Living in the Vine, Part 1
Relationships – This is what life is really all about, and we want to make sure we get them right. Each of us as Christians have three primary relationships: our relationship with God, our relationship with one another and our relationship with the world around us. As His followers, Jesus told us what each of these relationships must be like in our lives. This week, we will look at the relationship between God and us as we start our new series “living in the vine”.
Living In The Vine
Part 1 – Our Relationship With Christ
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – April 30th, 2017
- Overarching context of John 15 – The vast majority of the 3 ministry years of Jesus’ life had taken place . . . this chapter was written during the last week of Jesus’ life where he was spending the majority of his time with the twelve. This chapter and these teachings happened around the time of the last supper right before the trial and crucifixion.
- Overview of John 15 – In John Chapter 15 Jesus is talking with His disciples about our three primary relationships. Our relationship with the trinity, our relationships with other believers, and our relationship with the world. These teaching are very, very important.
- Outline of John 15 – Verses 1-11 deal with the believer’s relationship with Christ. The key term in this section of the chapter is abide; used ten times in these eleven verses, it emphasizes union.
- Verses 12-17 focus on the believer’s relationship with other believers. Love is the key word in this section, used four times in the six verses; the emphasis here is on communion.
- Verses 18-27 highlight the believer’s relationship with the world. The key word is hate, used eight times in just ten verses. The emphasis of this last section is on disunion.
- Observations about today’s passage John 15:1-11 – This entire passage is for believers only. Jesus is talking intimately with His disciples, not the multitudes. His words are aimed at those who have already established a relationship with Him.
- The verses revolve around a metaphor. The visual picture is of the vine and branches tells us that the central idea is vital union. A vineyard was a very familiar image to the Jews (old testament teaching; Ps., Isa, Jer. Ezek, Hos.) Isa. 5:7 “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His delightful plant”, on the currency, gates of the temple, agriculturally all around them.
- The main subject is abiding. Jesus uses the image of fruit, not that of a seed taking root. The thrust of His teaching, is not on becoming a Christian but on becoming a fruitful, productive Christian.
- The result of abiding is fruit bearing. In scanning this passage, you will see places where the word fruit is used: “Does not bear fruit” (v2a) “bears fruit” (v.2b) “bear more fruit” (v2c) “cannot bear fruit of itself” (v4) “bears much fruit” (v5) “bear much fruit” (v8) Fruit dominates this
John 15:1-11 ESV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
The role of the vine is to provide life
- John 6:48 ESV I am the bread of life. John 11:25 ESV I am the resurrection and the life. John 14:6-7 ESV “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- Apart from him you can do nothing
- You cannot bear any good fruit on your own
- True vine vs. wild vine (Isa 5)
Isa 5:7 HCSB He looked for justice but saw injustice, for righteousness, but heard cries of wretchedness.
Gal 5:19-23 ESV Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The role of the vinedresser is to promote life
- The abundant fruit producing person does so by careful, intentional, consistent pruning by the father. Pruning is the only way to produce the best fruit.
- Things that produce no fruit he cuts off (if he does not, it could kill the whole thing), things in our life that produce some fruit, he prunes to make more of it. We become smaller so our fruit becomes bigger.
- He prunes us by his Spirit – who is the helper, who teaches us all things, who reminds us of what Jesus said to us (Jn 14:26), who convicts us of sin (Jn 16:8) who empowers us in service (Act 1:8)
The role of the branch is to produce life
- Jesus is looking for the fruit of his life in us
- There are two activities of the believer: the active responsibility of abiding – our position (v4) and the passive response of bearing fruit, our production (v5) If you abide you will produce.
- Abiding is keeping his commandments (v10) and in keeping his commandments you will produce good fruit, fruit that will last (v16 – next week)
- Having this fruit does a number of things:
- Empowers our prayers (v7) – we in Him and His words in us
- God is glorified when He produces fruit in us (v8) these are the things that God produces
- Proves we are disciples (v8) this is the only true way we know if someone is a Christian . .
- Gives us his full joy in us (v11)
- Make sure you are in the true vine
- Make sure you are obeying his commands
- Make sure you are submitting to the pruning of the father
- Ask God for a more fruitful and joy filled life
Questions for the ride home:
- What did you learn today from the teaching on the vine and the branches?
- What do you need to be doing to abide in the true vine?
- Where area(s) in your life need to be pruned by the Father?