11 times in the span of 6 verses Jesus tells us to remain in Him. (John 15:4-10) For Jesus to keep repeating himself means He’s trying to convey something really important to us. And “If Jesus must tell us to remain in him, then he seems to be assuming that it is quite possible not to remain in him.” (John Eldridge “Walking with God”)
Jesus is clear in this passage. We are the branches, he’s the vine. We’re dependent on Him for life, to be held up. We can’t bear fruit/bring glory to God on our own. We have to remain in Him.
Biologists/Botanists will tell you that the stem/vine of most plants draws nourishment from the roots and pushes it out to the leaves/fruit. As branches, we don’t have to force nourishment from God. He’s sending it our way! We have to remain in him and receive it through prayer and scripture.
Remaining runs counter to our human selves. We fiercely desire independence and to not owe anything to anyone. We cry out for freedom. We took the forbidden fruit in the garden because we wanted to be like God. We in effect declared, “We can do what we want when we want to.”
Isaish 43:7 tell us though that we were created to bring God glory. If we remain in him, we fulfill our purpose, brining him joy, and receiving joy ourselves (John 15:11). If we don’t, we’re useless. You might as well try using a single hand size rubber band to tow a large truck. That’s not what a rubber band that size was intended for.
Neither were we intended to support ourselves but to remain in Him.