Jesus and Friends Part 3
Download MS Word File
1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (cf Jn 14:20 abide & obey; Isa 5:7, 24 fruit= justice & righteousness)
A. The purpose of viniculture is to yield fruit that benefits the owner. The purpose of a Christian is to yield fruit that benefits and ultimately glorifies God. A disciple glorifies God by making Him look good in the eyes of others, through good works and showing that He is worthy of our unreserved heart-mind-body-soul obedience. Thus we attribute worth to Him. There are no idols, nor competitors.
B. We help Him be seen by sharing with others what He did in our life when we became believers, and what He’s been doing since.
C. We live in risky dependence upon Him so He is seen as He intervenes in answering our prayers and providing for our needs.
D. We develop Christlike character and love other believers as Christ modeled love, so that He is seen reflected in us.
E. We live so as to lay up treasure in heaven, so that when Christ rewards our faithfulness with glory, more of His infinite glory is revealed.
F. We obey the Great Commission to make obedient disciples so that the above means are multiplied.
G. We fulfill the purpose for which we were created and continue to exist; No retreat; No excuses.
Q1. What did you do this week to intentionally glorify God? How are you fulfilling the purpose for which He created you?
2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
A. Take away = lifting up (out of the dirt and dark into the light); setting free from sin as a result of obeying the truth (1Pt 1:22 below)
B. Pruning = clipping away showy yet unproductive leaves so that energy goes into developing deeper roots to support growth of fruit.
C. The Word of God shows us what to value and do, and what to devalue and prune out our lives, setting us free to bear fruit.
Q2. What activities or values in our lives don’t contribute directly to our purpose of glorifying God through making disciples?
4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
A. Those who draw their motivation and nourishment from Christ will manifest ever increasing: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23) and receive eternal reward.
B. Those who drawn their motivation and nourishment from the world will eventually manifest: hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, drunkenness, revelries, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, murders and forfeit their eternal reward (Gal 5:19-21)
C. We need to exercise both personal discipline and dependence in each and every area of our life to be fruitful.
Q3. Will your life bear abundant reproductive fruit for your Lord, or result in a heap of worthless ashes? What causes the difference?
7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
A. The abiding Christian life (God’s word controlling our feelings and actions) is marked by dependence and a fruitful prayer life.
B. Much fruit, the abundant manifestation of Christ’s character and other-centered actions, is God’s purpose in creating us for His glory.
Q4. Where are you on the spectrum of no fruit, fruit, more fruit, much fruit? What do YOU have to change to progress?
9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have 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 remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
1Pe 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
A. Satan’s oldest lie that many still fall for is that God isn’t concerned about our happiness, joy, desires and delight.
B. The path to happiness is holiness, to exaltation...submission, to freedom...obedience, to life...death.
C. Love is loyally doing what is in another’s best interest, at the expense of yourselves.
Q5. Why do we need obedience in order to manifest Christ’s kind of love?
Q6. If your joy meter is not on full, why not? Either God isn’t doing His job, or you aren’t doing yours.