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Yan Kislitsa
John 15:1-11
GCS Sermons 2017
53 mins 38 secs
Views: 39

On the night before the Crucifixion, Jesus had the last Supper with His disciples. It was at this Supper, after sharing the cup with His disciples, Christ inaugurated the new Covenant. To illustrate the vital relationship with His followers, Jesus tells His disciples of the Vine and the branches. In this analogy, Jesus is the true Vine, the Father is the Vinedresser and believers are the branches. The point of this story is not hard to grasp; God the Father saved the people through Jesus His Son to bearing much fruit and to experience abundance of joy. This analogy helps us to understand the fundamental truth about the importance of bearing fruit for God’s glory. The story can be analyzed by studying 3 words - Abiding, Fruitfulness and Joy; three disciplines which are closely related to each other in the life of the believer.

First word is Abide. In order to produce any fruit one must abide in Christ. “Abide” appears 9 times in these 11 verses so we must pay close attention. Jesus commands us to abide in Him but what does that practically mean? Abiding, in its most basic meaning is to remain, dwell, or be continually glued to Christ. As branches completely dependent on the vine for sap, so are Christians dependent on the ongoing life that flows from Christ. Apart from this continuous unity with Christ, believers are not able to be pleasing in God’s eyes, nor can they be useful to Him, “for apart from Me you can do nothing” (15:5). Our usefulness then, along with our fruitfulness depend on our constant relationship with and reliance on Christ.

The second word in the text that demands our attention is Fruit. God, as the owner of the Vine is expecting the branches to bear much fruit. Since this is the purpose for which the Father placed us into the true Vine, He expects us to grow in our fruitfulness to Him. What is this fruit? Generally speaking the fruit in this context is Christlikeness. As the grape vine produces grapes, it is only appropriate to expect that those who are abiding in Christ will produce Christlike character and conduct. We must pay careful attention to what we are producing - for much of what we consider the fruit is just foliage wrapped up in busy activities.

Thirdly, we need to look at the word Joy (15:11). The abiding in Christ and the abundance of fruit in Christian life brings fullness of Joy. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to have a great time in the Vine. As with the peace which Jesus gives (John 14:27), this joy is also much different from the worldly attempt to give a “good time.” The joy of Christ is the best of all joys. When a Christian is full of Christ, when he is full of His word and lives trusting the love of Jesus, joy is but an inevitable byproduct! It comes from obedience to the word of Christ (15:7, 10) being motivated by the love of Christ (15:9). The life of uninterrupted union with Christ bears much fruit, fills us with joy and brings glory to the heavenly Father (15:8). Here are 3 application questions you can ask yourself this morning: Are you abiding in Christ? Are you bearing much fruit? Are you experiencing Joy of Christ?

 

Abide in Christ so you can bear much fruit and be full of joy!