Friday, 23 January 2015

'The True Vine ' (4) . John 15:7-8

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

What an amazing promise here from the Lord. Not only of the possibility that his disciples may abide in him and that his words can abide in them, but because of that, because of the oneness and the change of the disciple becoming like the Master, his very desires will be in concert with the will of God and his very desires will be granted.It would seem that the desire of the branch would be much fruitfulness, which in turn would bring glory to the Father. Let us therefore, as we abide in Christ, ask that we may bear fruit to the glory of the Father.


Andrew Kenny said...

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - In this verse he returns once more on the principle of union with himself, and of what will come out of it. The disciples may be sorely distressed at this possible doom, for whatever may be the lot of those who do not obey the gospel and are ignorant of the Law of God, the curse here uttered fails heavily upon those who have been once enlightened, etc., and have apostatized (Hebrews 6:4-6). The anxiety of the apostles ]s grievous, and they desire deliverance from this doom. And our Lord next unfolds the principle of prayer which laid such hold on the mind of the Apostle John: If ye abide in me (and then, instead of adding, "And I abide in you," he says); and my words abide in you; i.e. if my teaching so abide with you as to control your thoughts and ideas, remain in you as your guide and inspiration, then ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done to you. A timid interpretation of this promise limits the "whatsoever" to deeds of service in the kingdom of God, and fears, with Augustine, to trust the sanctified will of the believer. But in such harmony with Christ as these words supply, all the conditions of acceptable prayer are present. The believer in Christ, full of his words, evermore consciously realizing union with Christ, charged with the thoughts, burning with the purposes, filled with words of Jesus, will have no will that is not in harmony with the Divine will. Then faith is possible in the fulfillment of his own desire, and prayer becomes a prophecy and pledge of the answer. The apostle, after many years of pondering and of putting these principles into practice, confirms the truth of them (1 John 5:14-16). This is the true philosophy of prayer. The psalmist had gone a long way in the same direction (Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee thy heart's desire").

Andrew Kenny said...

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,.... Abiding in Christ is here explained by his words or doctrines abiding in his disciples; by which are meant his Gospel, and the truths of it. This abides when it comes in power, and becomes the engrafted word; and may be said to do so, when such, in whose hearts it has a place, and has taken deep root, continue to have a relish and savour of it, a true and hearty affection for it, esteeming it above their necessary food; when they hold fast the profession of it, stand fast in it, steadfastly abide by it, and constantly attend on it; all which is a considerable evidence that they do, yea, there is a promise that they "shall continue in the Son and in the Father", 1 John 2:24; The blessing and privilege that such shall enjoy is,

ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you; or, as some copies read it, "it shall be given you": but this must be understood not of temporal things, as riches, honours, profits, pleasures, or whatever even the carnal mind of a believer himself may sometimes desire; but of things spiritual, and with such limitations and restrictions as these; whatever is according to the will of God, for the Spirit of God himself asks for no other for the saints; whatever is for the glory of God, and for their own spiritual profit and edification; and whatever is agreeably to the words and doctrines of Christ, which abide in them. Every thing of this kind they ask in faith, and with a submission to the divine will, they may expect to receive.

Andrew Kenny said...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7. If ye abide in me, and my words … in you—Mark the change from the inhabitation of Himself to that of His words, paving the way for the subsequent exhortations (Joh 15:9, 10).

ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you—because this indwelling of His words in them would secure the harmony of their askings with the divine will.

Andrew Kenny said...

Barnes' Notes on the Bible
My words - My doctrine; my commandments.
Abide in you - Not only are remembered, but are suffered to remain in you as a living principle, to regulate your affections and life.

Ye shall ask ... - See John 14:13. This promise had particular reference to the apostles. It is applicable to other Christians only so far as they are in circumstances similar to the apostles, and only so far as they possess their spirit. We learn from it that it is only when we keep the commandments of Christ - only when we live by faith in him, and his words are suffered to control our conduct and affections, that our prayers will be heard. Were we perfect in all things, he would always hear us, and we should be kept from making an improper petition; but just so far as men regard iniquity in their heart, the Lord will not hear them, Psalm 66:18

Andrew Kenny said...

Expositor's Greek Testament
John 15:7. From the fate of those who do not abide in Him, Jesus turns to the results of faithful adherence—ἐὰν μείνητε … ὑμῖν. The expression is altered from that of John 15:3; John 15:5, instead of “and I in you,” we now have “and my words abide in you”; it is by means of His teaching and His commandments that Christ abides in His people, and by His word they are fitted for fruit-bearing, John 15:3. Not that His words are a substitute for His personal presence, but its medium. But His presence is not to energise in them as if they were machines; they are to consider the exigencies that arise, and, giving play to judgment and conscience, are to ask for appropriate manifestations of grace: ὃ ἐὰν θέλητε αἰτήσασθε, “ask what ye will”. Petitions thus prompted by the indwelling word of Christ will necessarily be answered: καὶ γενήσεται ὑμῖν.

Andrew Kenny said...

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
(8) Herein is my Father glorified.—This clause is generally understood of the words which follow as it is taken in our English version, but the rendering is liable to the objection that it gives a forced meaning to the word “that” (Ἱυα), which is properly used to express purpose. We may here (as in John 4:37; John 16:30) take “herein” to refer to the words which have gone before. By so doing we give a natural meaning to the words, and get a satisfactory sense for the sentence. The thought then will be, “In this doing whatever ye ask, my Father is glorified, in order that ye may bear much fruit, and that ye may become my disciples.”
So shall ye be my disciples.—Better, and may become My disciples. The pronoun is strongly emphatic. The living union with Christ, which made all their prayers, prayers in His name, and prayers which He would answer, and made them abound with fruit to the glory of God, was the characteristic which marked them as His true disciples.

Andrew Kenny said...

Meyer's NT Commentary
John 15:8. A further carrying out of this incitement to abiding on Him, and that by bringing out the great importance, rich in its results, of this granting of prayer, which is attached to the abiding required.

ἐν τούτῳ] Herein, to this a forward reference is generally given, so that ἵνα, κ.τ.λ. is the contents of τοῦτο. But thus understood, since ἵνα is not equivalent to ὅτι, this ἵνα would express, that in the obligation (you ought, John 15:12, comp. on John 6:29), or in the destination to bear much fruit, the δόξα of the Father is given. This is not appropriate, as it is rather in the actual fruit-bearing itself that that δόξα must lie, and hence ὅτι must have been employed. To distinguish ἵνα, however, merely by supplying “as I hope” (Lücke) from ὅτι, does not satisfy the telic nature of the word.[164] Hence (and not otherwise in 1 John 4:17) ἐν τούτῳ, as in John 4:37, John 16:30, is to be taken as a retrospective reference (so also Lange), and that not to the μένειν in itself, but to the immediately preceding Ὃ ἘᾺΝ ΘΈΛΗΤΕ ΑἸΤΉΣΑΣΘΕ Κ. ΓΕΝΉΣ. ὙΜῖΝ, so far, namely, as it takes place in him who abides in Christ. In this granting of prayer allotted to the μένειν ἐν ἐμοί, says Jesus, a twofold result—and this a high incentive to that ΜΈΝΕΙΝ—is given, namely, (1) when what you ask falls to your lot, then in this result my Father has been glorified (ἔλλαχε τιμήν, Nonnus), that you—for that is God’s design in this His δοξάζεσθαι—may bear much fruit (which is just to be the actual further course of that granting of prayer, comp. John 15:16); and (2) you will, in virtue of the fulfilment of all your prayers, become, in a truly proper and specific sense, my disciples, who belong to no other (note the emphatic possessive ἐμοί, as in John 13:35), since this hearing of prayer is the holy characteristic simply and solely of my disciples (John 14:13-14).

The future γενήσεσθε may depend on ἵνα (comp. on ἸΆΣΟΜΑΙ, John 12:40, see also on 1 Corinthians 9:18; Ephesians 6:3), as Ewald connects it; independently, however, of ἽΝΑ, and therefore connected with ἘΝ ΤΟΎΤῼ, the words convey more weight in the independence appropriate to their distinctive contents. The Lord, however, does not say ἜΣΕΣΘΕ, but He sees the full development of His discipledom beginning with the ἐν τούτῳ.

[164] Cyril already rightly recognised that ἵνα cannot be an explanation of ἐν τούτῳ, but only a statement of the purpose of ἐδοξ. ὁ πατ. μ. But quite irrelevantly he referred ἐδοξ. ὁ πατ. μ. to the mission of the Son

Andrew Kenny said...

Barnes' Notes on the Bible
Herein - In this - to wit, in your bearing much fruit.
Glorified - Honored.

Bear much fruit - Are fruitful in good works; are faithful, zealous, humble, devoted, always abounding in the work of the Lord. This honors God.

1. Because it shows the excellence of his law which requires it.

2. Because it shows the power of his gospel, and of that grace which can overcome the evil propensities of the heart and produce it.

3. Because the Christian is restored to the divine image, and it shows how excellent is the character after which they are formed. They imitate God, and the world sees that the whole tendency of the divine administration and character is to make man holy; to produce in us that which is lovely, and true, and honest, and of good report. Compare Matthew 7:20; Philippians 4:8.

So - That is, in doing this.

Shall ye be my disciples - This is a true test of character. It is not by profession, but it is by a holy life, that the character is tried. This is a test which it is easy to apply, and one which decides the case. It is worthy of remark that the Saviour says that those who bear much fruit are they who are his disciples. The design and tendency of his religion is to excite men to do much good, and to call forth all their strength, and time, and talents in the work for which the Saviour laid down his life. Nor should anyone take comfort in the belief that he is a Christian who does not aim to do much good, and who does not devote to God all that he has in an honest effort to glorify his name, and to benefit a dying world. The apostles obeyed this command of the Saviour, and went forth preaching the gospel everywhere, and aiming to bring all men to the knowledge of the truth; and it is this spirit only, manifested in a proper manner, which can constitute any certain evidence of piety.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Andrew Kenny said...

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Herein is my Father glorified,.... This does not so much refer to what goes before, concerning the disciples abiding in Christ, and he and his words abiding in them, and doing for them whatever they ask, though by all this God is glorified; as to what follows, the fruitfulness of the disciples:
that ye bear much fruit; of doctrine, grace, and good works, which show them to be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and the work of his hands; wherein the glory of his power, grace, and mercy, is greatly displayed. All the fruits of righteousness, with which they were filled by Christ, were by him to the praise and glory of God; yea, by the fruitfulness of grace, and of life and conversation, by the lively exercise of grace, and conscientious discharge of duty, as well by light of doctrine, and usefulness in the ministration of the Gospel, the disciples and servants of Christ not only glorify God themselves, but are the means of others glorifying him. It follows,

so shall ye be my disciples; or "disciples to me"; to my honour and glory also, as well as to my Father's; not that their fruitfulness made them the disciples of Christ, but made them appear to be so, or made them honourable ones. Just as good fruit does not make the tree good; the tree is first good, and therefore it brings forth good fruit; but shows it to be good: as by continuing in his word, abiding by his Gospel they appeared to be "disciples indeed", John 8:31, really and truly such; and as by loving one another, so by other fruits of righteousness, other men, all men know that they are the disciples of Christ.