It must be supported and sealed. There is nothing it can do at that point but just cling to the vine and receive nourishment from that main vines root system.
John 15:1 “ I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”
Glory to God, after we have been grafted in, there is nothing we can do but just hang on to Christ in faith and receive nourishment to gain strength. We are kept well and watched by the Father, the husbandman. We cannot keep ourselves. Just like the lifeless stem, we cannot help ourselves. We must depend, trust and cling to Christ. He will ever keep us. We are sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit of God our Father, the Husbandman.
Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
Now the stem has been grafted into the main vine. The old leaves should be cut back. The total leaf surface of the old variety that continue to grow on that stem, should also be gradually taken away as the new one increases until at the end of 1 or 2 years, until eventually the new variety has completely taken over the old variety. However completely removing all the leaves or limbs of the old variety at one time or removing them to fast, increases shock to the stem. It takes time for the new to completely take over.
After being grafted in to the vine, or after we are born again, the Father understands we still have this old flesh to contend with. So little by little, day by day, he cuts away that old variety or nature as we draw strength from the Vine/Christ. He doesn’t expect us to just change in one day and start to produce fruit. Just like a new born babe we must get nourishment and learn day by day. God in his infinite mercies is so patient with us and he helps us move along in this journey. Just like the grafted stem, day by day we draw strength and we learn. Slowly but surely over time, we grow to the main vine, and we grow into mature branches, that are strong enough to bear fruit. Like the grafted stem, now that we are connected to the main vine we can grow to produce much fruit where as before, alone we were unable. He chips away the old nature in us so that one day, the new completely takes over and we will be just like the Vine! GLORY!
Romans 8:10 “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
What a wonderful gift to be grafted into the vine. We are one with Christ.
Romans 12:4 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
The old stem that has been grafted into the main vine is now alive and strong and with time will start to produce and bear fruit, something it could never do before being grafted. We have been grafted in to the vine, Christ Jesus, the main source of our strength and life. We are one with the Father through Christ that died for us. Thank God for his love, mercy, and grace. With the vine, we also as branches, through the Holy Spirit will begin to produce and bear much fruit for his glory.
Luke 6:43 “ For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”
John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Praise Him. If we abide in Christ, walking in the Spirit of God, we can bear much good fruit for the glory and honor to which is it rightly deserved, to our Heavenly Father, to our Savior Jesus Christ which is the True Vine.
How worthy You are to be praised. There is no other like You nor will there ever be. We worship You Father. We come to You today in the name of Jesus. We thank You for understanding and that You made a way that we could be grafted into Your family. We are so thankful to be Your children and to be one with You. Thank You for your word and for giving us understanding. We ask You to help us ever walk in Your Holy Spirit so that we will bear good fruit for Your honor and glory. We will ever love and praise you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
April 17, 2016