Robert Griffith | 17 February 2024
Robert Griffith
17 February 2024


John 15:8  “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

I remember many years ago, while I was still at Bible College, I became enthralled reading the biographies of the early Methodists. They seemed to possess a burning devotion and a vivid experience of sanctification. It was wonderful reading about their lives and ministry.

I recall one sentence from the diary of William Carvosso, a Cornish Wesleyan, who could neither read nor write until he was over fifty years of age: “Oh, the heartfelt blessedness arising from a conscious union with the Son of God!“ I wonder how many of us today know it as vividly as he knew it – “the heartfelt blessedness arising from a conscious union with the Son of God”?

In John 15 there are four verses which speak of this mysterious union we can enjoy with Christ. (See verses 5, 15, 20, 27). In verse 5 we are “branches,” in verse 15 we are “friends,” in verse 20 we are “servants,” and in verse 27 we are “witnesses”. Do you catch the fourfold significance in these four aspects?

We are branches … so we live in Him.
We are friends … so we have joy in Him.
We are servants … so we work for Him.
We are witnesses … so we speak for Him.

Branches, friends, servants, witnesses. So therefore, Christ is our life, and our joy, and our Lord, and our theme! Perhaps you may notice, now, that going with these four aspects are four special ideas.

We are branches … that speaks of fruit-bearing.
We are friends … that speaks of fellowship.
We are servants … that, says Jesus, will bring persecution.
We are witnesses … and for that, He tells us, there is the provision of the Holy Spirit.

These four seem to strike a level balance. The first two are spiritual. The other two are practical. Our relationship as branches and friends speaks of union and of communion. Our relationship as servants and witnesses speaks of toiling and telling.

Branches bearing fruit … that speaks of spiritual renewal.
Friends enjoying fellowship … that speaks of spiritual privilege.
Servants fulfilling His will … that speaks of spiritual endeavour.
Witnesses for Him to others … that speaks of responsibility.

As you can see, there is a lot we can unpack in just these four aspects of our union with Christ! Now if we are sincere and thoughtful readers of God’s Word, we can never find ourselves confronted by a great truth like this without finding our hearts both gladdened and challenged by it. With these four aspects before us, let us then ask ourselves four questions:

Am I vitally united to Christ, as one of the branches?
Am I living closely and daily in fellowship with Him?
Am I faithfully serving Him, even though incurring the world’s hostility?
Am I daily giving discreet witness for Him, as opportunity allows, and in the power of the heaven-sent Holy Spirit?

If only you and I might experience more fully (to quote dear old William Carvosso again) the “heartfelt blessedness arising from a conscious union with the Son of God”!

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