Sunday, January 13, 2013

John 15: 1-6

15“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

So in church today we started a mini series entitled "Abide", which is all about abiding in Christ and allowing Him to live through us.   Initially, I was bit bummed because I have recently spent some time in John 15, and I enjoy when sermons kind of take me in a new, unfamiliar direction in the Word.  Man, was I wrong.  This message was amazing from beginning to end.  It caused me to took at these verses in an entirely new and exciting way.

Let's start with the obvious:  You are either a branch connected or disconnected to the vine.  Branches not connected to the vine wither and die.  Get connected.

Jesus is the one true vine.  God, the Father, is the gardenerGod is actively involved in the growth of His garden.  Jesus is the source of life that God planted in this world to show us the life that He intended for us to have.  To have life, we must have a relationship with Jesus.

I thought it was really important to note that John 15 begins with Jesus and the Father before we are  ever mentioned

It all goes back to identity.  Do we find identity as being the branch, or as being part of the vine?  Branches do not get to pick what type of fruit they bear, but instead, branches are grown by the vine to produce a fruit that the vine has already determined and planned to produce. 

He prunes us out of love, just as a father disciplines out of love in Hebrews 12:6-7.  We must trust that we are pruned to enable us to grow into something much more beautiful.

When you look at a fruitful tree, the branches don't get the credit, but instead the gardener.  God gets all of the credit for any fruit we, the branches, are ever able to produce.   The perfect, planned fruit can only be produced if we look directly to the vine. 

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