“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4; NASB)
Have you ever seen a mango grow from a severed mango tree branch? Of course not! The reason a fruit can grow from a branch is because the branch is connected to the tree itself which is the source of life. It is the roots of the tree which absorb the earth’s nutrients from the ground thereby enabling it to sustain life. A branch cut off from its life source would not only be unable to bear fruit, but die.
The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we would walk in them (2:10). Although we are not saved by good works, we were saved for good works. However, just like branches cut off from the tree, we would be unable to effectively produce real good works apart from the grace of Christ. We receive this grace only when we are in Christ, that is, when we abide in Him. To abide in Christ means to obey His commands. A true disciple of Christ obeys not due to fear of eternal damnation but because of his love for and devotion to God.