John 15:2 Explained – Does God Cut Off Branches With No Fruit?
Many Christians read John 15:2 and ask us ‘does this apply to us and does God cut off branches and throw them away if we don’t produce fruit’?
In John 15:2 we read:
He CUTS OFF every branch IN ME that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes
So there’s a problem here. This verse in John 15:2 identified this person as every branch ‘IN ME’. So, this means the Christian (who is IN CHRIST) is now being cut off and is going to hell.
Some translations say ‘take away’.
The majority of us do NOT believe in losing salvation, including most bible commentators and translators. So, they try and explain this verse away by twisting it to have a different meaning.
However, I don’t see how you can get away from this translation meaning a Christian who stops producing fruit is ‘cut off’ and in that context, thrown into hell.
What if the bible translators simply did a poor job of interpreting the Greek word in it’s true context?
The Greek word here is “airo” and it can be translated as ‘cut off’, ‘removed’, or, I believe more correctly as ‘take up’, and ‘to raise’.
airó: to raise, take up, lift
Original Word: αἴρω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (ah’-ee-ro)
Short Definition: I raise, lift up
Definition: I raise, lift up, take away, remove.
So, in context, what this verse really should say is:
He LIFTS UP every branch IN ME that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.
This lifting up of branches actually causes them to start to produce fruit again. Note: it’s NOT OUR FRUIT. It’s the fruit of the Spirit. That’s why verse 4 tells us we CAN’T bear fruit on our own…..because you don’t have the ability to do it. Let me take it further….. not only is it IMPOSSIBLE for a Christian to bear good fruit on our own, but according to Matthew 7:18 it’s also IMPOSSIBLE for you to bear BAD FRUIT!
A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
Wait, how can that be? How can it be impossible for a Christian (good tree) not to produce bad fruit? Simple. It’s because the fruit is not a human work. It’s referring only to what comes from the Spirit. The Spirit can NOT produce even one bad fruit. But you, as a human, even a Christian, produce bad fruit all the time.
Side Note: regarding this word ‘abide’ in these verses in John 15. Abide is NOT a HUMAN EFFORT or a TRY HARDER word. Abide simply means ‘live’. Christians LIVE IN CHRIST (and He lives in us), and it is impossible for us not to ABIDE in Him if we are believers.
Author: Mike Cynar
Mike Cynar grew up in church and observed that countless people would go to church and then just stop. The church always referred to them as ‘fake Christians’ or ‘backsliders’ but Mike discovered the problem was deeper. The problem was the church message. The message was 90% behavior improvement and how bad you are, with a pinch of who you are in Christ, It was like every sermon was being preached to the church of Corinth. It’s in the Baptist church, Catholic, Pentecost, and most every other church. After discovering the true gospel message and how we are made right with God because of what ‘Jesus did’ (not what ‘we do’) Mike set out to free believers from behavior improvement programs and bring them back to Jesus. The Result – Jesus Without Religion was launched.