Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today.
Our welcome they are burned. If ye abide in Me, then My words abide in you. Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be My disciples." Now if I can I want to just do just quick review and I think this is good for all of us and just quickly like this, the subjects of the story and it's this, that the vine is Jesus, the husbandman is God the Father and the branches are you and me, those that are saved if you're saved here this morning.
Now let's go over the purposes again just so we get oversight as we dig into this today. The vine's purpose is to feed the branch what it needs to bear fruit. The husbandman's purpose is to do what is required in the vineyard to produce the most fruit possible. The branch's purpose is to bear fruit. The fruit's purpose is to glorify the husbandman. The purpose of the vineyard is to grow fruit. So our purpose is to glorify the Father by bearing much fruit that remains. It's all about fruit.
We've got to remember that. You and I will always have tension with God in our life if we think that this journey is about us. Now I slip into that constantly.
Something will happen and I'll kind of look at it through the eyes of my life, of my desires, of my will and I get confused why God is doing this because it doesn't line up with what I envisioned, my will, my plans, how I thought this would all happen. And you and I very quickly slip into that and we have to remember it's not just about the branches. It's about the fruit.
It's about the vineyard. It's not just about you as an individual branch although obviously God loves you as the individual branch. He loves you enough that He's not just going to leave you laying there fruitless.
He's going to work on you. But it means this that the whole purpose of this isn't just how you feel as a branch. The purpose is the vineyard and it's the fruit.
That's where everything lies. Let me give you just a couple things before we jump in today about this pruning process and that's what we left. We talked about literally in verse 1, verse 2, excuse me, every branch of me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. It doesn't mean that He removes you from the family and that you lose your salvation.
That taketh away means to lift up. It means that literally He repositions us. That often times our position as a Christian we can be so much in sin and like a branch and a vine would hang low and they'll take that vine and clean it off, get that dirt off, reposition it on a trellis, reposition it on the plant and all those things. We've gone through all that. So literally that God the Father His job is to make you fruitful.
Do you understand that? Jesus' job is just to provide you what you need. But God the Father has to work in us to get us to the point that Jesus can work through us. So you got to understand that sometimes we envision God the Father is just sitting there in heaven and Jesus' son came and died and all these things and now the Holy Spirit.
No, no, no. God the Father is as busy as He's ever been. In fact God the Father has the very difficult task. It is His job to work on you and me to make our connection good into Christ. Because if it's not we can't grow fruit. So God the Father has to do that because Jesus already has a job. He's the vine. He is that force that flows through us that literally brings fruit onto us as the branches.
So let me give you just a couple quick statements. First is this, branches cannot clean themselves. Branches cannot clean themselves.
Now amazingly cats can. But branches cannot clean themselves. A branch needs a vine dresser.
I don't know where that came from. A branch needs a vine dresser. A branch needs a husband.
Because a branch can't clean itself. And you know what? No matter how many times I've watched people try to fix themselves. I'm going to turn over a new leaf. I'm going to start doing this. Hey I'm going to get this book.
Hey I'm going to start doing this in my life and they just think somehow, and by the way one of the largest things in any bookstore is self-help sections. But may I tell you something that you cannot fix yourself. You can't clean yourself. God has to do that. I want you to notice secondly is this, that literally we must be positioned and pruned before we can produce.
This has to take place. We must be pruned before we can produce. I mean it's not like we get saved. Okay now God leave me alone. Now just be nice to me.
Now on. And just let me sit back and enjoy life. Well then you haven't served your purpose because our purpose is to bear fruit. And so literally God the Father has to go to work on our lives because we must be positioned and pruned before we can possibly produce. It's just part of life. By the way you say, well man I feel like I'm being used.
Oh really? You will not find as joyous a life as when you are a Christian that is eating fruit. It's as happy as you'll ever be. In fact there's a lot of Christians that are very unhappy and it really boils down to that. It's because fruit is not popping out on their branches.
They are drying and withering away. Notice just this quick third statement is pruning comes first then the fruit. You know I think you and I want to see fruit and we say if I see that okay now I'll be okay with what God's doing.
It doesn't work that way. Pruning has to come first and then the fruit. So that brings us to verse 4 and He changes the entire thing in verse 4. Verse 4 look at this, abide in me and I in you. Now here's what is interesting.
Number 1 I want you to get this these are our points this will be on the screens. Pruning requires submission. Abiding requires action. You see in verse 1, 2 and 3 we find out that Jesus is the vine and God the Father is the Husbandman. But in verse 2 we find out all that God the Father as the Husbandman has to do. He has to take away that branch, lift it up, clean it off. Then He has to purge it and those that are bearing some fruit He has to purge it and work on it so that it can bear more fruit.
So the first scenario is a branch that bears no fruit. Then the next scenario is a branch that bears some fruit and God prunes so that you can bear more fruit. All of this process requires you and me to simply submit to what God the Father is doing in our life.
Are you with me so far? That whole process is God's working on us and we have to let Him do it. We have to submit to the pruning, to the positioning and the purifying work that is done by the Husbandman on us the branch. We just got to let Him do it but in verse 4 it changes. All of a sudden we're given a command. Now we're not to sit back and let God do His thing.
Now we are called to action. Abide in me and I in you. He didn't say, let me abide in you and let me make you abide in me.
He said, abide in me. Now listen to me, to make room for the kind of abundance that God wants for your life. He has to cut away parts of our lives that drain precious time and energy from what is really important and that's fruit. You and I, all of us have stuff in our life that takes our time, takes our energy and it does nothing when it comes to bearing fruit in our lives. It just produces happiness and joy for us but it's not bearing fruit. So for God to make us fruitful he has to do these things and his plan for pruning is not random. He works very uniquely, very specifically in your life and by the way, what God sometimes judges as wasteful you might think is necessary. There are things in your life that you think you just have to have and God might prune that away because He considers it wasteful.
Anybody hurting yet this Sunday morning? I'm not saying pruning is fun for any of us but may I say this that there are a lot of things in our lives that take our energy and our time away from doing what we were called to do and that's to be fruitful. And when God does that we're supposed to let Him and submit.
Wow. So pruning requires submission but abiding requires action. You see in these seasons of chastening and pruning the vine dresser, the husband man, God the Father, He pursues, He initiates and our role is to respond but when it comes to abiding we have a 180 degree swap here.
It absolutely changes. Now you and I are the ones that have to initiate the movement. You and I are the ones now that have to initiate the connection, abide in me.
That's why He says draw nigh to me and I'll draw nigh to you. You take that action because God is not going to force Himself on anybody. Now here's what's interesting this word abide, you see for us to abide it requires action.
It means you have to do it. We don't just sit back and God does it now when it comes to abiding. God does the pruning. God does the purging. God does the purifying. God does literally the positioning but when it comes to abiding that's your job and that's my job.
Can I have an amen this morning? The word abide in the Greek is the word meno. It literally means tiny fish. No it doesn't mean that. It's the word meno. Some of you are writing that down.
Oh wow, look at that one. It's emieno. It literally means this, it's a primary verb we call this in the Greek language it means to stay in a given place. To stay in a given state of relation. To stay in a spirit of expectancy. To abide, to continue, to dwell, to endure, to be present, to remain, to tarry. You see you and I decide whether we're going to stay right here connected to God or if we're going to go do our own thing.
So he said listen I'm going to do the positioning. I'm going to do everything that is my job to do and by the way God the Father will do His job. Now it's up to us to determine where we are going to stay. Those of you as myself that have had sweet fellowship times with the Holy Spirit and have had times of our life where we feel that we are free from distraction and free from things and we have that absolute clear connection. You know how wonderful and fulfilling it is and you also know how almost impossible it is to stay there.
Because it's not easy to stay. Abide in me three words that you will spend your lifetime trying to accomplish. Abide in me. Abide in me.
You're already connected. You're already a branch that's connected to the vine but abide in me and I in you. May I say this? The more proactive we are in abiding the less proactive God has to be in the pruning.
You see here's the payoff. If you and I will do our part to abide then He won't have to do as much pruning. But every time that you and I instead of abiding grab our hands onto stuff that distracts and takes our time, takes our energy, takes all those effort.
Now God the Father has to come in and do the pruning work and we don't like it and we're miserable but if you'll just submit to His pruning and then become proactive with your abiding. A parent can work hard. Spend hours, days, weeks, months, years in a career so they can earn a paycheck large enough to provide a nice home and a refrigerator and heat in the winter and air conditioning even in the summer or at least windows that can open.
Put food on the table. They've done everything they can do to create a place for their child to stay. But the child has to determine to stay. And may I say as children grow up many times they make their own choices. And while we watch them walk out and think why in the world would they leave something like this you and I would also have to think of our lives how many times have we left abiding in Christ.
We've all been there. Number two verse four. Abide in me and I remind you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine. No more can ye except ye abide in me. Number two our command is not to grow fruit. Our command is to abide in the vine. He didn't say grow fruit.
He said abide in me. Now listen very closely and please pay attention to these points because you'll be on the board. Number one is this growing fruit is not our calling. And then you're going to say wait a minute preacher that goes against everything you said.
No it's not if you listen closely. Growing fruit is not our calling because if you and I God wouldn't call us to do something we can't do. And if we could grow fruit on the vine we wouldn't need the vine. We are not called to grow fruit.
Statement number two. Being fruitful is our purpose. Growing fruit is not our calling or our purpose but being fruitful is.
There's a difference. God didn't call me to grow fruit. He called me to be fruitful.
You say preacher I don't understand statement number three. We do not have the ability to make fruit grow. We just don't have the ability to make fruit grow. Trust me as a pastor it's a frustrating process. I can sit and preach and one person will grow like a weed in church and the other person thinks they would rather hear a funeral service than half of my sermons.
They don't get nothing from it. And it's frustrating because you know what I'd love to make that fruit grow like this fruit is growing and I can't seem to make fruit grow. And guess what I can't grow fruit.
Statement number four. But we do have the ability to abide in Christ. Notice what the verse says. He said abide in me and I knew the branch cannot bear fruit of itself it says. Except it abide in the vine. No more can you Jesus says except you abide in me. Which brings us to this statement. Growing fruit is simply a result of abiding in the vine.
You and I literally have the easiest part of this process. If we'll just abide in Christ we don't have to grow fruit. We don't have to make it pop out of our lives. God didn't ask us to do it. He didn't ask us to grow the fruit.
He just said you abide in me. And the fruit popping out is just a process and it's just a happening of us abiding in Christ. You see we have spent years in our circles trying to teach people to grow fruit.
And we can't. What we should have been doing is teaching people to abide in Christ. Now listen hey, listen don't get me wrong but I have sat years and been told how to build a bus route.
How to manipulate and convince a person at a door to get saved. But rarely do we have seminars on this and this is how you daily abide in Christ. And if they would have taught that we wouldn't have a problem with bus routes. We wouldn't have a problem with people getting saved.
We wouldn't have a problem with our churches being full. Because we've been taught how to try to do something that we can't do instead of doing what God's called us to do and that's abide in the vine. And as you and I abide in the vine fruit just happens. It doesn't mean we don't go out and sow in and we don't go out and witness all those things. Yes we do and the closer you get to the vine the more you're going to want to share that. It just means that you and I I think sometimes are trying to learn how to do something instead of realizing I've got to abide in Christ. And the rest comes naturally. See the problem is we've taught people how to do things but they were not abiding in Christ while they did it.
And they don't do it very long. Our command is not to grow fruit. Our command is to abide in the vine. Number 3, look at verse 5, I am the vine, ye are the branches, he that abideth in me and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit. Number 3, there must be connection to the vine to have fruit on the branch.
Common sense stuff here. But let's follow his reasoning because Jesus preached this, look at verse 5, I am the vine ye are the branches, he that abideth in me and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit. There must be connection to the vine to have fruit on the branch. You say, okay, no that just makes common sense.
Sure. But may I say this, the pruning of God the Father initiates this connection. I've got to be connected to the vine to be able to have fruit pop out on the branch and God the Father is the one that does the work in my life to make that connection possible. And I want you to notice first there has to be a close connection.
He said he that abideth in me. It has to be a close connection. You can't just say, hey I'm saved and don't go to God's house and we don't read God's Word and we don't apply its principles to our, but I'm saved.
Yeah, but you're connected but you don't have a close connection. Everybody understand that? Because he already talked about a branch that was connected but didn't have a close connection in verse 2. He said every branch that bears no fruit he taketh away.
He lifts it up because he's not going to let you just stay like that. Number two there needs to be a constant connection. Not just a close one but a constant. He that abideth. I've got to stay connected. I've got to abide in Christ.
There's got to be a constant connection. I can't just get connected on Sunday mornings. When you do that that's when you start getting bent out of shape with the church. Be careful who you listen to by the way. Be careful for somebody that says, well that church just doesn't care about me and they don't call me and they don't do this.
Be careful about somebody like that because they're not, they don't have a close connection to the vine. They might be saved but it's become all about them. Now you got to hear me. I'm not just talking. I'm giving you God's word here. There has to be a close connection.
There needs to be a constant connection. Listen, if I am constantly abiding in Christ I don't depend on you and you don't depend on me for my spiritual food. Now I have a role as a pastor, we're going to talk about that tonight. But may I say this, listen you don't just get connected on Sunday mornings like, okay as long as the preacher is connected to the vine I'll just show up and see what he has to say and that will be my sustenance for the week. It doesn't work that way.
You're going to keep going from church to church looking for something. Okay, notice number three there needs to be a clear connection. Clear connection. That's the pruning process. You see you and I get stuff on our branches that shouldn't be there. It takes the nutrients that we need to bear fruit. It takes our time.
It takes our energy. And so there must be a clear, it would be what we would call, I could have called it too, a clean connection. It means that listening. And by the way let me just say this after last week and it was interesting Brother Harold Walters he usually comes to the 10 o'clock service and he was commenting to me on talking about the pruning process. He said, you know you're exactly right. He said when I was a kid, and Brother Harold you know I think he's in his 70's or even more I don't remember exactly how old he is. I'm going to feel horrible if he's in his 50's.
But I think he's in his 70's. And he said when I was a kid my grandpa had a whole bunch of grapevines. And he said I'd go work with them.
He said I was just a little kid. And he said my grandpa would go and he said I'd help him prune and he would show me what to do in these grapevines. And by the way I will tell you this Harold Walters can grow things like nobody I've ever seen. He literally was in Hawaii, cut off the top of a pineapple, brought it home, planted it and had a pineapple producing plant for years from that. He just has a green thumb.
He's just that way. And it's from his grandpa. And he said my grandpa took me to those grapevines and he said same thing they would get low and get dirt.
He would clean them up and lift them up. He was saying the exact same things. And he said but let me tell you, he said I'll tell you this too. He said you talk about pruning. He said every time after those things would begin to fill up he said my grandpa would take me in there would begin to cut away those vines and cut them back. And my grandpa would tell me this, you only have growth on new branches. You only have growth on new. It's got to be new growth. It's like wait a minute he doesn't just keep changing branches.
I'm in the family and once you're in Christ you're saved. And then all of a sudden my verse, my mind went to his mercies are new every morning. Let me tell you something when you abide in Christ it's always fresh. It's always new.
There's always new growth. That's why you've got to keep the connection clear and clean because He's new every morning. Last there must be a careful connection.
A careful connection because this is what Harold told me. He said my grandpa told me, he said now listen Harold you've got to watch how you prune. If you prune these branches too far they'll literally bleed out. He said a grape vine will bleed out and it won't produce. In other words you've got to prune it but you can't prune it too far. And he said there would be times my grandpa would prune a branch and it would go a little bit too far and he thought you know what and he would take a potato and stick a potato, take that vine right into that potato and that would keep that branch from bleeding too much and dying. He says but there's a careful thing with the pruning. You've got to prune away things or it won't grow but if you prune too much aren't you glad you and I serve a high priest that is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He'll never put on us more than we can bear. Listen you might think that you've had it rough and that pruning has really been hard in your life but trust me He knows exactly how much you can take.
Exactly how much you can handle. God the Father makes sure that there is a careful connection to the vine. Number 4. Look at verse 5. This last phrase we're almost done. For without me ye can do nothing.
Wonderful little statement in there isn't it? I mean He's already said, He's already said listen you abide in me and I in you then same will bear much fruit and all that. So we already know this but He kind of, He's talking to people here.
And we don't get things sometimes. At least He was talking to the disciples here and they were a bit slow. All of a sudden crucifixion He raises again, hey what happened here I thought we're setting up the kingdom on earth. He's only been telling them for months but they just didn't hear, they heard what they wanted to hear. But get this He says for without me now all of a sudden vine talk, branch talk that's all out.
He tells them okay what I've just said this is what it means to you right now without me you could do nothing. Principle number 4 is this the branch is totally dependent upon the vine. The branch is totally dependent upon the vine. It has no purpose, no hope and no function without the vine. In fact we're told in this passage this is what happens to that kind of branch you just throw it in the fire. At least it will warm a fire for a few seconds. But that's as good as it gets for a dead branch.
Interesting. You know we are not the vine Jesus is. We receive nourishment from Him, He doesn't receive nourishment from us. Apart from Him we can do nothing.
This abiding is to be a joyful and continuous relationship with Jesus that is marked with total dependence, total trust and total obedience on Him. Because without Him we can't do anything. Now please listen to me this morning if this could just sink in to our lives right now. If it could just sink in that without Him. It doesn't say without Him we can't do ministry. It says without Him we can't do anything. It doesn't say without Him we can't do marriage that's true. But it says without Him we can't do anything. That means this without Christ you can't fix and produce and operate and be successful in your marriage and your parenting and your job and any relationship you have in your personal life. You can't do anything without Him. And you say but preacher people every day around this world prove that they can do a lot of things without Jesus because they don't have Christ and they're not. Well listen don't get me wrong. Yeah you could do some things. But you can't do anything that serves any purpose. Because what's our purpose?
It's all about fruit. You and I can't do a thing without Him. Oh listen I'm sure I had older men when I was in high school, college years sat in college chapels. I'm sure I had men that screamed to the top of their lungs you can't do anything without Jesus. I'm sure I heard it but it just didn't sink in. We'll be right back with more broadcast today. God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-05 09:32:14 / 2022-12-05 09:43:22 / 11