Faithlife Sermons

It Pays to Stay

Words That Breathe (Gospel of John)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Since Jesus is the source of true life, stay in Him no matter what!

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INTRODUCTION
It was Passover Week — aka, “Passion Week” or “Holy Week”. Jesus stirred the anger of the religious leaders so much by this point that He wouldn’t survive this week. Judas would betray Him for 30 pieces of silver, resulting in Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. But before that occurred, Jesus shared the “Last Supper” with His Disciples…a Passover Meal. In , Jesus served them by washing their feet, eating and drinking with them, and pouring out His heart to them. This was His farewell conversation with them.
In chapter 13, He showed the full extent of His love when He took on the role of a servant and washed their feet. He spoke to them of many important things: His betrayal (they didn’t understand it even when He pointed out His betrayer), Peter’s denial — (13:37-38)
John 13:37–38 NIV
Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
John 13:37
Can you imagine how you might have felt if you were one of the Disciples that night? His words and actions were, I’m certain, overwhelming and ominous. Jesus knew what they needed — in chapter 14, He comforted His Disciples.
John 14:1–3 NIV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:1-
They were still confused — Thomas asked “Lord, we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?
John 14:6 NIV
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
One of the most encouraging promises He revealed to them was that He wasn’t abandoning them. He was simply preparing them for the task of spreading the Good News to all the world.
John 14:
John 14:15–18 NIV
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:15-
If you love me, keep my commands — Remember those words because they are core to everything He told them and everything He now tells us.
He repeated this same thing several times in chapter 14 — vs. 21, 23, and in 24 He made His point crystal clear
John 14:24 NIV
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
He told them plainly that they should follow His example “…the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
In John chapter 15, Jesus begins part two of His farewell conversation with His Disciples. He had clearly set the stage by emphasizing love. Remember the command He gave after He washed their feet?
John 13:34–35 NIV
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:
A couple important themes really stand out in the Gospel of John
Love
Truth — “the Word of truth, the Word of God, the Words of Jesus”
Love especially stands out at the Last Supper during this passionate message
The word “love” occurs 6 times in chapters 1-12
Love especially stands out at the Last Supper during this passionate message 1Jesus’ speaks
The word “love” occurs 31 times in chapters 13-17 --- Do you think “love” might have been important to Jesus?
Love is the key to Jesus’ relationship with the Father, and His relationship with the Disciples. He powerfully illustrates the importance of this relationship by comparing it to the vine and branches.
Jesus powerfully illustrates the importance of their relationship with Him by comparing it to the vine and branches.
EXPOSITION
The image of the vine and branches was familiar in Israel - literally (vineyards were abundant) and figuratively (The OT depicts Israel as a vine quite often).
In the time of Jesus a large golden vine hung over the entrance to the Jerusalem Temple. Josephus, first century Historian, described it this way
The gate opening into the building was…completely overlaid with gold, as was the whole wall around it. It had…above it those golden vines...grape-clusters as tall as a man
The gate opening into the building was…completely overlaid with gold, as was the whole wall around it. It had…above it those golden vines, from which depended grape-clusters as tall as a man
John 15:1–8 NIV
“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. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“I am the TRUE VINE”
“I am the TRUE VINE”
Since Jesus is the source of true life, stay in Him — no matter what!
In the OT, Israel was described as a vineyard planted by the Lord (gardener) - and He expected good grapes — but it only produced bad grapes and therefore had to be destroyed. A key verse is found in Isaiah
Since Jesus is the source of true life, stay in Him no matter what!
Isaiah 5:7 NIV
The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
Jesus described Himself as the True Vine — if we are His branches, we will produce good fruit.
Here’s what we can be sure of today:
It pays to stay in Jesus! We will see good fruit
Since Jesus is the source of true life, stay in Him — no matter what!
PRAYER
Interrogatory: What does it mean to stay in Jesus? How is it done?
Interrogatory: Ok…what does it mean to stay in Jesus? How can we do that, really?
Transitional: The core truth that enables us to understand what it means to stay in Jesus is, without question, LOVE (His love for the Father and for us, as well as our love for Him and one another)

Staying in Jesus is All About Love

Jesus Loves Me
Jesus Loves Me (9)
John 15:9 NIV
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
Jesus loves me…He loves you — what should our response be?
What if a reporter came up to you in Walmart and asked the question, “Do you love Jesus?”
What would your answer be?
Of course I love Him — I try to love Him — I would like to think I love Him — I don’t know — etc.
What is a sign that someone loves Jesus?
When I love Jesus, I obey Him (10-11)
John 15:10–11 NIV
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:10 NIV
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
What does it look like to obey Jesus’ commands? Is there a list of things we must do and a list of things we must not do?
We could make a list of some important things to focus on as followers of Christ — but Jesus boiled it down to the foundational command…on which everything stand:
The foundational command is simply this:
We Love Jesus
When I love Jesus, I obey Him (10)
The foundational command is simply this:
The foundational command is simply this:
John 15:12
Jesus’ Love Brings Deep Joy (11)
John 15:12 NIV
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Jesus’ Love Brings Deep Joy (11)
John 15:17 NIV
This is my command: Love each other.
…When I love Jesus, I obey Him. He loves us as the Father loves Him. We are to love one another as He loves us.
When you love
…What does this love look like?
Jesus’ Love is Personal & Sacrificial (13-14)
Jesus’ Love is Personal & Sacrificial (13-14)
Jesus’ Love Brings Deep Joy (11)
Jesus’ Love Brings Deep Joy
John 15:13–14 NIV
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
Jesus laid down His life for you and me before we His friends — He set the stage for our salvation — an invitation to friendship with Him
APPLICATION
APPLICATION
As you grow in your love for Jesus, consider the question, “Am I obeying Jesus’ command?”
As you grow in your love for Jesus, consider the question, “Am I obeying Jesus’ command?”
His command can be boiled down into one familiar phrase:
Love God, Love People, Share Hope
Transitional: It pays to stay in Jesus — one fascinating benefit is the fact that:

Staying in Jesus Gives You An Inside Track

Jesus’ Love is Sacrificial (13)
John 15:13 NIV
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15

Staying in Jesus Gives You An Inside Track

EXPOSITION
Let’s set the stage just a bit — The image of the vine and branches was very familiar in Israel - literally (vineyards were abundant - part of the fabric of life) and figuratively (The OT depicts Israel as a vine quite often).
In the time of Jesus a large golden vine hung over the entrance to the Jerusalem Temple. Josephus, first century Jewish Historian, described it this way
The gate opening into the building was…completely overlaid with gold, as was the whole wall around it. It had…above it those golden vines, from which depended grape-clusters as tall as a man

Staying in Jesus Results in Obedience

Staying Jesus Results in Obedience

John 15:15 NIV
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15
Jesus reveals His heart to His friends
When you surrender your heart and life to Jesus…something amazing happens
The Holy Spirit begins to work and move in your life…expect it!
The Bible comes to life…expect it to happen…it will!
Your hunger to know Him and His truth deepens
What a mind-boggling concept
Jesus reveals what’s on His mind to His friends
1 Corinthians 2:14–16 NIV
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
APPLICATION
Do you ever wish you could know what God is thinking?
It begins with recognizing your fallen nature — your imperfection, and responding to the Holy Spirit compelling you to surrender your life to Jesus
It begins with recognizing your fallen nature — your imperfection, and then responding to the Holy Spirit compelling you to surrender your life to Jesus
As you fall more in love with Jesus, you fall more in love with His Word and His presence —
The more you immerse your self in His Word and presence, the more of His mind you will know — He isn’t trying to hide anything from those that truly love and seek Him — we are His friends
Transitional: It pays to stay in Jesus because when you know His business you discover His plan for you

Staying in Jesus Gives You An Inside Track

Staying In Jesus Reveals His Plan For Your Life

It is natural for a parent to have dreams and aspirations for their children. They talk to their kids about those dreams — they try to guide them in life so that they will have the character, temperament and initiative to be everything they can be. Of course the son or daughter ultimately chooses which way they should go.
When you have a really close friend, the two of you can speak to one another about your fears, dreams, plans, — deep things of life. However, you can’t tell that friend what to do…you can’t give them commands, only suggestions.
We are Jesus’ friends when we love Him Him and surrender our lives to Him. The difference between our friendship with Jesus and our friendships with people is that Jesus is also fully God — He can and does tell us what to do. Not the other way around. And His commands are not a burden…they are the path to freedom and joy.
What is God’s plan for your life?
We could get into specifics of how God wires each one of us uniquely, preparing us for specific direction and ministry in this life
You might have a passion for serving people, building things, teaching, music, etc.
But we need to get down to foundational things before we can understand the bigger picture
Listen to what Jesus told the Disciples that night — it is a message that we need to hear today.
John 15:16 NIV
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
CHALLENGE
Jesus made
Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear must admit one thing:
It pays to stay in Jesus!
Since Jesus is the source of true life, stay in Him — no matter what!
Do you really understand how much Jesus loves you?
Do you really understand how much Jesus loves you?
He gave it all-He laid down His life for you and me — His friends
We must put 2 and 2 together: Loving Jesus means doing what He says to do
Love Him, Love others, spread the Good News (hope)
If you want to know Jesus’ heart, He is waiting to reveal it
Listen to Him
Pursue His truth - ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth
His truth will transform you every day
If you love Jesus…follow His example
Love one another
Love the people all around you
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