John 15: 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. In this metaphor of the true vine, the gardener and the branches, Jesus stated, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away” (v. 2) and that the branches are to “abide in me, and I in you” (v. 4). “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (v. 6) This passage provides a wonderful picture of the believers union with Christ. We need to note the Greek tenses for the use of “abide” (ESV, Gk. meno) and the immediate context in this passage. These are: “Abide in me” (v.4) – a constative aorist imperative, which “may regard the action [to abide] in its entirety” (Dana & Mantey, 1927/1955, p. 194; Robertson,1932, p. 258). “Unless it abides in the vine” (v. 4). Present tense, continuous action, i.e. continues to abide. “Unless you abide in Me” (v. 4). Present tense, continuous action. “He who abides in Me, and I in him” (v. 5). Present tense, continuous action. “If anyone does not abide in Me” (v. 6), Present tense, continuous action. The interpretation is straightforward. We, in union with Christ, are commanded to abide (remain) in union with Christ and that will continue as long as we continue to abide in Him. This is not speaking of a Christian who is commanded to abide in Christ as an instant action and that guarantees one’s eternal state. The eternal salvation state is guaranteed only as long as the believer continues to abide/remain in union with Christ. “John thus uses the verb ‘abide’ [remain] to express the need for disciples to continue in their personal commitment to Jesus; the abiding of Jesus in them is not an automatic process which is independent of their attitude of Him, but is the reverse side of their abiding in Him. Just as men are summoned to believe in Jesus, so they are summoned to abide in Jesus, i.e. to continue believing” (I. Howard Marshall, cited in Ashby, 2002, p. 180). By use of this vine and gardener metaphor, John 15:6 makes it clear that the believer who does not continue to abide in Christ, is thrown away like a branch, gathered up and cast into the fire to burn. What clearer analogy to damnation, after salvation, could be made? “Jesus as the vine will fulfil his part of the relation as long as the branches keep in vital union with him” (Robertson, 1932, p. 258). Remaining “in me [Jesus]” (v. 6), “shows that his primary thought was of apostate Christians … An unfaithful Christian suffers the fate of an unfruitful branch” (C. K. Barrett, cited in Ashby, 2002, p. 180). FRom ... http://spencer.gear.dyndns.org/2012/10/23/once-saved-always-saved-or-once-saved-lost-again-2/ .