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I AM the True Vine

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I AM the True Vine
turn with me to John chapter 15
How I get connected
Move
Move to abiding
I’m not sure where you are today in your journey in life but this one thing I know — if you’re not connected to Him you need to get connected today
John 1:13 NKJV
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12 NKJV
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Romans 10:8–11 NKJV
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Romans 10:9–11 NKJV
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Being connected means:--
I have new life— resurrected life-- eternal life
Romans 10:
I have peace with God
I have His abundant blessing
I have been made righteous in Christ
How I stay connected
Abiding in the Vine:
Abiding in Christ
abide — to wait, stay, or remain, continuing in a permanent state
abiding in Christ is such a central idea to the Christian life
Paul uses “abide” 10 times the first 10 verses of this chapter
as well as many places in the New Testament
to abide in Christ means to continue in a permanent state of relationship with Him
I want to abide in a constant of fellowship with Him, of relationship with Him, of connection with Him
abide
John 15:4 NKJV
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:
John 15:6 NKJV
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
:
John 15:7 NKJV
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:
John 15:9 NKJV
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
6
John 15:
John 15:10 NKJV
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.
John 15:
John 17:23 NKJV
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Ephesians 3:17 NKJV
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
John 17:23
Colossians 1:23 NKJV
if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
John 6:56 NKJV
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
john 6.56
John 8:31 NKJV
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
Jo
John 8:35 NKJV
And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
john 8.35
Not abiding
ohn 8.35
john 15:4
John 15:4 NKJV
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
What happens when I am connected
connected
Joy
Joy
One of the primary things that comes from our connection with him this joy
John 15:11 NKJV
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Romans 15:13 NKJV
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Nehemiah 6:8 NKJV
Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart.”
Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 6:6 NKJV
In it was written: It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king.
Neh 6;6
Answered prayer
a second benefit of abiding in him is answered prayer
John 15:7 NKJV
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:16 NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
the third thing we gave from abiding in him is fruit
Fruit
John 15:2 NKJV
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
john 15
John 15:4 NKJV
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
john15:4
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
john 15:5
John 15:8 NKJV
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
John 15:16 NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
john 15:18
Are you connected?
Will you?
Introduction
Today we are going to share about the last "I Am" found in the gospel of John. This I Am Jesus declared to his disciples in John Chapter 15. I believe it is probably one of the most critical and powerful I Am spoken to us as believers.
I have sensed an urgency for us at this church to get ready and to be prepared for the days ahead. Jesus continues to remind me about this as I talk with him week by week. So in the midst of preparation for this message I began to understand why He stirred our hearts about "I am the Vine...you are the branches" last. It needs to become central to our thinking. I pray that as we share this word it would settle in your spirits and that He...Jesus would quicken it in your hearts this morning. Truth sets us free and I believe that this truth this morning is very liberating.
Illustration:
A missionary in Africa several decades ago lived in a small hut which was electrically supplied by a quiet, small generator. The little gas powered wonder supplied current for both his home and the primitive church building beside it. Late one afternoon two African men from another much more remote village visited the Pastor in his hut, and were amazed when night fell, and he simply switched the room lights on. They were wide-eyed at the electric light bulb hanging from the ceiling of his living space. One of the visitors asked the Pastor if he could have one of the bulbs. Thinking perhaps he wanted it for a sort of trinket, the Pastor obliged and gave it to him. Months passed. On his next visit to the remote village of that same man, the Pastor stopped at the hut of the man who had previously asked for the bulb. Imagine his surprise when he saw the bulb hanging from an ordinary string. The man understood the general idea of connection, but he didn’t understand empowering. Lots of believers today are like that.
Let me read in John chapter 15 starting in verse one to you.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 “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. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This teaching from Jesus speaks of planting and growing and reaping. When you consider a farmer and all the long hours he spends year round with one purpose....harvest...a good harvest...a rewarding harvest......
1. Jesus is the only true vine.
In verse 1, Jesus says,
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser."
This metaphor may seem strange us.
For a long time, I thought Jesus was just using a vine as an illustration.
I imagined Jesus walking through a vineyard,
and thinking to himself,
"I can probably use a vine to illustrate what I want to teach my disciples." To be sure, the vine is an illustration.
But he is not just using the vine to illustrate his teaching. He is doing more than that.
Jesus has carefully chosen the vine image to say something controversial and outrageous.
Did you notice the scandal of verse 1? Jesus did not say, "I am like a vine." He is not just comparing himself to a vine. He is the vine.
And He doesn't say, "I am a vine," as though there were many vines, and He is just one of them.
No, Jesus says, "I am the vine," the one and only vine.
But that is not all. Instead of simply saying, "I am the vine,"
He says, "I am the true vine."
======
But what does that mean?
How can a vine be true?
The word “true” is the whole point.
We then ask the question:
If Jesus is the true vine, who or what is the untrue vine?
In the Old Testament, you will see that Israel was planted as a vine
even though she was planted well by the Lord, she didn't produce the fruit that God wanted.
The Lord says to the people of Israel, in ,
"I planted you, a choice vine, entirely of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”
The Lord didn't find the fruit he was looking for from Israel, his beloved vine. The vine of Israel proved false.
So, Jesus' claim, "I am the true vine," was scandalous and unexpected.
He is saying that he was the faithful and true Israel. Where the people of Israel failed to produce the fruit that God was looking for, Jesus succeeded.
Where the people of Israel fell short of God's righteous requirements, Jesus succeeded. Though Israel bungled its mission to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth,
Jesus will get the job done.
So Jesus says, "I am the true vine," and in that one earth-shattering sentence,
===========
Jesus announces that He is the new and faithful planting of the Lord.
He represents the new people for God's pleasure.
Characteristics of the Vine
The resource giving stalk
The source of the branches life
He fulfilled all of God’s intention for Israel
Everything is in Him—without Him you can do nothing
====
Get connected today!!
I’m not sure where you are today in your journey in life but this one thing I know — if you’re not connected to Him you need to get connected today
======
Being connected means—
I have new life— resurrected life-- eternal life!
I have peace with God
I have His abundant blessing
I have been made righteous in Christ
No more does He call us sinners, but the redeemed.
(See ; and .)
As ambassadors of Jesus Christ,
we have been given His image,
His authority,
His rich robes of righteousness,
a crown of glory
and His power to rule as a royal priesthood.
(See ; ; ; ; and .)
We have the mind of Christ;
our carnal minds have been exchanged for His
and He gives freely to us the wisdom
that we need for every situation.
(See and .)
We have access to unlimited supernatural resources
to meet all our needs;
in Him there is no lack.
He is the true Vine!
(See and .)
====
…..and my Father is the vinedresser."
My Father takes (Excellent) care of the vine and the branches
He cleans and prunes where necessary
and takes away dead branches
He is very good!
====
Abiding in the Vine
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me
What is abiding?
The secret of the fruitful branches is that they abide in Jesus. What does it mean to abide? Abide basically means "to remain," "to stay put," "to linger in one place," or "to dwell."( Abide means to continue in a daily, personal relationship with Jesus.
One person described abiding this way....
Abiding in Christ is to rest in him, to rest quietly without fear or anxiety to the point that you doze off comfortably in your savior’s arms – at peace.
The most important thing for a branch to do is to stay connected to the vine. ...think of the alternative....Only a branch that receives life-giving sap from the vine will live and bear fruit. And so it is with us.
The second half of that phrase...abide in me and I in you....
And I in you is a phrase without an explicit verb, but it probably is an abbreviated way of saying, “See that I abide in you”; that is, “Safeguard your relationship with me so that I continue to abide fully in you.” (See notes on 8:31; .
As people we sometimes live our lives as if we are totally independent vines. We think that we can please God with our own strength and effort. But we are not independent vines. We are only branches. And, as mere branches, the most important thing that we can do is to dwell...stay put...linger with Jesus Christ. Jesus says, "Whoever abides in me, he it is who bears much fruit." And the opposite is also true. Jesus says, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."
But what does that really mean, "Apart from me, you can do nothing"? In reality, we can do a lot apart from the vine. We can have a career. We can raise families. We can preach a sermon. We can make billions of dollars. We can climb Everest. We can put a man on the moon. We can do all of these things in our own capacity. And they can even go very well.
So why does Jesus say, "Apart from me, you can do nothing"? There is one thing we can't do on our own, apart from Christ. We can't produce fruit if we are disconnected from the vine. Branches can't do that.
We are pretty good at trying to operating independently of Jesus Christ..... we might look pretty good... we might feel successful and self-sufficient... and we might get good results....BUT the truth is that we will never produce the fruit that God is looking for.
How many of us go through life trying to do things entirely in our own strength, never pausing to depend upon God's power? The truth is we are completely incapable of pleasing God until we are utterly dependent on Jesus Christ. This thought is contrary to our human nature and what we are taught from the world. When we choose Jesus Christ as Lord and become a branch in His vine then this must be our mission what ever we do....Live our lives fully connected and moving from the flow of Him to us!
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Branches bear fruit by abiding.
That is what Jesus means when he says, in verse 4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Do you want to produce the fruit that God is looking for? Are you longing to please God? There is only one way to be pleasing to God: Abide in Jesus. This is the important truth that we must take from head knowledge into our hearts and settle in our spirits. Fruit comes only from abiding in him.
Bearing fruit Illustration:
A number of years ago, the Associated Press released a study done by an agricultural school in Iowa. It reported that production of 100 bushels of corn from one acre of land, in addition to the many hours of the farmer's labor, required 4,000,000 lbs. of water, 6,800 lbs. of oxygen, 5,200 lbs. of carbon, 160 lbs. of nitrogen, 125 lbs. of potassium, 75 lbs. of yellow sulphur, and other elements too numerous to list. In addition to these things, which no man can produce, rain and sunshine at the right time are critical. It was estimated that only 5% of the produce of a farm can be attributed to the efforts of man. If we were honest, we'd have to admit that the same is true in producing spiritual fruit.
Jesus makes it clear that we can't produce any fruit by ourselves.
We think we must preform and do all the right things for fruit to come. We can literally do nothing to bear fruit...except abide. Do you not see how freeing that is. We abide...daily...moment by moment and the result of that abiding is beautiful...life giving fruit.
......We can't produce any fruit by just trying harder.
.....We can't simply manufacture fruit by following the correct steps!'
If we want to bear fruit, we have only one option: Abide in Christ. That is the only thing we can do.
"Abide in me" is the only command in these verses.
Did you notice....it is also an invitation: "Abide in me, and I in you."
So I'm sure you are asking...how do I abide? If it is the only way to bear fruit I want to know how to do it.
Abiding can mean "set up camp" or to take up residence" or "to stay put"
So abiding means deciding this is where I want to be and this is where I will stay.
So how do I choose to abide? The whole Book of John is written so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ. And that by believing, we might have life in his name.
You must start abiding by believing God's Word....all of it....embracing the message that Jesus is God's righteous Vine, admitting there is no pleasing God apart from Christ.
Believing...believing God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do is really a choice. It starts by believing that He died to save you personally but it goes way beyond that. Just as in any relationship.....the time we invest with another deepens the relationship. as we share back and forth their is an exchange and understanding develops. Any relationship you invest yourself in increases your knowledge and love and admiration of that person. I want you to understand that you are in a relationship with Jesus where He will speak to you as you speak to him. Don't complicate the relationship. If you can't hear Him then open up the Word of God and ask Him to speak directly to you as you read and study who He is and what He is like. He wants a relationship with you. It is why He came and died for you. The Word of God is so important in abiding. Fill yourself with it. don't let it take a back seat in your day. Let the word of life flow in and out of you as you face the challenges it brings. He longs for you to let go and let Him be what you need. puts it this way...3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Dependence
But abiding also implies dependence. The branch is dependent on the vine, but the vine is not dependent on the branch. The branch derives its life and power from the vine. Without the vine, the branch is useless, lifeless, powerless. Sap flows from the vine to the branch, supplying it with water, minerals, and nutrients that make it grow. And believers receive the “sap” of Christ’s grace through our life-giving connection to him. We are completely dependent upon Jesus for everything that counts as spiritual fruit (v. 4). Apart from him, we can do nothing (v. 5).
3. The Benefits of Being Connected:
I want to mention what happens when I am connected
—Supernatural Joy
—Answered prayer
—Bearing fruit..
None of these are my own doing —
They come from simply being connected to the life giving vine
they do come with my participation though—-
Supernatural Joy
One of the primary things that comes from our connection with Him is joy. — Supernatural Joy
NKJV
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Fullness of joy is promised here. - supernatural joy!
Joy from another world — heavenly joy — divine joy
joy that is not dependent upon circumstances
joy — joy that goes beyond our situation
NKJV
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Joy gives us strength
NKJV
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Answered prayer
A second benefit of abiding in Him is answered prayer
Listen to these powerful promises….
NKJV
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Is the Word of Jesus dependable??
If you abide in Me,
and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire,
and it shall be done for you.
Look at what He says in verse 16—
what ever you as —
NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
WOW!
Bearing Fruit -
The third thing we gain from abiding in Him is bearing fruit —
much fruit
Spiritual fruit and Physical fruit
Spiritual fruit
…..
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Rick Warren
— “the only thing that you can take with you from earth to heaven is your character”
and that’s what the fruit of the Spirit is all about
Five times in this passage He said it is a result of abiding in Him
NKJV
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
NKJV
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
NKJV
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Even though all of these things joy, answered prayer, and bearing fruit, are works of the Holy Spirit, —they involve us…
we have to participate,
we have to be willing,
we have to be there
for example love —
the Holy Spirit wants your bear the fruit of loving in me toward so-and-so
but I don’t want love him
I refuse to let the Holy Spirit develop love in me for him
he hurt me
he misused me
he lied to me — whatever
it takes my cooperation — with the work of the Holy Spirit
to produce that love — God’s love — in me for him
Physical fruit
the physical fruit we bear comes from the character developed in us
When the Holy Spirit develops love in me for so and so
then all my actions will reflect that love
I’ll be kind in my actions
I’ll be compassionate in my actions
I’ll share the goodness of God with him
Everything we have comes from Him
and without Him we can do nothing
Our connection to the Vine is vital to our spiritual life
. The Two Experiences of Branch
Branches are Pruning:
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
15:2 The divine vinedresser does two things to ensure maximum fruit production: (1) he removes unfruitful branches, and (2) he prunes all the others.
The branches that are abiding in Christ and are producing fruit get some trimming from the Vinedresser (vine yard keeper, gardener, farmer). Every branch that bears fruit He prunes. The Father will prune you in order that you bear more fruit. God wants you to bear fruit and He will prune you so that each season you bear more and more fruit just as the vinedresser does with grapevines each season.
Pruning – the definition: “to reduce especially by eliminating excessive stuff for more fruitful growth.”
Each of us have extra stuff in our lives and the Father...gardener is coming to reduce it! God does not want you to remain where you are…He wants you to be more fruitful. He will remove things from your life so that you will be more fruitful.
The Father’s desire is to conform you into the image of Christ and he’ll do that be cutting away the junk from your life. ....What that junk is I cannot say but the God who knows and understands all things sees us bare and uncovered.... and He sees our motives and thinking. He sees what keeps us from moving forward and He helps us by pruning us so that we will continue to produce even more fruit. Paul says it like this.....
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
The word “changed” or “transformed” here is where we get our own English word for metamorphosis, which means to change in appearance, condition or character. Here is another passage dealing with the Father transforming or pruning us:
Branches are Cut off:
,
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;…
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7“Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8“But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
You don't want to be one of these! Really!
STAY CONNECTED - ABIDING
Conclusion
The word has challenged us again today... tells us that the truth will set us free. Freedom — what a beautiful gift! He wants His people to be free.
This passage in John chapter 15 tells us that we are His branches connected to Him...the true Vine. He wants us to live in a place of dependence on Him for everything we need in life. He will pour through our connection to Him Life. He truly will. And through the connection we will bear incredible fruit. And because of that fruit many will want what we have. Beautiful picture.....life altering choice. To abide in Him. Will You?
Are you connected? Abiding? Really?
Will you?
Abiding in the Vine:
Ruth:
Introduction
Today we are going to share about the last "I Am" found in the gospel of John. This I Am Jesus declared to his disciples in John Chapter 15. I believe it is probably one of the most critical and powerful I Am spoken to us as believers.
I have sensed an urgency for us at this church to get ready and to be prepared for the days ahead. Jesus continues to remind me about this as I talk with him week by week. So in the midst of preparation for this message I began to understand why He stirred our hearts about "I am the Vine...you are the branches" last. It needs to become central to our thinking. I pray that as we share this word it would settle in your spirits and that He...Jesus would quicken it in your hearts this morning. Truth sets us free and I believe that this truth this morning is very liberating.
Illustration:
A missionary in Africa several decades ago lived in a small hut which was electrically supplied by a quiet, small generator. The little gas powered wonder supplied current for both his home and the primitive church building beside it. Late one afternoon two African men from another much more remote village visited the Pastor in his hut, and were amazed when night fell, and he simply switched the room lights on. They were wide-eyed at the electric light bulb hanging from the ceiling of his living space. One of the visitors asked the Pastor if he could have one of the bulbs. Thinking perhaps he wanted it for a sort of trinket, the Pastor obliged and gave it to him. Months passed. On his next visit to the remote village of that same man, the Pastor stopped at the hut of the man who had previously asked for the bulb. Imagine his surprise when he saw the bulb hanging from an ordinary string. The man understood the general idea of connection, but he didn’t understand empowering. Lots of believers today are like that.
Let me read in John chapter 15 starting in verse one to you.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 “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. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This teaching from Jesus speaks of planting and growing and reaping. When you consider a farmer and all the long hours he spends year round with one purpose....harvest...a good harvest...a rewarding harvest......
Mike:
1. Jesus is the only true vine.
In verse 1, Jesus says,
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser."
This metaphor may seem strange us.
For a long time, I thought Jesus was just using a vine as an illustration.
I imagined Jesus walking through a vineyard,
and thinking to himself,
"I can probably use a vine to illustrate what I want to teach my disciples." To be sure, the vine is an illustration.
But he is not just using the vine to illustrate his teaching. He is doing more than that.
Jesus has carefully chosen the vine image to say something controversial and outrageous.
Did you notice the scandal of verse 1? Jesus did not say, "I am like a vine." He is not just comparing himself to a vine. He is the vine.
And He doesn't say, "I am a vine," as though there were many vines, and He is just one of them.
No, Jesus says, "I am the vine," the one and only vine.
But that is not all. Instead of simply saying, "I am the vine,"
He says, "I am the true vine."
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But what does that mean?
How can a vine be true?
The word “true” is the whole point.
We then ask the question:
If Jesus is the true vine, who or what is the untrue vine?
In the Old Testament, you will see that Israel was planted as a vine
even though she was planted well by the Lord, she didn't produce the fruit that God wanted.
The Lord says to the people of Israel, in ,
"I planted you, a choice vine, entirely of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”
The Lord didn't find the fruit he was looking for from Israel, his beloved vine. The vine of Israel proved false.
So, Jesus' claim, "I am the true vine," was scandalous and unexpected.
He is saying that he was the faithful and true Israel. Where the people of Israel failed to produce the fruit that God was looking for, Jesus succeeded.
Where the people of Israel fell short of God's righteous requirements, Jesus succeeded. Though Israel bungled its mission to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth,
Jesus will get the job done.
So Jesus says, "I am the true vine," and in that one earth-shattering sentence,
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Jesus announces that He is the new and faithful planting of the Lord.
He represents the new people for God's pleasure.
Characteristics of the Vine
The resource giving stalk
The source of the branches life
He fulfilled all of God’s intention for Israel
Everything is in Him—without Him you can do nothing
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Get connected today!!
I’m not sure where you are today in your journey in life but this one thing I know — if you’re not connected to Him you need to get connected today
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Being connected means—
I have new life— resurrected life-- eternal life!
I have peace with God
I have His abundant blessing
I have been made righteous in Christ
No more does He call us sinners, but the redeemed.
(See ; and .)
As ambassadors of Jesus Christ,
we have been given His image,
His authority,
His rich robes of righteousness,
a crown of glory
and His power to rule as a royal priesthood.
(See ; ; ; ; and .)
We have the mind of Christ;
our carnal minds have been exchanged for His
and He gives freely to us the wisdom
that we need for every situation.
(See and .)
We have access to unlimited supernatural resources
to meet all our needs;
in Him there is no lack.
He is the true Vine!
(See and .)
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…..and my Father is the vinedresser."
My Father takes (Excellent) care of the vine and the branches
He cleans and prunes where necessary
and takes away dead branches
He is very good!
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Abiding in the Vine
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me
What is abiding?
The secret of the fruitful branches is that they abide in Jesus. What does it mean to abide? Abide basically means "to remain," "to stay put," "to linger in one place," or "to dwell."( Abide means to continue in a daily, personal relationship with Jesus.
One person described abiding this way....
Abiding in Christ is to rest in him, to rest quietly without fear or anxiety to the point that you doze off comfortably in your savior’s arms – at peace.
The most important thing for a branch to do is to stay connected to the vine. ...think of the alternative....Only a branch that receives life-giving sap from the vine will live and bear fruit. And so it is with us.
The second half of that phrase...abide in me and I in you....
And I in you is a phrase without an explicit verb, but it probably is an abbreviated way of saying, “See that I abide in you”; that is, “Safeguard your relationship with me so that I continue to abide fully in you.” (See notes on 8:31; .
As people we sometimes live our lives as if we are totally independent vines. We think that we can please God with our own strength and effort. But we are not independent vines. We are only branches. And, as mere branches, the most important thing that we can do is to dwell...stay put...linger with Jesus Christ. Jesus says, "Whoever abides in me, he it is who bears much fruit." And the opposite is also true. Jesus says, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."
But what does that really mean, "Apart from me, you can do nothing"? In reality, we can do a lot apart from the vine. We can have a career. We can raise families. We can preach a sermon. We can make billions of dollars. We can climb Everest. We can put a man on the moon. We can do all of these things in our own capacity. And they can even go very well.
So why does Jesus say, "Apart from me, you can do nothing"? There is one thing we can't do on our own, apart from Christ. We can't produce fruit if we are disconnected from the vine. Branches can't do that.
We are pretty good at trying to operating independently of Jesus Christ..... we might look pretty good... we might feel successful and self-sufficient... and we might get good results....BUT the truth is that we will never produce the fruit that God is looking for.
How many of us go through life trying to do things entirely in our own strength, never pausing to depend upon God's power? The truth is we are completely incapable of pleasing God until we are utterly dependent on Jesus Christ. This thought is contrary to our human nature and what we are taught from the world. When we choose Jesus Christ as Lord and become a branch in His vine then this must be our mission what ever we do....Live our lives fully connected and moving from the flow of Him to us!
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Branches bear fruit by abiding.
That is what Jesus means when he says, in verse 4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Do you want to produce the fruit that God is looking for? Are you longing to please God? There is only one way to be pleasing to God: Abide in Jesus. This is the important truth that we must take from head knowledge into our hearts and settle in our spirits. Fruit comes only from abiding in him.
Bearing fruit Illustration:
A number of years ago, the Associated Press released a study done by an agricultural school in Iowa. It reported that production of 100 bushels of corn from one acre of land, in addition to the many hours of the farmer's labor, required 4,000,000 lbs. of water, 6,800 lbs. of oxygen, 5,200 lbs. of carbon, 160 lbs. of nitrogen, 125 lbs. of potassium, 75 lbs. of yellow sulphur, and other elements too numerous to list. In addition to these things, which no man can produce, rain and sunshine at the right time are critical. It was estimated that only 5% of the produce of a farm can be attributed to the efforts of man. If we were honest, we'd have to admit that the same is true in producing spiritual fruit.
Jesus makes it clear that we can't produce any fruit by ourselves.
We think we must preform and do all the right things for fruit to come. We can literally do nothing to bear fruit...except abide. Do you not see how freeing that is. We abide...daily...moment by moment and the result of that abiding is beautiful...life giving fruit.
......We can't produce any fruit by just trying harder.
.....We can't simply manufacture fruit by following the correct steps!'
If we want to bear fruit, we have only one option: Abide in Christ. That is the only thing we can do.
"Abide in me" is the only command in these verses.
Did you notice....it is also an invitation: "Abide in me, and I in you."
So I'm sure you are asking...how do I abide? If it is the only way to bear fruit I want to know how to do it.
Abiding can mean "set up camp" or to take up residence" or "to stay put"
So abiding means deciding this is where I want to be and this is where I will stay.
So how do I choose to abide? The whole Book of John is written so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ. And that by believing, we might have life in his name.
You must start abiding by believing God's Word....all of it....embracing the message that Jesus is God's righteous Vine, admitting there is no pleasing God apart from Christ.
Believing...believing God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do is really a choice. It starts by believing that He died to save you personally but it goes way beyond that. Just as in any relationship.....the time we invest with another deepens the relationship. as we share back and forth their is an exchange and understanding develops. Any relationship you invest yourself in increases your knowledge and love and admiration of that person. I want you to understand that you are in a relationship with Jesus where He will speak to you as you speak to him. Don't complicate the relationship. If you can't hear Him then open up the Word of God and ask Him to speak directly to you as you read and study who He is and what He is like. He wants a relationship with you. It is why He came and died for you. The Word of God is so important in abiding. Fill yourself with it. don't let it take a back seat in your day. Let the word of life flow in and out of you as you face the challenges it brings. He longs for you to let go and let Him be what you need. puts it this way...3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Dependence
But abiding also implies dependence. The branch is dependent on the vine, but the vine is not dependent on the branch. The branch derives its life and power from the vine. Without the vine, the branch is useless, lifeless, powerless. Sap flows from the vine to the branch, supplying it with water, minerals, and nutrients that make it grow. And believers receive the “sap” of Christ’s grace through our life-giving connection to him. We are completely dependent upon Jesus for everything that counts as spiritual fruit (v. 4). Apart from him, we can do nothing (v. 5).
Mike:
3. The Benefits of Being Connected:
I want to mention what happens when I am connected
—Supernatural Joy
—Answered prayer
—Bearing fruit..
None of these are my own doing —
They come from simply being connected to the life giving vine
they do come with my participation though—-
Supernatural Joy
One of the primary things that comes from our connection with Him is joy. — Supernatural Joy
NKJV
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Fullness of joy is promised here. - supernatural joy!
Joy from another world — heavenly joy — divine joy
joy that is not dependent upon circumstances
joy — joy that goes beyond our situation
NKJV
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Joy gives us strength
NKJV
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Answered prayer
A second benefit of abiding in Him is answered prayer
Listen to these powerful promises….
NKJV
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Is the Word of Jesus dependable??
If you abide in Me,
and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire,
and it shall be done for you.
Look at what He says in verse 16—
what ever you as —
NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
WOW!
Bearing Fruit -
The third thing we gain from abiding in Him is bearing fruit —
much fruit
Spiritual fruit and Physical fruit
Spiritual fruit
…..
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Rick Warren
— “the only thing that you can take with you from earth to heaven is your character”
and that’s what the fruit of the Spirit is all about
Five times in this passage He said it is a result of abiding in Him
NKJV
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
NKJV
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
NKJV
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
NKJV
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Even though all of these things joy, answered prayer, and bearing fruit, are works of the Holy Spirit, —they involve us…
we have to participate,
we have to be willing,
we have to be there
for example love —
the Holy Spirit wants your bear the fruit of loving in me toward so-and-so
but I don’t want love him
I refuse to let the Holy Spirit develop love in me for him
he hurt me
he misused me
he lied to me — whatever
it takes my cooperation — with the work of the Holy Spirit
to produce that love — God’s love — in me for him
Physical fruit
the physical fruit we bear comes from the character developed in us
When the Holy Spirit develops love in me for so and so
then all my actions will reflect that love
I’ll be kind in my actions
I’ll be compassionate in my actions
I’ll share the goodness of God with him
Everything we have comes from Him
and without Him we can do nothing
Our connection to the Vine is vital to our spiritual life
. The Two Experiences of Branch
Branches are Pruning:
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
15:2 The divine vinedresser does two things to ensure maximum fruit production: (1) he removes unfruitful branches, and (2) he prunes all the others.
The branches that are abiding in Christ and are producing fruit get some trimming from the Vinedresser (vine yard keeper, gardener, farmer). Every branch that bears fruit He prunes. The Father will prune you in order that you bear more fruit. God wants you to bear fruit and He will prune you so that each season you bear more and more fruit just as the vinedresser does with grapevines each season.
Pruning – the definition: “to reduce especially by eliminating excessive stuff for more fruitful growth.”
Each of us have extra stuff in our lives and the Father...gardener is coming to reduce it! God does not want you to remain where you are…He wants you to be more fruitful. He will remove things from your life so that you will be more fruitful.
The Father’s desire is to conform you into the image of Christ and he’ll do that be cutting away the junk from your life. ....What that junk is I cannot say but the God who knows and understands all things sees us bare and uncovered.... and He sees our motives and thinking. He sees what keeps us from moving forward and He helps us by pruning us so that we will continue to produce even more fruit. Paul says it like this.....
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
The word “changed” or “transformed” here is where we get our own English word for metamorphosis, which means to change in appearance, condition or character. Here is another passage dealing with the Father transforming or pruning us:
Branches are Cut off:
,
2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;…
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7“Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8“But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
You don't want to be one of these! Really!
STAY CONNECTED - ABIDING
Ruth:
Conclusion
The word has challenged us again today... tells us that the truth will set us free. Freedom — what a beautiful gift! He wants His people to be free.
This passage in John chapter 15 tells us that we are His branches connected to Him...the true Vine. He wants us to live in a place of dependence on Him for everything we need in life. He will pour through our connection to Him Life. He truly will. And through the connection we will bear incredible fruit. And because of that fruit many will want what we have. Beautiful picture.....life altering choice. To abide in Him. Will You?
Are you connected? Abiding? Really?
Will you?
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