New Defender's Study Bible Notes
15:4 Abide in me. The verb “abide” is the same in the Greek as “continue” or “remain,” and is used no less than twelve times in John 15:4-16. The same word is used in John 8:31 when Jesus said those who “continue in my word” are “my disciples indeed.” See also John 15:7. Thus, abiding in Christ is not some mystical concept but simply adhering strictly to the words of Christ as found in the Scriptures, guarding them as true and authoritative in every respect, and seeking to obey them by God’s help.
15:4 cannot bear fruit. There are various kinds of “fruit” which Christians should produce. There is the nine-fold “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23), manifest in gracious and consistent Christian character, as well as “the fruits of righteousness” (Philippians 1:11; Hebrews 12:11). Ephesians 5:9 says that “the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,” and all of this will produce fruit in the form of others won to Christ. For example, Paul expressed to the people in Rome his desire to “have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles” (Romans 1:13).