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1085. Abiding in Christ by the Vine-Keeper’s Care

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
September 24, 2021 7:00 pm

1085. Abiding in Christ by the Vine-Keeper’s Care

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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September 24, 2021 7:00 pm

Dr. Stephen Hankins begins a Seminary Chapel series entitled “Abiding in Christ,” which is a series studying John 15. His message is titled “Abiding in Christ by the Vine-Keeper’s Care,” from John 15:1.

The post 1085. Abiding in Christ by the Vine-Keeper’s Care appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform beginning a new study series from seminary chapel called abiding in Christ, which is a study from John 15 today speaker is seminary professor, Dr. Steven Hankins wants her heart encouraged and strengthened.

I direct you to a book by W. And Douglas Andrew Murray one of God's choice saints, which gives you the full story and details of how this chapter works out these 16 verses worked out in the life of one man and he is not standalone. You can think of the names of other towering serving saints through the centuries of the church that certainly were like this and are compelling in their nature and in their character as servants of God. I was we look at this passage of Scripture were looking at a passage as part of the upper room discourse given by the Lord Jesus Christ right near the end of his his earthly ministry.

The this the Passover had been celebrated in chapter 13, he had washed the disciples feet. He had given instruction about the relationship of disciples. The disciples and disciples to the world as well. We see that in chapters 14 through 16 and 17. He offers this unparalleled high priestly prayer and then an 18 E. to Gethsemane is arrested is tried before the Sanhedrin before Pilate before Herod and then beaten and then crucified. This is a very intense and climactic time in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the thrust of this last of Jesus parables presented for us here. I think can be summed up in three strong urgent words bear more fruit bear more fruit. This this statement just shouts at us in the general words of our Savior. As you read through these 16 verses bear more fruit by abiding in Christ through the help of the vine keeper in his care in of the New Testament unfolds for us beyond this passage of Scripture.

The nature and the character of fruit in the believer's life experience. It's described as transformed character in Galatians 522 and 23 through the spirit we see you described also as praise and thanksgiving because this is described as the fruit of our lips offered under the Lord in Hebrews chapter 13 verse 15 in our good works. Every good work. When done the right motivation, according to Colossians 110 is fruit offered under God for his glory.

Even monetary giving as was true of the Gentile churches that gave the healthy, poor and stress believers in Jerusalem is described as fruit from them in the Scriptures in Romans 1628 and of course the results of evangelism is the Lord Jesus presented it that the reaping of the harvest is fruit that we produce wheat we gain, we harvest as a result of reaching out to people who don't know Christ. Now in the first three verses of this chapter, which is is introducing the rest of what's gonna follow the messages that come I think there is a a simple but divine and dynamic process compactly presented for us about how to fulfill this command of bear more fruit and I want to include with each of the components of this process. What I think is implied here about what our response is to be in each one of those components of this divine process that's presented now this is fruit bearing is a divine and a dynamically divine process according to what this text of Scripture says to us on the true vine, and my father is the husband and so since it is a divine process the right place to begin with is God in our response to God's involvement in this process is to be confident in God's work in you to bear fruit deeply complex, hard to arrive at antigenically know beautifully it's incredibly straightforward on divine the father is the vine keeper.

The father works in us to bear fruit.

Be confident about this. The text says my father is the husband and he is the vine keeper.

He is your vine keeper. He is your husband meant. Think of this Romans 836 for him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory for ever.

Amen Paul put it this way in second Corinthians 47 when he said that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. The surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not in an and not of us is Philippians 213, but it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure. He is the vine dresser. He's telling the ground okay around your life by providence and by his kindness. He supplanted the vine the Lord Jesus Christ and his great incarnation work in his abiding intercessory work for us. He treats us as branches on the vine.

He cares for us. He has grafted us all into the vine that we can be.

Fruit bearing and that remarkable process. Naturally, as occurred in our lives spiritually when you graph the branch in the fibers of that grafting actually grow right into the existing vine and those of the vine right into the branch and they become one that's happened to us in the vine dresser.

The Scriptures tell us prunes the vine dealing with the old-growth. The overgrowth I want to be encouraged about something this morning. Today every morning. Remind yourself of this of God's constant attention to you. Listen to the words of Psalm 40 verse five. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou was done and by thoughts which are to us word, they cannot be reckoned unto thee in order, unto the if I would declare and speak of them. They are more than can be numbered in this at the last time that stated in the Psalms in Psalm 139, 17 and 18. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me oh Lord, oh God, how great is the sum of them if I should count them there more in number than the sand when I awake I am still with C. You know what God is totally preoccupied with you. God thinks more about you and more often about you and more deeply and thoroughly about your life than you think and think about often you think about yourself if forever the moment you have a sense of despairing and wondering in the house as you often see stated in the Psalms.

Oh God, why do you turn your face from a one of you forsaken me that why why am I left to myself listen be re-assured that God is as invested in you as God can possibly be in every way and that is not going to stop. It's interesting that this text also turns her attention to the son, who is the vine the divine vine. Jesus began the statement, the parable with I am the true vine is the living vine at the right hand of the father and the one who by faith is dwelling in our hearts and our minds. He is the one that's full of grace and truth. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory is the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth and of his grace we have received an grace upon grace and that's to be our life as second Corinthians 98 says God is able to make all grace abound of you that ye, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work.

He is the one who is the source of grace by his great merits and works for us and he dwells in our hearts by faith. What is that mean that means by faith not by sight.

He is on our mind. He is present in every decision he is the object of all of our affections is by faith we reckon on the reality of his presence and his existence for us as the great grace filled one who wishes to empower us that we may be fruit bearing people. But don't stop there. The spirit is present in us for for Barrett so would Dr. Hankins where is that in this short three verses.

I don't see a mention of the spirit, though it's invisible like the spirits invisible but it is it is in fact here it is in fact right in the text, the Lord Jesus more fully than anywhere else in his teaching in the New Testament in the 14th chapter just proceeding in the supper of discourse unfolds the reality of the coming the present indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer and just following this instruction as well. In chapter 15.

Again he turns attention back to the promise of the coming of the Spirit to indwell the spirit is called the great comforter. The urge or the sporadically toss. He is the spirit of truth, he is the spirit who will indwell them. I want to suggest to you that where there's mention of Christ, the vine and we the branches. There is that life that is flowing from one to the other as you read to the pages of the New Testament. You have to conclude by the indwelling of the spirit. What we're experiencing is that life flowing through the vine Christ to us, and that life flowing into the branches and helping us bear fruit, and I'm only using the language here in the analogy here of the parable. I mean no earthly disregard to the spirit as to calling him sap but let me put it that way. This is the life-giving fluid.

He is by which we bear fruit, and to what end.

Again, well, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man as Ephesians 316 says, to be strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power as Colossians 111 teaches us or according to the power that worketh in us, he will do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to Ephesians 320.

This is the power of the rapture of the resurrection of Paul so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection in Philippians 310.

This is what Paul prayed about for the Ephesian believers in 118 when he said that they may know the surpassing greatness of the power toward us who believe in women. This is our birthright as believing people as God is in us by his Holy Spirit. An unparalleled inconceivable guest and reality to make us human beings that are other than entirely other than other human beings.

And why what in we may bear much fruit. Look at verse two and says you'll notice there. Every branch in me that there is not fruit he taketh away. Every branch that Meredith fruit the end of the verse bring forth more fruit. Look at verse five. The same bring forth much fruit and verse 16 fruit that remains that is durable and of great value in its nature. This is the end to which the spirits work is operating in us men and women that we may see fruit born of every kind in our life and our experience fruit more fruit much fruit and fruit that will remain Chanel.

We have to be confident that God is working in us, what shall we say that if God be for us who will be against us. Kiva delivered up his own son for us, how shall he not also freely give us all things through him. This is the promise of God read Romans 831 32 to the conclusion of the chapter is a commitment of God so when the confidence flags when you wonder recognize the nature of God's commitment to you. Let your confidence soar and be strengthened by this and those weak moments in those moments when your joy, flags, and in your overwhelmed your feeling weak and tired all the other things that happen to us in the vicissitudes of life you know is wearing in that in the working in the labor just know something, there's one person with whom and for whom there is no variation in his thoughts and his spirit in his attitude toward you. You are his, and he will work in you know we have to be clear about something as a second major component of your very clear and that is that there are two possible outcomes in fruit bearing presented in these opening verses, particularly in verse two and are choosing daily is absolutely critical. We are responsible and what we see in verse two is talking about believers not say people and unsaved people. If you look at verse two every branch in me that bear is not fruit and then later in the verse.

Every branch that bear fruit in me is the location.

There are two choice there to opposite outcomes here either a life of abundant health and freshness and fruit bearing or a life of incineration and a life of terrible scorching and waste as we are burned up and will talk about this. I want us to look first at the undesirable outcome, no fruit, resulting in removal is one outcome. Every branch in me that bear is not fruit he taketh away.

This presents an abnormal and undesirable case for the believer. I want to suggest to you that we have an allusion to this very thing. Very probably in Matthew 1322 where the Lord Jesus presented the parable of the soils in the sewer of the sea and he said he also that received seed among thorns is he that hears the word and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he become if unfruitful.

There's a plant there there seed sown in a plant that grew up but there is an unfruitful us. Let me suggest to first Corinthians 314 Paul addressed the Corinthian believers and said and I brethren could not speak unto you as under spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ fleshly and immature and essentially unproductive, which is certainly the nature you know of little infants, and certainly the nature of a fleshly or carnal believer in a very chapter later in the chapter and verses 11 through 15 believers have their works that are performed for the wrong motive or the right motive assessed or examined at the bema seat of Christ and those words done with the wrong motive or in a very poor quality are called wood hay and stubble and God in his purifying fire at the bema incinerates and vaporizes those they are gone. In one sense that's a positive thing in that it relieves the believer forever of the burden of those unfortunately low-quality produced works or works produced with the wrong motive as he enters into eternity.

But there is a loss.

The text says listen to the verse. It climaxes the section of verse 15 if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. This is God's supernatural ability to refine at that point in eternity as were entering into our service and rest with the Lord for eternity. But what we are talking in this text about is not in eternal life that we are talking about a temporal current life events that sobering is in it. As you look at this passage you look at verse six. There's even a fuller description of this given if a man abide not in me is cast forth as a branch and is withered and men gather them, and cast them into fire and they are burned. Just is not talking about eternal salvation, but this is talking about enduring profitability of the fruit that is born in the life of the believing purpose person I have Tessa's question is what Jesus is describing in both these cases.

In verse two and six something permanent or temporary in the Christian life and experience. Can there be a kind of removing of the unproductive branch for a period of time and then a restoration or is this a once for all thing that happens to a believer. That's an important question answer I want answered by saying this from Psalm 103 are God crowns your life with lovingkindness and tender mercies, he forgives all of your transgression. He heals all of your diseases, he will deliver your life from the pit, he will renew you as the Eagles feathers. He will separate your sins as far as the east is from the West and he will make your life permanently valuable say something about our God our father.

He is one of abundant lovingkindness, endless mercy, full forgiveness and very slow to anger that is repeated over and over and over again in the Bible your father who is God is not quick-tempered is not rash is not sudden to cut you off and deliver you to a place of useful uselessness, but our father does reprove and discipline us.

Hebrews 12 says that Revelation 2 and three. Those chapters in letters to the churches encourage us about this and warned us about this and you know what I construe from those text I have to construe this. There are limits to God's patience look at Israel. Look what happened. There is a line that can be crossed and it's better not to get close to it. Men, women. I watch pastors and evangelists and missionaries to send into non-productivity and I've often wondered why did that happen a series of bad life choices. I don't know. I watch others suddenly see their life move from abundant fruitfulness to no fruit I'm holding in my handbook that has an inscription on it. The first book in Pridgen ever received preaching and preachers was given to me by my pastor. After I served an internship just before I came to seminary or Bob Jones to Stephen appreciation for your ministry and fellowship. The summer preached the word and then his name is signed.

Six months later, the youth pastor, with whom I serve that internship made a trip to Greenville and spoke to me about the fact that my pastor made a horrible decision and a moral failure, and essentially removed himself from incredible fruitfulness in the church of nearly 2000 people.

The place of little usefulness of fruitfulness in time over a period of years, I can recount other instances like this front-page article in the Charlotte Observer that appeared about a pastor of a large, very impactful church pastor resigned with admission that he plagiarized an overnight he lost his ministry. The first ministry I served and is an associate pastor on the weekend as a faculty member. Here I was there six months, as associate pastor, a letter appeared on the desk of the pastor in a study that he had resigned the ministry and God look for employment in Florida. He had been engaged in an immoral relationship with the wife of the administrator of the Christian God wonderfully rescue that ministry and protected at ministry and it thrives to this day, but that man that man lost his productivity and his fruitfulness. Now those are sobering things but there's another positive response. Another positive choice here and that is fruit resulting in purging and more fruit than this is an incredibly important process. Notice the word purging there in that verse. It says he birth fruit he purchased it, that it may bring forth more fruit and other contacts. That term is the word to clans or cleanses. But in a kind of agrarian context like this talking about buying drinking would be pruning the vines it's cutting back previous growth old-growth that there can be new growth, fresh growth. It's cutting back on fruitful branches. It's removing disease branches or infested branches with insects, it's getting rid of all gross so there can be new growth. Sometimes there does need to be that Emily was lives new growth in an area means of ministry. A new focus in a particular area of spiritual life or new development and use of your gifts and what's wonderful about that word purchased is it's a present active indicative, and there is enough people here understand what I mean when I say that you can rejoice in it, and for everybody. It means the action is ongoing. It's continual.

It's something God is doing all the time in the life of the believer is appropriately in a properly choosing to be a person who will bear more fruit. God is at work in you for his glory and he uses the instrument of what his word.

Jesus is not your claim to the word which I have spoken unto you. You are already clean through the work disciples. You've experienced this already. You know my experience what I'm talking about, and he's underscoring in bold printing that this process is going to go on continually is the word Jesus said in Matthew 44 every word meant to live by everywhere, the proceeded out of the mouth of God is the word John 663 that's the instrument, the words that I given you, they are spirit and they are life is the word that is with you and with unveiled face beholding as in a glass. We are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, and in a context that is incredibly important in Hebrews 4 of verse that you can quote from from Hebrews 4 and verse 12 where the Bible says of itself that it is like a two edge sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the joints on the morrow in the soul and spirit is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart. You know where that appears that appears right after a long discussion of belief and unbelief. Failure to obey and obeying entering into the true rest of faith with God in service or failing, and then it says it's the word that will show you revealed to you revealed to the one who knows all things and sees all things, and there was the climax of the chapter. Let us therefore come boldly under the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. We come to God and ask that the word will open our eyes open our minds now.

Up to this point and one of them talking about, there's been a basic assumption is a huge assumption that assumption that you are a branch abiding in the vine, you know, in the verses that follow. Abiding is mentioned seven times and now at the very beginning of verse four. It's brought forward abide in me and I in you without it there is no fruit.

With it, there is much fruit bearing. It means complete dependence. It means confident trust. It means intense focus. It means submissive obedience. This is abiding in him for about an fruitfulness.

Let me say this in an ongoing a few minutes over your thank you for your patience. But every man or woman starting a ministry desires. This hopes for this and here is the assurance way of faith that I can be a reality for you for his glory, you bear more fruit you been listening to a message preached in seminary chapel by Dr. Steven Hankins join us again next week as we continue this series on The Daily Platform

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