John 15:3 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentOur Saviour having in the former verses distinguished his disciples into two sorts; some that were members of his body the church, and branches of him the true vine, by outward shew and visible profession only: others that are spiritually ingrafted into him, and do bring forth much fruit: now in this third verse Christ tells his disciples which number they were of: Now (saith he) ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you; that is, now that Judas, the traitor, that dead, rotten, fruitless branch, is cut off, and cast out, ye are all clean through the cleansing power and virtue of my word and doctrine.
Learn hence, 1. That such as are justified by the blood, and sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, are in Christ's account clean, notwithstanding their many spots and manifold imperfections: Now are ye clean.
2. That as the blood of Christ is the meritorious, and the Spirit of Christ the efficacious, so the word of Christ is the instrumental, cause of a believer's purification and cleansing; Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I will abide in you; that is, abide in me, not only by an outward and visible profession, but by a real and fiducial adherence, and I will abide in you by the influences and operations of my Holy Spirit. The union and conjunction between Christ and his members is mutual; they abide in him by faith and dependance, and he abideth in them by the indwelling presence of his grace and spirit: Abide in me, and I will abide in you.
Observe farther, The reason which Christ gives why they should thus abide in him; because without union with him , without interest in him, without influences of grace derived from him, they could bring forth no fruit for him, nor do any thing that is truly acceptable and well-pleasing to him: As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me, for without me ye can do nothing: That is, "As branches severed from the vine cannot live and bear fruit, so neither can Christians, separated from Christ, and without deriving virtue from him, do any thing spiritually good and well-pleasing in the sight of God."
Learn hence, That not only unregenerate men do labour under an impotency to that which is spiritually good, but even disciples themselves, wihtout daily dependance upon Christ, and without constant communications of grace from him, can do nothing in a lively and acceptable way and manner unto him: Without me ye can do nothing; you that are branches of me the true vine.
As Christians, without me, that is, without my Spirit, abiding in you, and uniting to me your head, you can do nothing acceptable, to me, or worthy of my gospel. Again: as apostles, it may denote, that without the gifts and powerful assistance of the Holy Spirit, they could do nothing to convert the world to Christianity: in both respects might Christ truly say, Without me ye can do nothing.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.