25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27 (NASB)
There are really only two groups of people in the world. There are those who are branches bearing fruit in the True Vine who is Christ and then there are those who either are totally separate from the vine in their rejection of the Gospel or they are branches in the True Vine who bear no fruit….
Those branches which bear fruit have been cleansed by the washing of water with the word by Christ. Their sins are forgiven. The other group has not been cleansed so are in their sins whether they are in the True Vine or not.
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. John 15:1-3 (NASB)
Who is the True Vine? This is Christ speaking of Himself. In John 15:1-17 Christ uses an extended metaphor of the vine and branches. He uses this teaching device as the basis for Christian living. As we have seen, the True Vine is Christ. Who is the vinedresser? This is God the Father. Who is controlling the “sanctification” of the branches? The vinedresser closely examines and tests each branch through pruning. Why? This is done so that the branches will bear fruit. He prunes only the fruit bearing branches. This hurts. This is the removing of things that would hinder fruit-bearing. This is chastising. This is suffering. This is being in the valley. This hurts. This cutting away is His work of removing the branch from sin. That means that the branches dependence upon the things of the flesh for attempted fulfillment comes under attack. Why? The works of the flesh drain spiritual life from the branches.