Sermon:
JESUS IS THE VINE - WE ARE THE BRANCHES
John 15:5-12 - November 10, 2002

JOHN 15:5-12
5"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. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Fatherís glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Fatherís commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

When we think of the "Old West," we think of many things associated with the "Old West"--gunfights, sheriffs, posses and bounty hunters. The posses and bounty hunters often were looking for criminals who had a reward on their heads. There were criminals wanted "dead or alive," dead or alive depending on how evil and wicked society had considered these criminals to be.
In a sense we were like criminals in that a bounty was on our head, that we were dead in sin; but the Lord wanted us alive. The price or the bounty, of course, was Godís Son. God set His own bounty, and then God paid His own price so that we who were dead are now alive; because the Lord wanted us not dead but alive. Paul writes to the Colossians: "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins"(COLOSSIANS 2:13). That is the heart of this section of Scripture. (In Chapter 15--the Vine and the branches-- we are going to take just the middles verses.) The fact is that we are made alive, we who once were dead. So we want to look at the fact that Jesus reminds us of today, "He is the Vine, and we are the branches":

I. We are dead without Jesus
II. We are alive in Jesusí love

I. We are dead without Jesus
The Lord Jesus comes to His disciples and speaks to them. He uses very simple language that anybody can understand--about plants, the vine, and the branches. Our text began, "I am the Vine; you are branches." Certainly the disciples understood that the vine was the main source of nutrition and growth and even life of the branches. The branches could not survive without the vine. Jesus said, "I am the Vine; you are branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit." Of course, during the time of Jesus the vine that they very often thought of was the grapevine. The grapevine took years of cultivation and careful nurturing for it to produce any fruit. It