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A Fruitful Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2022 1:00 am

A Fruitful Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 13, 2022 1:00 am

Jesus offers us His enduring power. His disciples were common people of the land, who could understand His metaphor of fruit-bearing for the spiritual life. In this message, we discover the first of three portraits from the vineyard. The resulting fruit is sweet to the Father, who tends His garden carefully to grow the harvest. 

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For us as we run the risk of life. Jesus wants us to know where the real power comes from his disciples. People of the land they understood the word in Scripture about fruit today. Let's all learn a lesson on fruit bearing from a vine and its branches from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is going to win with Dr. Irwin's teaching helps us make it across the finish line.

Estimates are route is a word with deep implications for believers is the reason for that is because fruit is something that is reduced is very different from works.

First is a result of the vine and the branches we know of course the illustration that Jesus Christ used it is the natural growth that we have when we abide in Jesus Christ. I love this passage. It's been a means of blessing for people throughout the centuries, Hudson Taylor, of course, refers to it as a transforming message for him when he began to realize that he was a part of Christ United with Christ and that he didn't have to bear the fruit he had to be available for Christ to bear the fruit through him. You know, we hear it running to win are so pleased with the fact that there are so many who support this ministry, would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts in a sense, I always like to think of it as they becoming a part of the running to win family. Of course you need more info. Here's what you can do.

Go to RTW that's RTW And of course when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for your help. Thanks for thinking and praying for us. And now let us listen to the words of Jesus. Let me introduce you to Linda met her this past week 37 years old to children husband a cocaine addict whom she divorced, lonely, trying to earn a living for herself and her two sons one is a teenager. One is eight, Linda loves the Lord. But was also lonely had a boyfriend had an abortion. Two years ago and so she looks into my eyes and asks this question with all of this that is going on in all the difficulties in her life because she is a Christian. She says what really does God want that's a good question. What does God want not the only time I've been asked that question was asked it in the life of a family that had experienced a a wind storm that blew down some of their buildings. A disabled child or the man lost his job gaps in the family. Everything seemingly falling apart the end of the day what does God want I want you to keep that question in the back of your mind, and I want you to keep another one in the back of your mind, what do you want, let's suppose I were to come to you and ask you that question.

What do you really want out of life, what would your answer be pleasure money. Some of you say joy for film and family law.

Life whatever I've ever felt the tension and the diversion between those two questions what does God want to buy one today were going to find an answer to both of those questions. I'm so glad that you joined us the passage of Scripture is the 15th chapter of John were doing a series on the upper room discourse. John 15 Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples and gives us some of the richest truth anywhere in Scripture and in John 15 verse 20 says I am the true vine. It's the last in the seventh of the I am is that the book of John. I am the true vine in contradistinction to Israel, which was the false vine you can read about this in the book of Isaiah chapter 5 where God says, I had this vineyard.

I planted it but it brought forth wild grapes the wrong kind of fruit. So Jesus says Israel did not bear good fruit, but I am the true vine. What I want us to do today is to take our cameras. I hope you brought one, you need a Polaroid will do.

You need only three pictures left on your film and would like to do is to give three portraits of this wonderful extended metaphor as we go through the passage and I want you to be able to leave with those three portraits firmly entrenched upon your imagination and your mind.

The first portrait is this notice that the father is the gardener I'm picking it up there in verse one. I am the true vine. My father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes it so that it will be even more full. What does the father do. He is the gardener. Well, let's walk through this vineyard and let us see. Now we come to the most difficult interpretive part of this metaphor. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit. Jesus says he cuts down later on in verse six it says that the branches that are worthless. They are cast into the fire and they are burned. Who are these branches.

Some people say will. These are Christians who who know the Lord and they're a part of Jesus and then they don't bear fruit in God cuts them off so they lose their salvation.

The problem is if you have a high view of Scripture that's difficult because there's so many other passages that talk about our security and God's ability to take his own children all the way to heaven. So does not seem like a likely interpretation, and furthermore you wouldn't take an metaphor like this and use it to build such a theological doctrine.

In light of the fact that there's so much other scripture that is really specifically doctrinally based letter say that these are Christians who who perhaps seven are fruitless Christians and when it says that the father cuts them off my translation says they bear no fruit and you'll notice it says he cuts off every branch and later on verse six they are cast into the fire and they are burned and so many people say this fire is the fire of the judgment seat of Christ. Just because the word fire occurs. That doesn't mean that you should read hello into it and that's a possibility to and I used to hold that interpretation. But, you know, as I wrestled with this this past week.

I think perhaps there may be another explanation. Maybe these branches are not true Christians at all.

That's why they are cut off and cast into the fire and burned.

90. It says that every branch in me that bears no fruit, but maybe Jesus wants us to understand that there are branches that appear to abide in him.

There are branches that appear to be connected to the vine, but they aren't there some people you know who are what shall we say, they seem to be in Christ. On Sunday, but there in the world during the week is a really they are serious they aren't real Christians at all. I think for example of Judas who had the conduct apparently of a saint, but the heart of the devil.

There are Christians like that or I should say there are people like that who aren't real Christians and the father.

The father cuts them off and they cast them into the fire you. So why is the wood used for something well the wood is really not what it all from these branches.

We think of a branch of a tree. These are branches of grapes. Here's what you do this week you go into Dominic's and buy some grapes and when you buy them in clusters. Those branches that hold the grapes together. Those of the branches that Jesus is talking about.

They are, and they are spying late translation is that they are playing are not strong enough or anything all that they can do is to be cast into the fire with third and burn. They are good for nothing. So that's the first category of people that Jesus is talking about here that the father prunes and by the way, I know that you brought your cameras but I meant to tell you specifically when the pictures should be taken so you hang on here there's a second category of people and that is much easier to interpret the says while every branch that bears fruit he prunes it so that it bears more fruit. So what you have is first of all, the father purging some of the branches I need to tell you that those folks who grow vineyards in Israel will tell you that a good gardener will recognize almost immediately that there are some vines that bear fruit in some, but never will. So those are the ones that are cut off. As we mentioned a moment ago, but who are these that they bear fruit, but he prunes them, that they may bear more fruit. That of course is believers.

That's you and me trusted Christ as Savior we are fruit bearing Christians, but he prunes us, and what do gardeners do still go through the vineyard and they will cut off. These branches will cut off the leaves and the little twigs so that the branches the real branches that are connected to the vine so that they do two things. First that they don't dissipate their energy by bearing all these leaves and secondly, that they might further engraft their relationship to the vine that they might become more firmly rooted into the vine and ended because of that, you find that the gardener prunes.

These branches now it's time to take your camera and take the first picture and I want you to see what your taking a picture of let's visualize a vineyard that is just been pruned all over you have various pile branches that are lying there and they are very green, but as you look at their at their roots affect cut where the cut was made.

It seems to have wounded them so deeply. They almost seem to be bleeding and crying up in pain. That's the first thing that we notice the second is it seems to be so random twice.

It looks as if the gardener just came in there and lock things off my friend, it's not random. Did you know that you had to work for at least two years as an apprentice before you could be a gardener because it is not only where you cut but even the direction of the knife becomes important to do the pruning properly. That's what the father does to you and me.

Why because the Scripture says in verse eight, the father is glorified when we bear fruit he wants us to bear fruit, and as a result of that, every stroke of his knife is carefully calculated and has a reason it is done scientifically. It's like someone says there's not a single branch that is cut off about that.

There is a pain in having it cut off is not random to the untrained eye it is to the eye of God knows what he wants to produce everything is done carefully, systematically.

That's why no trial comes to us, except that it has come through the hands of our heavenly father because the gardener knows what he wants us to bear fruit, and he knows what you and I have to go through to bear it. Now my friend today do not miss the major point. If you are not a fruit bearing Christian. If you are not a fruit bearing person to God, you are worthless your worthless. That doesn't mean that you are worthless as a person. We all have value. No matter whether we believe in Jesus or don't believe in Jesus. Every human being has value, but so far as God is concerned the glory that he delights in to receive it.

Fruit and to have us bear fruit. We are worthless to him. In that respect.

And that's why he says that if you're not fruit bearing your cast into the fire and your burning. That's the only value you have.

Why this is a gardener. Folks who longs for fruit. That's what he's thinking all the time, fruit, fruit, fruit, fruit. That's what it says in verse eight, is glorified when we bear much fruit. Your first picture is that of a vineyard with heaps of cut branches done lovingly by the gardener who knows what he is doing is going to a second picture here.

In the passage and that is of course the picture of the vine. The sun, you'll notice it. I should've commented on verse three you are already clean because of the word I've spoken to you. Yes I do need to add something here because one of the questions we ask is a what kind of a knife to see use while he uses people, both those who irritate us and those who bless us to prune us. He uses circumstances most assuredly that that prunes us doesn't it.

If you've ever been second laid aside for a couple of months. Sinbad that's a means of cutting his back and pruning us so that we develop a closer relationship with him.

Most assuredly uses that to but my dear friend. He always uses his word. Don't miss the connection between verses two and three because he says now you are clean Cathari from which we get the word catharsis you are cleansed by the word I've spoken unto you. Listen, this comes to you today from my heart to you.

There is no such thing as pruning without purifying. That's what God wants.

And so our Lord takes us through these difficult circumstances, and he uses his word to cleanse us part of the answer to the question of what does God want is a clean heart keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. Why, because you are clean for the word that I've spoken unto you, you can't be a fruit bearing Christian apart from being in the word but we got our first photograph.

Let's go to the second and that is the son who is the vine. I'm picking it up here in verse five I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing. The responsibility of the gardener to do the pruning because he wants fruit, but it's the responsibility of the vine to bear the life you look at buying is much thicker than a branch thicker than these twigs that we talked about and that buying is willing to go into the heart of the earth, I'm told, perhaps thousands of feet to get to the water. Now nobody expects the twig to do that.

The twig does not have the ability to twigs does not have the resources. One of the great lessons in the Christian life is to be able to distinguish between that which Jesus can do in that which we can do most of the times we are filled with anxiety because we're bearing upon ourselves responsibilities that fall upon the vine that you and I can do all that we can do is will see in a moment, is to abide but it is the responsibility of the vine to bear the life and to be able to energize and the nutrients in this and all that is needed for life and all that is needed for those lush grapes that does not come in the twigs. My friend that comes from the vine is a responsibility also of the vine to stay connected to the branches that we have a responsibility to to remain and to abide and will get to that in a moment, but as I see of the buying grows and out of the vine.

The branches calm then it's the connect notice that gives the energy to those twigs because eventually they are going to bear the fruit now.

If you've ever seen a vineyard. My eyes at least my untrained eyes going immediately to the grapes. I see the grapes but the simple fact is folks that often times we don't even see the connection relay between the vine and the branches just like people today where you are working in your bank and in your hospital or wherever you find yourself people don't see Jesus do they I mean Jesus is in heaven. His body is in heaven. His spirit indwells us. So he's with all of us. But Jesus himself is not seen but they see us. They see the grapes.

They see the fruit and that should lead them to the recognition that there must be of vine somewhere.

So I want you to take a second picture with your camera and that is the picture of the vine going D into the soil. That's strong vine that goes and provides everything that is needed and I mean everything for the life of those branches is going to third figure here.

That is, of course, now the believer branches and I'm going to be rereading some of the text. Here I am the vine, you are the branches.

Verse five. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can't do much with your Bible says or am I reading from the reverse division apart from the you can do nothing. What is a 20 twig essentially is a great rack. What can those twigs do. Apart from the vine, cut off from the vine absolutely nothing we've already learned that there do the casted of fire and burned because they're totally worthless.

How much can you and I do without Jesus, you say well you know without Jesus, I can do good things. Yes you can. There people who don't know Jesus at all, and they are doing good things they are doing good works, no question about it. There is a sense of compassion. There's a sense of hopefulness that can take place, and that many of us think.

But one thing you can't do without Jesus is to bear fruit that is impossible. The fruit that the father wants you see you can't manufacture fruit.

Some of you who are scientists and hear the muddy church we have more people in research than sometimes we realize when we wanted to have some information researched. We were delighted to find the number of people that are some of you bright lights who are into research. Why don't you go into laboratory sometime in the spend an afternoon will give you a whole afternoon.

Go ahead make an orange just go there and and make one say you know I mean what you say we Will why can't you. What are the ingredients.

Can't you put it together and the answer is no, you can't put it together because fruit can only be grown, it can only you see be grown in a certain context and without Jesus we cannot have one little scintilla, of the fruit of the gardener wants to see none without me ye can do nothing. What's time for us to define. I think what this fruit means the fruit you see is the expression of the inner nature. I think we call them horticulturalist's but they can walk through the forest and they can see that that tree is going to bear that kind of fruit in that tree is going to do this and have that kind of lead simply because they can look at the tree, they conceded by the bar by its shape. I can do that but you know, one time I was in Florida and I will never forget the first time I saw oranges grow on trees. Now I was born in the North. We were always told oranges grow on trees. That's where they come from, and we believe that we saw pictures of added children for the first time I saw I was. I was astounded. I said they really do grow on trees and I looked at that those oranges and I do this you have to understand this takes a keen intellect, but I do deuced the fact I said back must be an orange tree.

Yes my friend fruit is the expression of the inner nature and all of us desire that we be like Jesus Christ and if we abide in him that is to say, rest in his promises and his greatness and his power that fruit begins to manifest itself. We recognize that he's the one with the power and the ability to create fruit in our hearts when we do that we actually bear good fruit in the Bible even defines the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, and so forth. I trust today that we are growing in fruit bearing.

I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. You might not realize, but actually this ministry is in 20 different countries of the world I have in my hands a letter from someone in Nigeria. One of our listeners speaking about our program says it's a guide to the right path for me.

The messages are explained very simply for anyone to understand.

I have to tell you that that actually is high praise because my desire is that the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications be told in such a way that even young people can understand it, whether young or old, we want to minister to all, would you consider becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts.

Of course, the amount that you give every month is totally your choice and here's the way you can get some info go to RTW that's RTW and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's RTW Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 four believer women lights race means bearing fruit by abiding in Jesus the vine. The resulting fruit gladdens the heart of the father who attends his garden carefully maximize the harvest so how much fruit are you bearing how much of my bearing next time. Join us for more insights on bearing the kind of fruit that pleases Jesus this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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