John 15: 1-4, 6
Kenneth S. Wuest Translation
verses 1-4 I, in contradistinction to anyone else, am the vine, the genuine vine, and my Father is a tiller of the soil. Every branch in me not bearing fruit He takes away. And everyone bearing fruit, He cleanses it in order that it may keep on bearing more fruit. As for you, already you are cleansed once because of the word which I have spoken to you. Maintain a living communion with me, and I with you. Just as the branch is unable to be bearing fruit from itself as a source unless it remains in a living union with the vine, so neither you, unless you maintain a living communion with me.
verse 6 If anyone is not maintaining a living communion with me, he was thrown outside as the branch is and was caused to wither. And they gather them and into the fire they throw them, and they are burned.
The Source : I AM THE VINE
The Owner : MY FATHER
The Purpose : THE FRUIT
The Position : ALREADY CLEANSED
This is to produce fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15: 2, 4, & 5). The perfect servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, produced 100% fruit. This chapter tells us that we need to stay in communion with our Father to produce fruits as much as possible. However, because of our nature and we carry the indwelling sin, we can not perfectly follow the example of the Lord Jesus when He was on earth.
Maintaining communion also means confessing sin, which is demonstrated in 1 John 1:3, 7 and 9. So confession and communion [fellowship] are a must in order to produce fruit.
ALREADY CLEANSED: The position that we occupy as believers has been made clear from the start that we are already cleansed. This means, whatever happen to the branch will not jeopardize its salvation. But this context is neither about salvation nor losing salvation. It is about communion in the family of God.
As Christians, we are ambassadors for Christ. We have two fold action: towards God and towards people. We are witnessing to the people of the world and we are manifesting our true character before God. Positionally, all is fine--"already cleansed" (verse 3) and eternally secured. But in action on earth, nothing is sure when it comes to being obedient as an individual. And when a Christian fails, the testimony fails. So in verse 6, the people will throw the Christians off and they will gather the branch. Remember "they" refers to men (the people on earth) and the branches they throw in fire and will burn.
"And they [men in KJV] gather them..." Notice that he did not say "the angels will gather them" nor did he say "the Lord will gather them". Hence, it is not a spiritual separation (losing salvation) but it is an earthly consequences caused by backslidden Christians who will be thrown into the fire (not eternal fire but limited fire of the world i.e. troubles). See verse 21, "they will do to you on account of all that I am in my person, because they do not know the one who sent me." They gather them. It is not God who does it, but people. It means that people scuff at this backslidden Christian. Men don't have the authority and power to throw other men (Christians) in hell, but they can surely afflict much trouble on them (backslidden Christians) even to the point of killing their body. Matthew 10:28, "And stop fearing those who kill the body but do not have the power to kill the soul. But rather be fearing him who has power to bring both soul and body to the condition of utter ruin and everlasting misery in hell."
Christians are ALREADY CLEANSED. If you read further in verse 16 of the same chapter, it says, "you did not make me the object of your choice for yourself but I selected you out for myself."