Our Relationship With Other Believers


Living in the Vine, Part 2

We all long for true community and connection with friends.  Living in the vine means loving other believers in the specific ways Jesus commanded and modeled.  This Sunday you will learn these ways and begin seeing your relationships flourish.

Living In The Vine

Part 2 – Our Relationship With Other Believers

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – May 7th, 2017

 

Intro:

  • 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.  The Vine provides life, the Vinedresser promotes life, the Branch produces life.
  • 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.

 

John 15:12-17 ESV

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.  14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.  15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

 

  • This is love between believers – this is what true friendship is all about. This is what communion, connection and community is all about.  This is how the people in churches should relate to one another.  This is the culture we want to have at Mosaic.

 

Jesus commanded us to love each other.  So, what specifically does this look like?  How are we to love each other?  What kind of love are we to show each other?

 

Lay down your life love

 

John 15:12-13 ESV

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. 

 

  • Jesus taught us that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is the love that we are to show to everyone in the world – the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated.  With everyone in the world, we need to ask ourselves, how would I like to be treated?  And then treat people that way.  The standard for this kind of love is ourselves, which is basic human dignity with basic human decency . . .
  • Now when it comes to the love that believers are to have for one another, Jesus said “love one another as I have loved you” – giving himself as the standard – which raises the standard and the level of sacrifice to a much higher plane. This kind of love is the “laying down your life love” which is different than the “love your neighbor as yourself” love.  Our love for each other must be at a higher standard than our love for the world in general.
  • Lay down your life love, lays down our agenda . . . our time . . . our energy . . . our money . . . our stuff . . . our location . . . our access . . . our body . . . this is how we are to love each other, this is true community, this is true friendship. This is what we all want and desire.  This is what enhances and gives meaning and significance and real satisfaction in our lives. I love my neighbors, but I don’t love them in the same way I am to love my brothers and sisters.

 

Do what you’re told love

 

John 15:14 ESV

You are my friends if you do what I command you. 

 

  • We are friends of Jesus if we do what he tells us to do. . . . row across the lake . . . go out two by two . . . go get a donkey . . . love your enemies . . . go into all the world . . .
  • And we are friends of each other if we do what we are told to do. Example of a mission trip . . . example of this church . . . example of my house . . . example of my friendships . . . (on time) example of my marriage . . .

 

Share what you know love

 

John 15:15 ESV

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 

 

  • Servants know what to do, friends know what we are doing. Servants know what, friends know why.  (Example of moving . . .).  We are to love each other by sharing our plans, our hopes, our dreams, our heart, our souls, not just what we are doing, but why we are doing it . . . We also share what we know with each other . . . if we are to love each other as Jesus commanded us to, we must share what we know, not holding back info.  If you want to be connected you must be vulnerable . . . there is a direct correlation between the depth and quality of your relationship and depth and quality of your vulnerability.

 

Bear fruit that will last love

 

John 15:16-ESV

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 

 

  • Jesus chose you . . . we did not nor can we initiate the relationship, he first chose us and then we have a choice in our response. He chooses you (which gives our life great value, importance and significance) and this was more than to fill places around his table in heaven, or give you your “best life yet” he chose you to “go and bear fruit” – this is how we are to live and how we are to love each other.  And in each other, fruit that will last, a significant deposit that will remain with the person for eternity . . .
  • If your goal is to bear fruit that will last, then pray that way and God will grant that to you. Think and pray, God what can I do to bear fruit that will last in this relationship, in this church and watch how God answers that prayer.

 

Conclusion

 

John 15:17 ESV

These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

 

  • Lay down your life love
  • Do what you’re told love
  • Share what you know love
  • Bear fruit that will last love
  • Please, for the love of Jesus and each other, do these things. We must be doing these things.

 

Questions for the ride home:

  1. What did you learn from today’s message that connected with you?
  2. What area(s) in your life do you need to work on to love like this?
  3. Pray by asking God to forgive you where you have failed to love like this and to give you what you need to love other believers in these ways.