John 15:1-11

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The Vine.

First question we are going to answer is why the metaphors?
Why the I am statements?
So far in the book of John, John has recorded Jesus saying these I am statements.
The I am statements serve two functions for us.
And with every I am statement, we learn a little more about who Jesus is and what He came to do.
Also, with every I am statement, we are forced with immense pressure to realize that Jesus of the New Testament is the I am of the Old Testament. In fact, Jesus does this most clearly in the book of John in chapter 8.
Jesus said to a group of Pharisees who are questioning his ability to know Abraham and for Abraham to know Him.
Remember what He told them?
John 8:58 NASB95
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
Jesus is Yahweh of the Old Testament.
He is the God of Israel.
The God of David.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
He is the one who shut the mouths of lions for Daniel.
He held the Sun still for Joshua.
He parted the waters for Moses.
And He is the one who brought judgment upon Pharaoh and the people of Israel for their idol worship.
Every I am statement drives us back to unmistakably link Jesus to the old Testament.
But not only that.
Every I am statement also tells us who Jesus is and what He came to be.
In ,
1. He is the bread of life
John 6:35 NASB95
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
In ,
2. He is the Light of the World.
John 8:12 NASB95
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
3. Jesus is the door of the sheep.
John 10:7 NASB95
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:9 NASB95
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Later in ,
4. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
John 10:11 NASB95
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
5. Jesus is the resurrection and the Life.
John 11:25 NASB95
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
6. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
John 14:6 NASB95
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Every I am statement that we have seen so far have told us something about Jesus and He has done this beautifully by using metaphors so that we can truly understand who he is.
So now we come to , where Jesus is about to deliver his last I am statement in the book of John and His last I am statement recorded HERE on earth.
And this one is gonna be different than others.
Not only will Jesus further reveals himself. He is going to further reveal the Father and a role He plays as well.
Listen to what he says here.
John 1
John 15:1 NASB95
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
So this is the metaphor.
metaphor is a comparison to something by equating it to something.
Jesus is the Vine.
Hopefully, we all know what a vine is.
I have in my mind a grape vine, and i think that may be what Jesus is referring to here, so we are gonna go with that.
For the grapevine to succeed and flourish, normally it needs someone to care for it.
The Father is the Vine Dresser, or the Gardner.
So if Jesus is the vine. and that is the launching pad for this passage.
Everything revolves around Jesus being the vine.
What does the Father do in light of Jesus being the vine?
Look in verse 2
John 15:2 NASB95
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
In verse 2 we see that there are two types of branches.
We can best understand this by understanding what these people have in common vs what is different about them.
The one thing these people have in common is that they profess to be in Christ.
They profess to be attached to Christ.
But the difference between them are unmistakable.
1. One branch does not bear fruit.
They claim to be Christians, but there is no fruit.
Branches that do not bear fruit.
The people probably in mind here are the Jewish leaders who claim to be God’s children, but they have proven time and time again that they hate Jesus.
At this point, it may be really easy to shrug this off. He’s not talking about me here. Here is where we should be careful, because this passage is just as applicable today as it was then.
We live in a culture down here in the South, where almost everyone claims to be a Christian although that is probably going to change as our culture changes.
But while many people claim to be Christians, how many of those who claim to be Christians are bearing fruit?
How many of those aren’t gathering to worship today?
How many of those live in light of God’s Word?
How many of those who claim to be Christians are living their lives in order to bring God glory?
Understand, this passage teaches that fruitless branches are not in the Vine. It is impossible for them to.
Dead branches do not produce anything.
In fact those branches are taken away. If you look ahead into verse 6, those branches are thrown into the fire.
2. The other type of branch is one that is fruit bearing.
Those are branches that do produce spiritual fruit.
They are connected to Christ, and because they are connected to a living vine, you see the results of them being connected.
But even the Vine dresser does work to them as well.
He prunes them.
That is he works on them to increas their growth.
At times, that means He disciplines.
Other times, we experience difficulties to test our faith.
Other times, we experience good times to encourage our faith.
But the goal of it all is bearing more fruit
Jesus is now going to speak to those who he knows are in Him.
John 15:3 NASB95
“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
The message that the disciples have heard, they have believed, having believed, they have been justified.
His message was himself.
They are clean.
In other words, they are saved.
And they are saved because of the Gospel, the message they have heard from Jesus.
That message is not a message that they will graduate from. This isn't a one time response at the end of a service.
This is something that they will remain in.
This portion of the Gospel message must be preached!!
Too many people think that its about a one time transaction whereby they tell God they want their fire insurance, but Jesus describes something way different
That is the message that will continue to form the basis of their lives.
Listen to what he says here.
John 15:4 NASB95
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
As believers in Jesus, we must continue in our belief and continue in His word.
Continuing in His word and in Him will inevitably produce fruit, but a failure to Abide in the Vine will inevitably make the production of Spiritual fruit impossible.
What are the results of being in and remaining in the Vine?
John 15:5–7 NASB95
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
For those who abide:
John 15:5–6 NASB95
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
They bear much Fruit. And this is the type of growth God desires.
Let me take a moment to say that I have witnessed this first hand in some of you.
Your commitment to remain in Christ is producing fruit.
This encourages me more than anything as a pastor.
What kind of fruit do you mean?
Since being here as your pastor, I have seen lots of growth from lots of people.
I have seen people repent of sin. I have seen people grow in faithfulness in attending. I have seen people grow in the knowledge of their salvation.
I have seen a group of people take off to another country to go and serve a group of Haitian orphans.
I have seen people give their time and effort to help serve first responders during the flood.
I have seen you give abundantly to missions.
I have seen a lot of you bear MUCH fruit.
These are things that happen when we remain in the Word.
And please hear me out, I do want to commend you for your faithfulness, but you need to see something in this passage.
Apart from Christ you can do nothing.
So all the glory for all of that goes to Christ.
But what about those who aren’t abiding?
Look in verse 6
John 15:6 NASB95
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
Those who do not abide, prove that they were never in.
1 John 2:19 NASB95
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
and judgment comes upon them.
There is coming a day when God WILL sort out those who are His and those who are not.
Your fruit today and your fruit in your lives proves where you will be on that day.
John 15:7 NASB95
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
The prayers of one abiding will be prayers that Jesus can sign His name to.
Here is where we see our desires start becoming His desires.
If we are abiding in the Word, and His words are abiding in us, then what is inevitable is that we will begin desire what His Word demands and hate what His word forbids.
Along with Fruit, Our prayers are transformed.
And all this glorifies the Father. Look at verse 8.
John 15:8 NASB95
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Bear Much fruit.
A healthy, mature, branch bears much fruit.
And According to this passage, there are 3 ways to know if you are a healthy mature branch.
Are you connected to the Vine?
This is the reason why you will bear fruit.
Apart from the Vine you can do nothing?
You may ask: Well how do I bear fruit? Get connected to the Vine!!!
Are you being pruned?
Are you bearing much fruit?
Here is the process according to this passage.
You get connected to the vine, and you bear fruit. God the Father disciplines you, tests you, prunes you, and you begin to be more fruitful, and when you have grown in Christ, being pruned by the Vine dresser, you will bear much fruit.
This is the third time in the book of John he has said something like this.
John 8:31 NASB95
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
John 13:35 NASB95
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
And now here in verse 8
John 15:8 NASB95
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
The threefold test to see if you are disciples of Christ is:
Are you continuing, abiding in his Word?
Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Are you bearing fruit?
All this is motivated by and empowered by the LOVE of Christ.
John 15:9–10 NASB95
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
But what does it mean to abide in His Love?
That idea seems so abstract.
But Jesus explains himself.
How do we abide in his love.
If you keep my commandments.
Obedience is the key to abiding in his love.
Jesus modeled this perfectly.
how does he abide in the Father’s love? By obeying Him.
How will abide in the Son’s love? By obeying Him.
And this for our joy.
John 15:11 NASB95
“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
i’m gonna ask you again:
Are you connected to Christ?
Are you being pruned?
Are you bearing fruit in obedience to Christ?
If not, it may be the very reason for your misery.
It may be the reason for your depression.
There is joy found in Christ.
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