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"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (Read John 15:1-6)

Can a man do good works in God's sight without having saving faith in Jesus Christ? Many would say "Yes" to this question, but Jesus says "No."

In the Parable of the Vine and the Branches, Jesus teaches us that only those who abide in Him -- those who are connected to Him through saving faith -- are able to produce fruit acceptable to the LORD God; and God the Father will cut off those branches which produce no fruit for Him. He also prunes and purges those branches which do produce fruit that they might bring forth more fruit for Him.

Those who through faith are joined to Jesus Christ have forgiveness for all their sins and evil works. They are clean through the Word of the Gospel spoken to them -- all their sins are washed away by the precious blood of Jesus, which was shed upon the cross for the sins of the whole world!

As long as they have true and saving faith in Christ and His redemptive work, they will be fruitful and do works which are acceptable and pleasing in God's sight. This is so because Christ, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, abides in them and empowers them to live for Him, and because the sin and impurity yet in their works is forgiven and not held against them.

Apart from saving faith in Jesus Christ, one cannot do good works in God's sight, for one remains spiritually dead to God and unable to truly love Him and honor Him with pure and holy works. He is like a branch which has been severed from the grape vine. It will not produce grapes but will wither up and eventually be thrown into the fire and be burned.

So also, the one who does not trust in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for forgiveness and life will not only be unable to do good works in God's sight; he will be gathered up on the Last Day, together with all others who were unbelieving and fruitless, and be cast into the eternal fires of hell!

Abide with richest blessings among us, bounteous Lord; let us in grace and wisdom grow daily through Thy Word. Abide, O faithful Savior, among us with Thy love; grant steadfastness and help us to reach our home above. Amen. (The Lutheran Hymnal, Hymn #53, Verses 4,6)

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Editorial on 05/03/2018

Print Headline: Are you connected with Jesus?

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