In John 15, Jesus says, “I am the true vine.” It is the last of the “I am” statements He made about Himself from John 6 through 15.
Here there are two types of branches on the vine: the fruit bearing ones and the non fruit bearing ones. Jesus, of course, is the vine and the branches are His disciples. The fruit bearing branches represent true believers, but what about the identities of the fruitless ones?
Branches that are truly and intimately connected to the vine are fruitful and secure. Similarly, believers who abide in Christ are fruitful and full of joy (John 15:11).
Branches that do not bear fruit have only a superficial attachment – they are not truly tapped into the vascular system of the vine. They will wither and be removed and burned. Similarly, believers who do not abide in Christ cultivate the appearance of godliness without any vital connection to the life of God. They have no fruit for the Lord.
John MacArthur in his book “The Upper Room” listed that those who abide in Christ will bear fruit: having a Christlike character and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23) in their lives. They will be thankful to God consistently (Heb 13:15), helping the needy (Phil 4:17), walking in a worthy manner, fully pleasing Him (Col 1:10), sharing the good news whenever opportunity arises and discipling others (1 Cor 16:15). This fruit may not be seen at all times, but will be borne, nonetheless.
William Carey, the pioneer missionary to India, laboured for seven years before seeing the first convert.
Let us therefore examine ourselves (2 Cor 13:5), abide in Christ and bear fruit for Him, that His joy may be in us and our joy may be full.