Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), Page 1143

fruit. God has purchased us through Christ, that He might be a propitiation for our sins. We are within the bounds of His mercy; for in mercy His arm encircles the whole human race. Since Christ has paid the price for all the service that we should give Him, we are His servants by purchase. Although we are in Christ Jesus by His covenant of promise, yet if we stand in a position of perfect indifference, without acknowledging Him as our Saviour, we bear no fruit. If by failing to be a partaker of His divine nature we bear no fruit, we are taken away. Worldly influences take us away from Christ, and our portion is the same as that of the unfruitful branch—“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.”

“Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Our fruit-bearing testifies whether we are really abiding in Christ....

We are Christ's property. “Ye are not your own,” “ye are bought with a price.” Are we in Him by living faith? If we do not bear any fruit, the powers of darkness take possession of our minds, our affections, our service, and we are of the world, though we profess to be children of God. This is neither a safe nor a pleasant position, because we lose all the beauty and the glory and the satisfaction that it is our privilege to have. By abiding in Christ, we may have His sweetness, His fragrance, His light. Christ is the Light of the world. He shines in our hearts. His light in our hearts shines forth from our faces. By beholding the beauty and the glory of Christ, we become changed into the same image (Manuscript 85, 1901).

1-5. Identity With Christ Needed—The branches in the True Vine are the believers who are brought into oneness by connection with the Vine.

The connection of the branches with one another and with the Vine constitutes them a unity, but this does not mean uniformity in everything. Unity in diversity is a principle that pervades the whole creation. While there is an individuality and variety in nature, there is a oneness in their diversity; for all things receive their usefulness and beauty from the same Source. The great Master Artist writes His name on all His created works, from the loftiest cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop upon the wall. They all declare His handiwork, from the lofty mountain and the grand ocean to the tiniest shell upon the seashore.

The branches of the vine cannot blend into each other; they are individually separate; yet every branch must be in fellowship with every other if they are united in the same parent stock. They all draw nourishment from the same source; they drink in the same life-giving properties. So each branch of the True Vine is separate and distinct, yet all are bound together in the parent stock. There can be no division. They are all linked together by His will to bear fruit wherever they can find place and opportunity. But in order to do this, the worker must hide self. He must not give expression to his own mind and will. He is to express the mind and will of Christ. The human family are dependent upon God for life and breath and sustenance. God has designed the web, and all are individual threads to compose the pattern. The Creator is one, and He reveals Himself as the great Reservoir of all that is essential for each separate life.

Christian unity consists in the branches being in the same parent stock, the vitalizing power of the center supporting the grafts that have united to the Vine. In thoughts and desires, in words and actions, there must be an identity with Christ, a constant partaking of His spiritual life. Faith must increase by exercise. All who live near to God will have a realization of what Jesus is to them and they to Jesus. As communion with God is making its impress upon the soul, and shining out in the countenance as an illuminating light, the steadfast principles of Christ's holy character will be reflected in humanity (The Review and Herald, November 9, 1897).

1-8. See EGW on ch. 13:2.

4. Detachment as Well as Attachment—A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish. Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for our redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first, and last,

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