How do you know if something is a success? The old saying that we have all heard before tells us that the proof is in the pudding. So basically, by eating the pudding, or testing it out, we can then know for certain if it is a success. As Christians, we are told in the Bible to test ourselves– to look for evidence that we are living in union with Christ and His word is living in us. By understanding His word we can know for certain and even prove that we are passing the test of discipleship.
Let’s look at a passage in John 15:1-8 that can help us see proof that we are His disciples:
15 “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Every branch which is part of me but fails to bear fruit, he cuts off; and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, so that it may bear more fruit. 3 Right now, because of the word which I have spoken to you, you are pruned. 4 Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.5 “I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing. 6 Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up.7 “If you remain united with me, and my words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you. 8 This is how my Father is glorified — in your bearing much fruit; this is how you will prove to be my disciples.
In this passage, we see an allegory using a vine (Jesus), a gardener (God), branches (Christians), pruning (a process where the truth of God’s word makes us pure), and fruit (good works). We can see that the proof in this pudding is the fruit, which is simply the results of being united with Jesus and His word being united in us. In verse 7, we can’t but help notice a powerful promise regarding fruit bearing. Jesus plainly said that we can ask whatever we want, and it will be done for us if we remain united with Him and His words with us. Let’s think about this and understand why He would make this promise.
Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave so that we could be united with Him as God’s children and share in His good works. The Bible says that all creation longs for the sons of God to be revealed. In addition, God longs to answer the prayers of His people. So Jesus makes this amazing promise to us so we can partner with Him to test this out and successfully accomplish His desires. Jesus is telling us that if we submit to the pruning – trusting in His truth, examining ourselves, and living a repentant life, which keeps us free from sin- then we can stay in His presence. When His word is active in us and we are in His presence then we can ask whatever we want, and it will be done for us. The reason for this is two fold: God will be glorified and we, in bearing much fruit, (seen in our lives through answered prayer and good works) will successfully continue to prove that we are His disciples.
The proof is in the fruit pudding.