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Living in a close relationship with Jesus Christ

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In John 15:4-5 (NASB) Jesus Christ teaches His disciples three important lessons about maintaining a healthy spiritual life by declaring:

“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.”

The first lesson from these verses is that Jesus wants His disciples to be living in a close and strong relationship with Him and God the Father just as the grape branch has a strong relationship to the grape vine.

The first step to developing such a strong relationship is for people to ask God to forgive them for breaking God’s laws and then ask Jesus Christ to become their personal Savior and spiritually apply His sacrificial atonement on the cross to their lives.

When people do that God forgives them for breaking His laws, removes the spiritual death sentence that they deserved for breaking His laws, takes them out of the Devil’s spiritual kingdom of darkness and puts them into God’s spiritual kingdom of light, makes them God’s newly restored creation, and sends the power of the Holy Spirit to live inside of them to give them the insight and ability to live according to God’s principles of living found in the Bible.

As Christians daily read the Bible to learn God’s principles and talk to God in prayer about their problems, they can develop a close relationship with God that will help them overcome the many problems that they will face during the rest of their journey of life.

The second lesson that Jesus is teaching His disciples in the above verses is that they are to get their spiritual nourishment from Him like the grape branch gets its nourishment from the vine.

Just as the grape branch depends on the grape vine to give it the physical nourishment that it needs to grow and produce good fruit; so also Christians need to depend on getting their spiritual nourishment from God in their times of reading God’s word, their times of talking to God in prayer, their times of being renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit, their times of listening to Christian music, and their times of worshipping God during Christian Church services so they can have the spiritual strength that they need to both live according to God’s principles as they go through their daily activities and also be able to overcome the bombardment of worldly values, fleshly temptations, and demonic deceptions that try to distract them away from living by their Christian values.

Although Christians can use worldly information to deal with problems in the physical areas of their life such as: their job, their finances, the repair of their home, car, etc.; Christians should not let worldly information or values contradict or change their practice of living according to God’s principles of living found in the Bible.

The third lesson that Jesus is teaching His disciples in the above verses is that just as the grape branch gets its nourishment from the vine and then produces good fruit as grapes; so also Jesus wants His disciples to get their spiritual nourishment from the above activities and then produce some good fruit for His spiritual kingdom of light.

In John 15:8 Jesus declares that: “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” The fruit that Jesus wants His disciples to produce comes in many forms. One form of that fruit is having His disciples spreading God’s messages about His principles of living either through helping a Christian ministry spread God’s messages, sharing God's messages with those people around them, or being a shining light by living according to God’s principles as Christians go through their daily activities that have some areas of spiritual or moral darkness in them.

Another way for Christians to produce good fruit for God’s kingdom is through using some of their financial; food, clothing, and other resources to help meet some of the physical needs of poor, hurting, and needy people in a way consistent with their Christian values. As they do that Christians can explain that they are doing this in appreciation of the way that Jesus met their spiritual need of having a close relationship with God through His sacrificial atonement on the cross. Then, Christians can tell them how they can also develop a close relationship with God and meet their spiritual needs.

There are many other ways that Christians can produce good fruit for God’s kingdom as they follow God’s guidance, use His power, and use the special abilities that God has given them to do things that glorify God.

In conclusion, the more that Christians live in a close relationship with Jesus and God the Father and get their spiritual nourishment from God; the more they can produce good fruit for God’s kingdom and thus become a brightly shining light for those living in spiritual darkness to follow and become members of God’s spiritual kingdom of light through accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

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