I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing . If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (NAS)
The “once saved, always saved” expositors consistently assert that the fruitless branch refers to nominal Christians who were never believers in the first place.
If that is the case, why does Jesus say in v.2 that the branch that does not bear fruit is “in me”? How could an unredeemed person be “in me”? How is this verse not speaking to the need for a person who is in Christ to maintain a vital connection to Christ? Isn’t that the point of v.4 — indeed, the entire passage?
The Greek word translated ‘abide’ is meno. Among the various definitions: “not to depart;” “to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure;” and “to remain as one, not to become another or different.”
If you are in Christ, work at maintaining your vital connection to Christ. Otherwise, this passage warns, you will be cut off, tossed aside, and eventually thrown into the fire. Don’t allow yourself to become dried-up deadwood.
Related: If his branches don’t bear fruit …