15:2 “He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.” Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! But so necessary. Yet we are always praying for a nice easy comfortable life. Hmm…
What does it mean to abide/remain in Christ? Part of it appears to be answered in 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you” -- having His Word in my life -- and 15:10 “If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”
Here’s the balance between the fact that we don’t earn our salvation -- it’s paid for already by Jesus -- and the fact that obedience to God is central to the Christian life. We don’t earn God’s approval, but we will not have the abundant life if we don’t obey.
But we don’t obey like slaves, but as friends and children -- due to love. (15:9-17)
And don’t be surprised if the world hates us -- they hated Jesus first. (15:18-27)