A Divine Connection - Pulpit Copy
THE divine connection
TEXT: John 15:1-8
I. Two facts about the vine (v. 1)
A. The vine (Jesus Christ) is the source of all Life (v. 1a)
B. The Farmer (the Father) is the sustainer of the vine (v. 1b)
II. Two types of branches connected to the vine (vv. 2)
A. Branches that are not producing fruit (v. 2a)- Externally and mechanically connected. Unfruitful branches are not genuine enough to bear fruit. Their profession is more profession than possession, more pretending then being, more deception than truth, more counterfeit than real. God takes these branches away and removes them from the vine. He strips them of everything except their salvation. Their reward is lost.
B. Branches that are producing fruit (v. 2b) are vitally and spiritually connected. Fruitful branches are pruned. All bad spots, useless buds, misdirected shoots, and discolored leaves are pruned off. Even fruitful believers have spots, buds, shoots, and leaves that are bad, useless, misdirected, and discolored. Believers have areas and things that must be cleaned away and cleared up, areas of thought, attitude, commitment, passion, motives, behavior, relationships, service, willingness.
III. Two conditions for bearing fruit (v. 4)
A. Branches must remain connected to the vine.
1. He takes away the fruitless – They are not productive
2. He strips and cleans the fruitful so that they bear more fruit. This is often painful, but needful and beneficial.
a. Branches are cleansed by the words which Jesus has given to men.
b. Branches are cleansed by the mirror of the Word of God. When a man looks into the Word of God, he sees both himself in his shortcomings and Christ in His perfection.
c. Branches are cleansed by "abiding" in Jesus
B. The vine must continue to supply the branches.
The vine clings to the oak during the fiercest of storms. Although the violence of nature may uproot the oak, twining tendrils still cling to it. If the vine is on the side of the tree opposite the wind, the great oak is its protection: if it is on the exposed side, the tempest only presses it closer to the trunk. In some of the storms of life, God intervenes and shelters us; while in others He allows us to be exposed, so that we will be pressed more closely to Him.