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The Believers Threefold Relationship

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The Believers Threefold Relationship

This chapter is a continuation of our Lord's last words to His bewildered disciples, and reveals:
This chapter is a continuation of our Lord's last words to His bewildered disciples, and reveals:
This chapter is a continuation of our Lord's last words to His bewildered disciples, and reveals:

1. OUR RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST

Our union with Him implies:
1) Oneness of Life.
"I am the Vine, ye are the branches" (). The life that is in the branch is the same life that is in the vine. It is the sap of the vine that works in the branch. So it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure ().
John 15:5 ESV
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.
Philippians 2:13 ESV
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
2) Entire Dependence.
"Without the vine the branch can do nothing, but wither and die" (). "If a man abide not in Me, he shall become like a branch broken off and withered." Fruitlessness in the Christian life is the evidence of a broken relationship. Grapes will not grow on a sapless branch. Paul knew the power of this inworking Spirit. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me" (). Being filled with His Spirit is the prime condition of fruitbearing.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
John 15:6 ESV
If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
John 15:6 ESV
If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
3) Co-operation.
"Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit" (). The vine might say to the branch: "Without me ye can do nothing." The branch might also say to the vine: "Without me ye can do nothing." But in united effort both can accomplish their destined purpose. Without Christ the Church can do nothing that will glorify the Father But we dare not say that without the Church Christ can do nothing, for He could easily send legions of angels as heralds of the Gospel; but He hath chosen those redeemed by His Blood and saved by His grace to be His witnesses. Herein lies the Church's responsibility.
John 15:8 ESV
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

2. OUR RELATIONSHIP TO ONE ANOTHER

1) All One in Christ.
The branches are all in the one vine. "I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit" (). We are His workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works (). Every single believer is a member of His Body, and, as such, members one of another.
John 15:16 ESV
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2) One in Love.
"Love one another as I have loved you" (). This is Christ's new commandment to His new born people (). It was the message they heard at the beginning of their Christian life (). Alas, that we are so slow to learn it. One may have gifts, great wisdom, and faith; but without love, nothing ().
John 15:12 ESV
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 13:34 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
1 Corinthians 13:2 ESV
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3) One in Work.
We have but one Master, and one purpose in life: that is, to bring forth fruit that shall remain (). For this end He gave this gracious promise: "Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you" ().
John 15:16 ESV
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

3. OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE WORLD

Our position in the world is one of:
1) Separation.
"Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world" (). Having been made new creatures in Christ Jesus, we are now, in character, strangers and foreigners in the world. Separated unto God, and saved from the wrath that is coming upon a world that "lieth in wickedness" ().
1 John 5:19 ESV
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
2) Opposition.
Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you (). This is the hatred of Cain, who slew his brother because his own works were evil and his brother's righteous (). The believer's life is opposed to the spirit that is in the world. He cannot hate ungodly men, but he can, and does, resist all that savors of the Devil. To pray for our enemies is Christ's example of passive resistance. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master ().
John 15:19 ESV
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
1 John 3:12 ESV
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Matthew 10:25 ESV
It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
3) Bearing Witness.
"The Spirit shall testify of Me, and ye also shall bear witness." (). We are His witnesses, and so is also the Holy Spirit (). On the testimony of these two witnesses shall His Word be established. When His Word burns in our hearts like "fire shut up in our bones," then, like Peter and John, we will be constrained to say: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (). "Ye are My witnesses." There is a woe unto those who hide their light ().
John 15:26–27 ESV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Acts 5:32 ESV
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Acts 4:20 ESV
for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
1 Corinthians 9:16–17 ESV
For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.
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