christ church

The True Vine

by Steve Hulshizer

In a ?twinkling of an eye? this beautiful world came under a
curse. Like Lucifer before him, the man who was created in God?s image and placed
over His creation rebelled, being dissatisfied with the position and provisions his
Creator God had given him. Everything under Adam was affected by his fall. The woman would
bring forth her children in sorrow. The earth came under a curse and thorns and thistles
marred the beauty of God?s creation. Man now had to labor for his needed bread.

God had designed all things to reproduce after their kind. (Gen. 1:11,
12, 25) This is an important truth which runs through the Bible. Jesus told this to
Nicodemus when He said,?That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is
born of the Spirit in spirit.? (John 3:3) All that the herbs and trees produced was
the fruit of the cursed earth. All the offspring of Adam would reproduce after His kind,
and thus sin would run through the human race. (Rom. 5:12-13) As such, there was nothing
produced by man that would be pleasing to God. The best efforts of man would still be the
product of a fallen nature, called in the Bible, ?the flesh.? No matter how
intelligent, no matter how zealous, no matter how religious, all the works of man are from
a fallen and polluted nature.

All that which was to bring glory to God was now tarnished and
polluted. Man would?become unprofitable? to God. (Rom. 3:12) This was proven in
the years to follow. Mankind became so wicked and evil that God repented that He had made
man, and sent the flood to cleanse the earth. In His grace He saved a small remnant of
people from the flood to carry on the human race?Noah and his family. (Gen. 6-9)
However, since Noah was a descendent of Adam, his offspring was also produced of the
flesh. Despite the institution of human government to control the behavior of man, failure
once again came in and God once again brought judgement upon mankind, this time by
confusing their language. (Gen. 11)

God then took up a special nation. They were to be His people, and He
was to be their God.Beginning with Abraham, God formed the nation of Israel. Certainly
such an arrangement would result in glory to God! To have the only God of heaven and earth
as your God would no doubt stir the people to bring glory to Him!

God made Israel His personal vineyard (Is. 5:7). He brought them as a
vine out of Egypt,and prepared a place for them. (Ps. 80: 8-19) He provided everything
necessary for this vine to bring forth fruit for Him. He fenced it, planted it with the
choicest vine, built a tower in its midst, and provided a winepress. (Isa. 5:2) After this
He looked for grapes, but it only produced wild grapes. (Isa. 2) Despite all of His work
with this nation it brought no glory to Him. In fact, God?s name was blasphemed among
the Gentiles because of the sin of Israel. (Rom. 2:24)

Several times God sent the nation into captivity. Finally, He set them
aside and established the Gentiles nations as the rulers of the world. (Dan. 2, 7, 8; Rom.
11) This see the stage for the True Vine that would come and bear fruit for God.

What was needed was a new beginning by which the line of fallen
humanity from Adam could be broken. A race in which the fallen nature would not be
reproduced in the offspring. This new Man and His race would then bring glory to God. This
is exactly what was accomplished when God Himself took on humanity in the person of Jesus

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and thus the line from Adam had been broken. (Matt. 1:18-25) Jesus, the Second Man, or
Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45,47), was from heaven and was heavenly in character. He pleased God
the Father in all that He did. (Matt. 3:17) Of all those who walked on the face of the
earth since Adam, Jesus was the only One Who always pleased God. (John 17:4)

When Jesus declared Himself to be the True Vine, He was stating that He
was the one that would bring forth fruit unto God. He would bring glory to God here on
earth. Like Israel, He too was taken out of Egypt, but unlike Israel He would accomplished
the purpose for which He was sent. He glorified God on the earth (John 17:4), and those
who abide in Him will likewise bring forth fruit to the glory of God.

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