a divine connection
TEXT: John 15:1-8
EXEGETICAL PROPOSITION: Believers who consistently abide in Jesus Christ will be effective in living the Christian life.
SERMONIC Proposition: Continuous adherence to living out the teachings of Jesus for receiving the promises of God.
INTERROGATIVE: How does one live out the teachings of Jesus?
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.