Love Never Dies, prt. 16
Wildwind Community Church
David Flowers
August 1, 2010

John 15:1-12 (NIV)
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
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.
6 If 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.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
8 This is to my Father’s 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.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

John chapter 15 opens up with Jesus saying, “I am the true vine.” This is basically a restatement of his words in John 14:6, “No one comes to the Father but by me.” As I said last week, this is the quintessentially Christian view – that there is only one God, only one Lord of Life, only one who ushers us into God’s presence, both in this world and in the next.

But Jesus brings up this vine thing not simply to reinforce this point, but rather to show us something new. The new thing he wants to teach us is about remaining. Remaining. My friends, today I want to talk to you about remaining in God, which I’m convinced is absolutely the hardest thing for us to do. So hard that we can often only remain in God for a few seconds, or maybe a few minutes, at a time.

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” I told you last week that the statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father but by me” is probably one of the most important verses in all of Christian theology, and it is. And it should be. But this verse you hear much less about, and it is no less important. In fact it’s far more important to the way we actually live. Our understanding of “No one comes to the Father but by me” is critical for how we think about God and see God and his work in the world. It shows us the scope of God’s saving power, and points to the absolute transcendence of Christ. But our understanding of “Remain in me and I will remain in you” is critical for how we actually live in relationship to God moment by moment. It shows us that not only is Christ’s saving