August 30, 2022 12:01 am
August 28, 2022 – Message from Associate Pastor Braydon Teach
Main Scripture Passage: John 15:1-11
Topic: The True Vine
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Amen. Well, if you have your Bibles this morning, we will be in John chapter 15. John chapter 15. And when you find your place, if you would stand with me to honor the reading of God's word and those of you that are with us that are visitors, please come back and be with us next Sunday as Pastor Josh will be back next Sunday and he'll be ready to go. He's been fishing and catching sharks and so hopefully he has all 10 fingers when he gets back, right?
So we're looking forward to having him back next week. But we're in John chapter 15 this morning. I'll read the first 11 verses and then we'll see what the Lord has for us this morning. John chapter 15 verse one, the word of the Lord says, I am the true vine and my father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it that it may bring forth much fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you abide in me and I in you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine. No more can ye except ye abide in me.
I am the vine ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him the same bring forth much fruit for without me you can do nothing. If I abide if a man abide not in me he is cast forth as a branch and is withered and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned. Verse seven if ye abide in me and my word abide in you you shall ask in you what you will and it will be done unto you. Herein is my father glorified that ye bear much fruit so shall ye be my disciples. As the father hath loved me so have I loved you continue ye in my love if ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love even as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love. Verse 11 for these things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.
Let's pray. Father we come humbly before your throne Lord it is good to be in your house Lord we come to seek you not the opinions of man Lord we come to hear your word and hear it lifted up. Lord you tell us in your word that if we lift you up you will draw men unto you. Father I pray through this message that you would speak the hearts speak to my heart too Lord give me the words to speak with clarity of thought may your word do its perfect will and its perfect work in this place this morning. Father if there's anyone here that doesn't know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior that today would be the day of salvation for them and we ask all this today in Jesus name Amen.
You may be seated. Well every time I open this text and I read it, it reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in a small town about an hour north of here Urbana, Ohio. Anybody from there? Alright so no urbanites that are here today except for myself.
But anyways I grew up in a small town. We had a grapevine in our backyard and like any good kid we left that grapevine alone. No we messed with that grapevine all the time. We would pull grapes off of it. We had grape fights my friends my cousins my sister we would just pull these grapes off and we would throw them at each other throw them up against the house. I'm sure mom could have used them to make jam or jelly but we had better things as kids to do right and so we we would even take some of these grapes as a we let some of them ripe and we would take them to the camper that was out back and we would get in the camper and we'd eat these grapes and we'd find some stale peanuts that were in the camper as well. Don't know why looking back on it all these years later why we thought that was a good idea to eat the nasty stale peanuts and the grapes but that's what we did and so this is as we open this text this morning just to help us get our minds around John chapter 15. Jesus here is teaching no less than probably 24 hours before his arrest and crucifixion and this is where Jesus is at and this is the last of the seven I am statements that you find in the book of John and Jesus Christ has declared he is he just declared in John chapter 14 that he is the way the truth and the life no man comes unto the father but by him and so these comments followed John chapter 15 follows that and it follows up in and their discourse from the upper room to the journey to the garden of Gethsemane as he's speaking this there's grape vines throughout Israel I've never personally been there but it is very fruitful a lot of grape vines and so as he's walking along there would have been this vivid imagery and that's what Jesus used a lot of times to teach with was the imagery that he saw around him in his day-to-day life and so as he's doing that he's showing this to his disciples and he's beginning to display to them the vine the true vine and the branches and so I want to begin by asking a few questions this morning what is the true nature of a Christian's relationship to Christ how do we understand the spiritual reality of our union with God our union with Christ how do we understand those things and I think the Bible gives us some clear displays of that and the scriptures as he as God's word reveals to us it's it's similar to a father and a child we see that in the scriptures we also see that there's a king a kingdom and the king is over the kingdom and his subjects we also see that there's a creator in relationship to his creation we also notice in scripture that there is a shepherd and the relationship of the shepherd to the sheep and the head to the body and so this is how scripture depicts or outlines these things for us they all convey some aspect of relationship to the Lord a shared life a shared community a shared characteristic modern power controlled direction obedience provision protection and feeding these are all tied together as metaphors that we can see unfolding in the scriptures so today we have another one set before us the vine and the branches and so as we look at it this morning as we looked at the first 11 verses nine times in the first 11 verses you see the word abide you see the word continue in verse nine and you see the word remain in verse 11 immediately we notice that there's four identities in this passage there's the the vine the true vine which is Jesus we see that there's a husbandman which is God the father and then there's two types of branches and so as we look at this this morning I would ask what branch are you and we will look at the scriptures and see whether we are a branch that abides it and that we're a branch that bears fruit are we a non-bearing branch of the vine today and so let's look at this because the Bible gives us stark warnings about just being outwardly attached to Jesus for many years of my life I had nothing to do with God but other times when I started to go to church I was loosely attached on the outside I went to church but I didn't have a personal relationship with the Lord and so Matthew chapter 7 verse 21 through 23 says not everyone that sayeth unto me Lord Lord shall enter into my kingdom or into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven many will say unto me in that day Lord Lord have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name cast out many devils and in thy name done many wonderful works and then I will profess unto them I never knew you depart from me ye that work iniquity and so there's a stark warning of just being loosely attached to Christ just superficial so let's look at the first point today the true vine and when we look at the true vine we see that there in verse one it says I am the true vine and many times as I read this over the years it it just says okay I just kind of picture Jesus is the vine but there's some really deep stuff when you start unpacking what this truly means we go back to Exodus chapter 3 verse 14 and Moses came before God and the burning bush and he's telling Moses to go back to the Israelites and to proclaim what God has told him and he says who shall I say that told me this and God says I am that I am and Exodus chapter 3 verse 14 this is the tetragrammaton the ex the eternally existent one the always is the always was and the always that will be and so this is him this is God the father this is what Jesus is saying he says that I am the true vine it is a loaded meaning it's talking about his deity it's talking about him being in equality with God the father when Jesus says he's the true vine we need to know that in the Old Testament there is an imagery of the vine and in the Old Testament as you look at the vine the vine usually referred to the people of God the nation of Israel in the Old Testament if you came across an imagery of someone or something being the vine again that was God's people oftentimes in the Old Testament you'll see that it's very much used in a negative connotation connotation there's not much positivity when it's referring to this vine of the nation of Israel and being a vine of God what I mean by that is we look at Isaiah chapter 5 this morning I'll read verse 1 through 4 it says now when I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard my well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill and he fenced it in and gathered out of the stones thereof and planted it within the choicest vines and built a tower in the midst of it and made a wine press therein and he looked that it should bring forth grapes and it brought forth wild grapes verse 3 says and now inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judea judge I pray you betwixt me in my vineyard what could have been done more to my vineyard what have I not done in it wherefore when I look that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes and so God is saying hey I've transplanted Israel out of the nation of Egypt and I've transplanted them into the land of Canaan he said I've given them every possible benefit we see that in Psalms 80 verse 8 and 9 he says thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt thou hast cast the heathen out the heathen and planted it thou preparest room before it and didst cause it to take deep root and filled the land so any of you that have had a garden this year you've had a garden in the past you prepare the garden you till the soil get the rocks out of it because when it comes harvest time you want to have a fruitful harvest you do everything right you may put it a fence up to keep the rabbits and the critters out of it you do all these proper steps to give it a good soil good base to start with and then also you eliminate what would cause it harm and and God is saying I've set all these things in place for the nation of Israel I took care of all their needs so that it might produce grapes it might produce fruit and the nation of Israel is always supposed to be a light pointing the Gentiles to God but they missed that opportunity instead of practicing justice it practiced oppression instead of producing righteousness it produced unrighteousness God is asking in verse four what more could I have done he set it all up it's up to them to be faithful to God let's look at Israel's response in verse five through seven and now go to I will tell you what I will do in my vineyard I will take away the hedge thereof and it shall be eaten up and breaking down the wall thereof and it shall be trodden down and I will lay at waste it shall not be pruned nor dig but there shall come up briars and thorns I will also command the clouds that the they rain no rain upon it for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel and the men of Judah is pleasant plant so the problem was with Israel's response to God their faithfulness God did not move God was not moving it's us it's Israel that is prone to wander right so they left God they were prone to wander look what verse 11 says in Isaiah 5 woe unto them that rise up early in the morning that they may follow strong drink that continue until night till wine inflame them they were getting drunk verse 8 says woe unto them that join house to house and lay field to field so there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth they were getting greedy they were expanding house to house field to field and Hosea chapter 10 verse 1 says Israel is an empty vine Jeremiah 2 verse 21 says yet I have had planted be a noble vine holy a right seed how then art thou turned into a degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me so then what God does is as they've not chosen him they they they've chosen to prone to wander they walked away from him he takes those hedges of protection away from them at the end of Isaiah chapter 5 verse 30 it says and in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea and if one look unto the land behold darkness and sorrow and the light is darkness in the heavens thereof and so Israel is then taken into Babylonian captivity they come in they start taking the Israelites away take them into Babylonian captivity and so if you were a first century Jew at this time and you hear Jesus talking about being the true vine this vine terminology it almost was always a pronouncement of judgment in those days God prunes out Israel he cuts them off for the time being they are no longer the choice vine which was to draw the nations to God the problem was they were professing but not possessing in their hearts Israel as a nation was broken off cut away and judged because of unbelief and Jesus spoke of this in Matthew chapter 21 and the parable of the landowners and we see in verse 43 of Matthew 21 therefore I say unto you the kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof this nation that he's talking about is the Gentile nation God turns he sets Israel aside he will come back after we're raptured up and focus on Israel but in the meantime he's turned from them into the Gentile nations he's allowed the Gentiles to be the method the church age that we see today and so Romans 11 says this thou wilt say then the branches were broken off that I might be grafted in well because of unbelief they were broken off because of Israel's unbelief they were broken off and thou has and thou standest by faith be not high-minded but fear for if God spared not the natural branch take heed lest he also spare not thee and so if God is willing to set aside Israel the chosen people to focus on the Gentiles let us not be high-minded is what he's telling us there he's saying hey if he's willing to cut off Israel don't get high-minded in our own ways because if he didn't spare the natural branches he's not going to spare the wild branches either yet Jesus here in this in this this account of John chapter 15 Jesus here is turning this this vine terminology on its head basically and what I mean by that he's saying that he is the true vine and short he's saying I'm doing what you could not do I am being what you could not be there's nothing short this is nothing short of a gospel declaration here it's just as much as Jesus saying I am the way the truth and the life no man comes unto the father but by me this declaration by Jesus here he's saying hey I'm stepping into this banner of failure that is over their lives that's over our lives and essentially saying I've got this I am the true vine have you not he says you have not and you cannot bear fruit that is worthy that pleases God we can't work our way to heaven Ephesians 2 8 tells us that for by grace are you saved through faith not of works and so you you cannot work your way there and Jesus is taking this this picture of the vine and he's saying I am the true vine I am the way to heaven I am what is what you could not do so the second point today is the husband man it's the shortest point of the message today the husband man we don't use that term a lot today we probably use a more term of a gardener would be what it would be we call it or a vine dresser and so Jesus here is declaring that his father was the husband man he's the vine dresser he's the one that oversees the vineyard he had sent his one and only begotten son so that he could make a way for us to be restored he he was the true vine to secure salvation for the entire world the father watched over and he cared for the well-being of the vineyard he he watched and he cared for the vine why he why Jesus was on earth he gave him the Holy Spirit as well to guide and so when we see this stuff the father watched over him and he cared for him and he cared for every aspect of the vineyard he cared for the vine and can I tell you this morning he cares for you that should be comforting for us this morning he cared enough to send forth his son John 3 16 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life and so if you are in Christ this morning and you are in the vine you are part of the vineyard God God the father watches over and he provides for his people and also we notice in this text that God does one of two things God the father does one of two things he removes the branches that did not bear fruit and he purges the branches that do bear fruit so the third point today is the branches I want to break that down a little bit a little more detail we see that in verses 2 through 11 again the setting here is in John chapter 15 is it's taking place Thursday night in the upper room between there and and the walk to the Garden of Gethsemane while celebrating the the Passover Jesus with his disciples the night before he is crucified is the setting and we have to go back a couple chapters and as Jesus is is unpacking this to the disciples and they're walking and there's many vineyards as you're walking through Israel and and you're walking through Jerusalem there and and so it would have been very tangible to them to see these grapevines these these these vineyards and we have to keep in mind back in John chapter 13 that Judas has been exposed Satan has entered into Judas so we see that there's only 11 disciples that remain there's one disciple who no longer abides and so this is a very tangible message to these his disciples in this moment as he's walking it and they're going to the garden up to this point there was nothing about Judas there was nothing about Judas that manifested the fact that he was fruitless and he was headed to hell in fact he would probably be up in in a higher echelon of the the disciples he was the treasurer he handled the money I mean I don't know about you but I'm pretty secure about my who's in my banking account that's one of my things right I got to make sure bills are paid that sort of stuff but here is Judas he's he's a money handle he's a treasurer there's nothing about him that points that he's going to be the one that doesn't abide on the exterior he looks like he's a follower of Christ Judas was attached visibly to Jesus however it was superficial and an empty attachment it is it was an attachment with no life and that became evident when he no longer was abiding with Christ it was like if we had a dead limb out in the yard out here and we go over here and whether he had some duct tape or some some zip ties it depends on what guy you talk to some engineers they got zip ties for days if it's like guys like me we just got duct tape in the truck and we're just going to wrap that thing up right so it would be like taking a branch that we find on the ground out here and we we attach it back to the branch of the tree this limb that fell off of it we're like yeah we expect that thing to produce fruit it's attached to it well not really it's not connected to the root it's it's not getting the nutrients that it needs to produce fruit and we would we would think that that's silly but that's what happens many times with many people they have a superficial exterior relationship with Christ and yet they've never had the heart transformation this has been a concern of our Lord I would tell you going back to John chapter 2 verse 23 it says now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover in the feast days many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did that sounds good right that sounds hopeful many believed because the miracles that he did listen to Jesus Jesus's response in verse 24 and 25 but Jesus did not commit himself unto them because he knew all men he needed not that any should testify of man for he knew what was in man can I tell you this morning Jesus knows what's inside of our hearts he knows if we're truly in him and if we're not Jesus knew their heart condition they were not believing on him they were believing in his miracles Jesus knew that this was a false faith on many of their behalf it was a superficial or empty faith they wanted what they could get from Jesus but they didn't want Jesus similarly John 6 Jesus feeds 5,000 men if anything this would be a miracle of epic proportions that only God could do and I personally I want to see it on like video when I get to heaven I don't know if they have that but it would be cool just to go back and see some of these things right and just still watch as Jesus multiplied and the fishes and he feeds the 5,000 and so who doesn't like a free meal I'm that like I'm okay with a free meal we'll go to Chipotle we'll go somewhere we'll get free food we're Baptist we like food but listen to verse 66 John chapter 6 verse 66 says from that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more this is after he feeds them well my question is why why did they not walk with him anymore in response to Jesus is preaching not his miracles they turned and walked away from him they followed him no more and Jesus went on to ask his disciples in verse 67 then said Jesus under the 12 will ye also go away verse 68 Simon Peter answered to him Lord you see that like Lord to whom shall we go thou hast the words of eternal life where else can you go he has the words of eternal life they they were true disciples the 11 were true disciples and so John chapter 15 verse 2 tells us that every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit he purges it that it may bring forth more fruit and so there are three distinct with distinguishing marks of a true branch I would say this morning and what I mean by that that there there's three characteristics of these branches of a true believer and what this means is that they bear fruit we see that in John chapter 15 verse 2 4 5 and 8 also which most clearly sets this most clearly sets them apart from unbelievers everything that's living is reproducing right even if you're in here today and say well I'm a teenager or I'm a young kid and we have cells inside your body that are reproducing every second thousands of cells are dying and being reproduced every second and so everything that's living that is alive reproduces secondly these branches that are true branches they also abide they remain they continue in Christ's love verse 9 tells us they operate in full cooperation with the source of life keeping keeping Jesus's commandments keeping God's commandments by following the perfect example of Jesus who always obey the father and so God's word says obedience proves that a person's love for Christ is genuine John chapter 14 verse 15 says if you love me keep my commandments notice it doesn't say keep my commandments and you'll love me it says if you love me keep my commandments verse 23 same chapter Jesus answered and said unto them or unto him if a man love me he will keep my words and my father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him and so the branches do not that do not bear fruit they get cut off it tells us in verse 6 if a man abide not in me he is cast forth as a branch and is withered and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned so these these unfruitful branches that are not attached to the vine they are cut off what does that mean that they're they're removed it means that they were not true disciples of Christ they are not followers they're not believers and all true believers in Christ will bear fruit the Bible tells us John chapter 6 Jesus promised that he will not cast away any true disciples John 6 37 says all that the father giveth me shall come to me and him that cometh to me I will know wise cast out and so we also see in Matthew chapter 10 Jesus says that the sheep are his and no man will pluck them from his hands and so those that are truly in Christ will remain in Christ the New Testament gives many examples of those who are outwardly attached to Christ but they fail to possess a personal relationship with the Lord they've been described as the following terrors amongst the wheat and Matthew chapter 13 verse 25 through 30 bad fish that are thrown away Matthew 13 48 goats condemned to eternal punishment Matthew 25 verse 33 and 41 those left standing on the outside when the when the head of the house shuts the door in Luke chapter 13 verse 20 through 27 and so these unbelievers these people that are not attached to the vine that are truly not saved what happens to them when it talks about them being cut off and cast into fire they are eternally separated from God they are they are eternally cast into a real place called hell so one of those so the ones that don't bear any fruit they get cut off so then the question is what happens to those of us that are in Christ that remain what happens to us we get cut like we get we get pruned and we'll unpack that now but as you get cut back or you get pruned you would say well why is the Lord pruning those that are faithful an obvious answer is that so they will produce much fruit they will produce more fruit the Father prunes the branches by removing anything that would sap their spiritual energy and hinder them from being fruitful or having faithful results and being fruit so the question I ask in this moment is how does God do this how does God do his pruning how does he do his purging his pruning involves cutting away anything that limits righteousness including discipline that comes from suffering and persecution you say I don't like that that suffering word that persecution word and so sometimes what God has to do is he brings hardships into our lives I know in my own life personally when I've drawn nearer to the Lord has been in the difficult seasons of life a loss of a loved one hardships you know whether that would be in marriage or just different aspects that we all deal with on a day-to-day basis just by being here sometimes for some of us it's a job loss and what he's trying to reveal through that job loss is our heart condition who are we depending upon to provide for us I can build a lot of a lot of stuff into my job I can I can have a lot of confidence in myself and what I do or ultimately am I going to rest in his peace and that he is my provider and he will take care of my needs and so suffering is I would tell you just the handle upon which the knife blade is attached see suffering and persecutions they're like the sharpening stone that God sharpens his knife blade on before he prunes away at us and what I mean by that is Psalm 119 verse 67 says this before I was afflicted I went astray but now have I kept thy word and it was because of the affliction that he is now keeping the psalmist is keeping God's word verse 71 it was good it is good for me that I have been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes and so the psalmist is saying it's good that I went through this affliction because of that I have learned to meditate on the word of God and I can tell you anybody that's been in here that's battled a life-threatening disease or been through a marriage that's on the rocks nobody's saying hey sign me up for another round of that they're just not but those that have made it through on the other side of it you can count God's faithfulness as being there during that whole time that whole season and you draw near to God in those moments and he's purging you so that you will produce more fruit and so the affliction of suffering and persecution like I said is just the sharpening stone look what it says in John 15 3 now ye are clean through what through the word through the word which I have spoken unto you and so it's God's word that does the cleaning it does the purging it cleanses us Jesus said to his disciples you are clean because you believed my word because they believe not because they did anything it's because they believed that he was the son of God that he is the only way to heaven keep in mind these brothers are about ready to deny Jesus these these disciples of Jesus are about ready to deny him Peter's about ready to deny it three times and the third time he's looking Jesus right in the face I never knew that man yet Jesus is telling them before this that he is clean it's the word of God that has a cleansing effect upon our lives in Psalm 119 9 it tells us this wherewithal shall a young man cleans cleanse his ways so where can you go to clean your ways the psalmist says by taking heed thereto according to thy word to the word of God it is the word of God that does the pruning and the purging listen to Hebrews 4 12 it tells us this in Hebrews 4 12 for the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing even unto the asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is the discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart John 17 17 sanctify them through thy word thy word is truth so Christ's words emphasize two important truths regarding our spiritual conduct look with me at verses four and five in John 15 it says abide in me and I in you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abides in the vine no more can ye except ye abide in me I am the vine ye are the branches he that abideth in me and I in him the same bring forth much fruit for with me you can do what all things nothing we cannot do anything apart from Christ there's no such thing as I said earlier as a fruitless Christian believers cannot bear fruit on their own and it's important to note may there may be book times and your walk as a Christian that there are lapses and being faithful and producing fruit and that's sometimes because sin has entered into our lives not necessarily always sin we can get distracted by the things of this world and so we take our eyes off of Christ and and we get distracted by the things of this world and we produce less fruit but true branches cannot ultimately fail to produce fruit I will tell you many of these images of of Christ and the believer that are given in the scriptures emphasize an important concept of union and communion we see this in first Corinthians chapter 12 we see that it's a body and its members the bride and the bridegroom in Ephesians chapter 5 the sheep and the shepherd in John chapter 10 and a member of the body that is cut off from the body and isn't surgically reattached it dies if it's not attached and it doesn't have the the life source of blood of oxygen it's going to perish and so the shepherd brings the sheep into the flock but the sheep must follow the shepherd in order to have protection and provision a marriage is a union that God has brought together but it takes daily love and devotion to maintain that communion or that that institution and so the question is what is fruit you're saying a Christian must bear fruit Braden and then what is fruit and I'll tell you this it's it's righteous thoughts it's righteous attitudes righteous longings righteous desires righteous affections righteous virtues righteous behaviors that is the manifestation of life and where the life of God exists the fruit must be there Ephesians or Philippians chapter 1 verse 11 says being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God and Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10 tells us this for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them and James said that a faith without works is what it's dead and Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 verse 16 ye shall know them by their fruits do men gather grapes or thorns or figs of thistles and so when we start to evaluate this fruit you and I we must be careful that we and how we define this fruit and what I mean by that is if we start defining it in an external sense only we're no different than the Pharisees we are no different than the Pharisees if we're just basing upon external hey what is this person doing externally the Pharisees they did everything outwardly but their hearts were open it was a dead man's tomb on the inside and so the Bible nowhere equates fruit with external behavior or external results instead the scripture defines the fruit in terms of spiritual qualities Galatians 5 the fruit of the Spirit right Galatians 5 22 and 23 but the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace long-suffering gentleness goodness faith meekness temperance against such there is no law I would say this as well this morning notice that the text doesn't say the fruits of the Spirit it says the fruit of the Spirit and I believe that the reason for this is is it's a symmetrical fruit I'm gonna tease this out a little bit this morning if you lack patience can I say that you're probably not loving if you lack love you're probably not walking in any real joy and if you're lacking joy you're probably lacking kindness if you're lacking kindness then you're probably not walking in goodness and so we see that this fruit is symmetrical they all are interchangeable and interchangeable and so notice when I read Galatians 5 22 and 23 there's not a person in here is like nailed it brother got it all down thanks I've been encouraged I'm going no need to hear any more of this message I I've got the fruit of the Spirit I'm I'm perfect none of us are that way myself included we all are a work in progress as pastors said many times it's not the perfection but the direction of our lives right and so notice there's not any one person that has this down it's not where we find ourselves all of us everyone in this room myself included is not where we once were but we're ultimately not where we will ultimately be or even want to be in the day of glorification we eventually we will be there and that when we were going to receive our glorified bodies this is why the Lord in his kindness he prunes away at us so that we may grow in these areas anybody ever pray for patience that's a trick question right you pray for patience God's gonna test your patience it always seems that way for me at least anyways maybe maybe not for some of you but again it's it's this aspect that we need to abide in Christ and that he will abide in us this is one of the greatest supernatural mysteries of what it means to be a Christian this idea that a union of Christ that I am in him and he is in me if you're a Christian when God sees you he sees your your he doesn't see your disobedience when we mess up and we all mess up he doesn't say oh man I can't believe you did that again Tom he sees Christ's perfect righteousness and when I mess up or when anybody messes up he doesn't see us in our in our disobedience and in our faults but he sees the perfect obedience of Christ and this is hard for us to believe and here's reason one reason why I think that and I'm gonna step back because that's the Word of God and this is just my opinion and what I see sometimes past eight years I've been in teen ministry and recently this year moved out of teen ministry and I told the early service I think it was like my body parts are starting to fail so it's probably a workman's comp issue they didn't want me like getting hurt playing with the teenagers or something like that but one thing that I've noticed over the years and serving in teen ministry over the last eight years was you'd see teens they start to come to service they'd invite their friends and have more teens come and you see some teens that get serious about the Lord and then while they're worshiping and they're really worshiping on God they look across the room and they see the holiness on that brother or sister and like man I like that holiness on that brother or sister and they want to start pursuing and dating them obviously it's it's the attraction it's it's not the holiness it may be but oftentimes it is the the attractiveness of that person and this pursuit begins and then they start to date and you start to watch them and they're all cute and it's sometimes it's sweet to watch most of the time it's not but what I have noticed is during this time frame we'd start doing activities we'd go on you know an event and they'd want to sit by each other get on the bus and sit by each other and it's like hey you guys need to separate you need to leave room for Jesus and a King James study Bible in there and plenty of room between y'all and the inevitable would come there would be the breakup they're no longer together where they once were sitting together right in the front row notably watching Pastor Josh preach not in each other's eyes but they they're sitting there and they're where they were once one in the front row or over here on the left you start to see an avoidance they start to avoid each other you may see one sitting on the far right the other one on the far left they're not talking to each other maybe one's in the 830 another one's in the 11 o'clock service they don't even want to be around each other and so they're they're just straying away from one another suddenly where the two used to be one or they're they're separated now I can tell you this plays out in my house when I get home at the end of the day I can tell how my wife and my kids have interacted that day if I get home and both kids now I've got a teenage daughter so it's a little different now but when she was younger you know dad you're cool but now when they become teenagers dad's not so cool but anyways they're like you know I get home like dad they're running up give me hugs what's up nuggies stuff like that especially with my son but anyways I could tell then if I got home and there's only one kid there the other kid is nowhere to be found or worst case scenario nuclear option both are in hiding means somebody said something they popped off at the mouth had a bad attitude something like that mom had to snatch them up right before dad got home and so they there there's an avoidance when we tend to feel like we have wronged somebody I'll say it again there's an avoidance when we tend to feel like we've wronged someone it's our human nature think about this back in the garden when Adam and Eve sin what they do they hid from God they hid from him they hid from God they tried to avoid him and can I tell you this today Christian and even those that are here that may not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior you don't have to hide from God even as a Christian we do not have to hide from God when we mess up he doesn't want us to hide from him he wants us to run to him he's the prodigal father that's running to the he's running he's the father running back to the prodigal son it's the beginning it's because of our union with Christ that we don't need to avoid God we have an advocate with the father Jesus Christ the righteous and so he does not ask you to and can I say this as many times as I've been out witnessing or in counseling situations I can't tell you the number of times people like I just got to clean my life up before I can come to church or before I can step foot in there because a roof will fall in on me Jesus doesn't say clean yourself up and then come he says come so that I may clean you up and so we we have testimonies that all across this church that just come come as you are and he will do the cleansing Dr. Tony Evans described it as the this as far as abiding in Christ a dinner plate left out overnight will be hard to clean in the morning an alternate to scrubbing is soaking the dish in hot water and dishwashing liquid letting a dish abide in the solution will allow a hard cleaning job to become a lot easier this is what abiding does for Christians we are much easier to clean up when we've been hanging out in the right environment can I tell you this is the right environment to be hanging out in and the body of believers is the right environment to be hanging out in we we need to be like Mary who's just soaking in at the feet of Jesus religion says this scrape off the dirt it tells us to apply elbow grease to fix the problem relationship just says hey come and soak in me just sit at the hot water for a while and abide and it will set you free and so the fourth point today is the power of love there's a power of love that we see unfolding here in John 15 it says this in verse 8 through 10 here in is my father glorified that ye bear much fruit so shall ye be my disciples as a father hath loved me so have I loved you continue in my love if ye keep my commandments you shall abide in my love even as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love and so God the father loved the son with the following type of love it was a love that had no beginning he's eternal God the father God the son God the Holy Spirit they're eternal there is no beginning to that love there is no end to that love it is a close and personal relationship as a personal love the love was without measure between the father and the son the love was unchanging as well and can I tell you Christ loves you just as much today as the father loved the son if not careful we could read this text and read it in a wrong way and say that if I obey his commands then I will abide in his love or he will love me but as you grow in your it's really but as you grow in your love for me then you will obey my commands he tells us if we get this wrong we get that backwards we're stepping outside of orthodox Christian faith it's not do so you may be approved it's not hey I do this so I can be approved of God and loved of God it's love so therefore you will do and anybody that's in here today that's been married or is married you understand this and what I mean by this is is in my marriage I can tell you that my parents did not set me up well for marriage not like it was all their their responsibility I'm not throwing it all on them but what I mean is as as a young man as a as a boy and a teenager I could take a shower get cleaned up and leave all my dirty clothes and my towel in the bathroom let's go about life life was good right well what happens when you become an adult man and you marry your wife and you're repeating the same problem the same thing well that's what I mean when my parents didn't set me up well I love my parents but just didn't set me up well for marriage they they didn't set good boundaries for me and so then when Brianna and I get married I'm doing the same thing dirty clothes bath towel on the floor in the bathroom and I would get this hey Braden you come here for a minute sure walk over there what's this now let me just tell some of you young bucks newlyweds getting ready to be married mogan this is this is a trap it's not like she Duncan this is a trap she literally didn't forget that that's a towel I'm not the smartest person in the room not the brightest crown in the box I'm like it's like what is that I'm like it's a towel no honey that's not what I'm asking why is that there just always done that my whole life now let me put this in perspective every day since then I've hung that towel up I didn't I don't go and hang that towel up and be like oh you know what I'm just not really feeling love for Brianna much I don't think she loves me much you know what'll make that right I'll go hang the towel up and do this so that she will love me and that I will love her no I hang that towel up every single day out of respect and love for her and I've got many other faults that I'm still working on but it's I get to do because I love I love so therefore I do and so make sure Christian that we're doing what we do for Christ out of love not out of obligation he doesn't he doesn't want an obligatory giver he doesn't want you to you know feel obligated he wants because you love him and what he's done for you therefore you will abide and do his commands and so the last you know the last thing today is the blessings for abiding that you know there's blessings for abiding in Christ you say why should I stay why should I abide and the first benefit is fruitfulness we see that in verse four the branch cannot bear fruit of itself verse five the same bringeth forth much fruit you know God doesn't want us just to be somewhat fruitful he wants us to be very fruitful the world's dying and going to hell and he's looking for laborers in his harvest field pray therefore the Lord of the harvest that he'd send forth labors into his harvest field he wants us to be fruitful for him secondly the whole premise and why Jesus who's getting ready to leave his disciples and he's saying hey I will abide in you and you will abide in me the whole premise of all this is in verse 11 you have your bibles in front of you says this these things I have spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be what full the devil comes to seek to steal to destroy Jesus comes to give us abundant life and he wants our joy to be full this is the proof that you are a true branch you have a fruit of endurance you have patience through trials the fruit of the spirit love joy peace suffering gentleness goodness faith meek temperance against such there is no law against such there is no law and none of us would in here and say no Jesus I don't want any more goodness I don't want any more joy you keep it no we we want that we want more of those things the idea of bite of abiding in Christ and remaining in Christ from salvation to sanctification let me draw this out a little bit the more you abide in the presence and the knowledge and love of God and be obedient to Christ the more fruitful you will become the more you focus on Christ the more faithful you will become the more you focus on self the less fruitful you will become you will be focused with the things of this world and so we need to stir what cultivates our affections for the Lord and be on guard for what saps our affection or what takes that away and make sure those are being purged so we can love and that we can serve him one of the things for me that I've had to put a cutoff on is sports for you sports may not be an issue but for me it was a false idol for so long in my life that I've had to be cautious and cut some of those things off because it was stealing and robbing my joy and serving the Lord and for a 20 year old boy on a football field to drop a ball to ruin my whole Saturday is silly I mean honestly like it would ruin my Saturday like it it's silly it's a game there's far more important things out there that they're going on people dying and going to hell and I'm worried about a 20 year old who dropped a ball so these are things and you may say hey I've got that perfectly balanced that's good I'm just telling you I cannot do that I have to cut those things off I need to remember Matthew 6 33 but see he first the kingdom of God and all these things and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you you know can I tell you the planet Mercury is hot Pluto is cold we can't define it as a planet anymore it's been redefined like other things in the world being redefined all these days but Mercury is close to the sun s-u-n and Pluto is is a long way off the farther you get away the colder things become but the closer you get the hotter things become maybe some of you in here today are like Mercury you're on fire for God maybe some of you in here today or Pluto you're not even in a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior maybe some of you today are here and you're an earth you're seasonal you have seasons of being on fire for God and being cold for the things of God can I tell you that God is looking for some Mercury Christian he wants folks who want to get close to him and want to abide in him stay close to the s-o-n son and we need to lose ourselves in his glory second Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18 but we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as the spirit of the Lord and so in closing today this is a it's a convicting you know as I was studying this week I was convicted of things in my life that I have to to make sure that I'm on fire for God I'm abiding in him that I'm drawing closer to him but this is a powerful and convicting passage of scripture question is are you abiding in the vine today have you been saved by the grace of God and grafted into his vine if so is your life producing fruit maybe the spirit has revealed some areas in your life in my life that need to be dealt with this morning bring those before the Lord this morning I will tell you allow him to tenderly prune and cut back those areas enabling you to be more productive again for him if you have never been saved you're you need to be attached to the vine you need to be saved today the bible says that today is the day of salvation you need to come to Christ today as he leads you to salvation you would stand with me as the musicians come maybe there's some things that the Lord's laid on your heart this morning the altars are open but I want to ask a question this morning are you connected to the vine are you truly connected to the vine is it you've trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior you see fruit of evidence of that in your life would you just heads bowed eyes closed this morning say Braden I know Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior would you just give an uplifted hand to the testimony that you know Christ as your personal Lord and Savior awesome see those hands put them down maybe you're here this morning you say Braden I don't know that I've ever truly placed my trust in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior I don't know that heaven would be my home if that's you today with heads bowed eyes closed would you just give an uplifted hand I'm not going to call anyone out I just want to pray for you this morning maybe you're here this morning say Braden I've got some areas that need some pruning some purging some areas that I've been convicted of if that's you this morning would you just give an uplifted hand my hand is up with you I've got areas in my life I need to clean up as well Jesus clean up let's pray God we thank you for your word we thank you for the truth that is in it we thank you for Jesus Christ coming to die for our sins so that we could have eternal life would I pray that you would work through this invitation deal with hearts as you would it's in Jesus name that we pray amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-27 11:52:30 / 2023-02-27 12:13:38 / 21