Faithlife Sermons

How to be fruitful

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John 15:1–8 NKJV
1 “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.
In this passage, Jesus describes Himself as the true vine, and us as the brances.
If we abide in Him, we will be fruitful. If we don’t, our destiny is to be burned.

The life of Jesus is in us

John 15:4–5 NKJV
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.
A branch is not the source of it’s own life. IT gets its life from the vine. The life of the vine is in the branch, which enables it to bear fruit.
Even so, the life of Jesus is in us, and that’s an amazing life to have!
John 1:16 NKJV
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

We need to abide in Christ

Jesus promised that if we abide in Him, we will bring forth much fruit. But what does it mean to abide in Christ, and how do we do this?

Through faith in Jesus

1 John 4:15 NKJV
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

By becoming one with Him

John 6:56 NKJV
56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
Not communion, a metaphor that means total commitment to His person to the point of being one with Him

By giving His word priority in your life

John 8:31 NKJV
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
1 John 2:24 NKJV
24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

By continuing to follow Him, come what may

To abide means to remain
Colossians 1:23 NKJV
23 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.
Romans 11:22 NKJV
22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

By obeying Him

1 John 3:24 NKJV
24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
When we abide in Christ...

We will bring forth fruit

The fruits we bring forth are good deeds and Christlikeness.
Matthew 3:8–10 NKJV
8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Colossians 1:10 NKJV
10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Titus 3:14 NKJV
14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
Titus 2:14 NKJV
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Romans 6:22 NKJV
22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Notice that our passage also referred to bearing “much fruit”. This speaks of us abounding in Christ-likeness...
2 Thessalonians 1:3 NKJV
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,

We need to be pruned

John 15:2 NKJV
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.
Prune = trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth.
How are we pruned?
John 15:3 NKJV
3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
The Greek word translated “clean” is katharos. The Greek word translate “prune” is kathairo, which means to “cleanse” and comes from the Greek word katharos. It is an intentionally play on words. God prunes and cleanses us through His word:
John 17:17 NKJV
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Ephesians 5:26 NKJV
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
We must allow God’s word to remove from our lives the things that should not be there. As we allow it to, it will result in more fruit.
Part of that fruit is answered prayer...
John 15:7 NKJV
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.
When we allow God’s word to prune us. i.e. to cleanse away our sins, those sins can no longer be a hindrance to God answering our prayers.
Psalm 66:18 NKJV
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
1 John 3:22 NKJV
22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Psalm 34:15 NKJV
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.

Summary

Jesus' life is in us
We abide in Christ by faith, becoming one with Him, giving His word priority in our life, by continuing to follow Him, and by obeying Him
When we abide in Christ, the fruit will be good deeds and Christlike character
We are pruned by the word of God so that we can bring forth more fruit and receive answers to our prayers
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