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Summary: Evangelism, discipleship, winning the lost

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John 15:1-9 June 6, 2010


I have a really difficult question I want to ask you this morning. And it’s not one of those rhetorical ones, but one I would really like you to consider deeply. Here it is…

“Can you become a Christian and have no desire to share your faith?”

Can you make a commitment to be a disciple of Jesus and have no real desire to reproduce other disciples of Jesus?

I ask this question honestly because I know each and every one of us have different personalities and gifts. I know some of us are extroverts and find talking with people and sharing ourselves with people an easy thing, while others of us are much more shy and introverted and the thought of speaking to people creates a fear beyond explanation.

I mean it’s an important question, is it not? And the answer is not so simple, but it’s really important.

Jesus begins our text: “I Am the true vine and my father is the gardner. He cuts off every branch on me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Disciples relate to Jesus as a branch relates to a vine. Without the vine the branches are useless…without Jesus disciples have no power to serve Him or to bear fruit.

Here’s what Jesus seems to be saying here in answer to our question: “The church is composed of people bound to Christ in faith for the purpose of bearing fruit for him.”

God intends for his children to reproduce other disciples and it’s only possible for believers who live in constant prayerful relationship to His son. It doesn’t give an exemption to the shy or a special emphasis to the bold. It even emphasizes that God the gardner will prune and shape each branch individually so that they will be capable of producing the most fruit possible.

Here’s the most important concept of John 15…Branches exist to produce fruit. Disciples of Jesus exist to make more disciples.

And our text begins by letting us know.

I. Jesus Christ Is the Source of This Power

When we examine the early church we see all kinds of personalities:

Peter, the bold, speak-his-mind extrovert; Paul, the driven type, an educated Pharisee; John the beloved compassionate, prayerful leader; Barnabas the encourager who did not mind being second; Aquila and Priscilla a discipling couple gently teaching others the way; Lydia a successful woman reaching her family; Philip called “The Evangelist.”

What they all had in common was a real connection to the vine. Different in personalities, but absolutely focused on a singular purpose…”Go and make disciples.”

Each of them understood who they were and why they existed. They were branches that existed to bear fruit…and the power for them to do this was only possible because they had been miraculously connected to the Vine.

It is imperative that we understand that when Jesus calls us to salvation He is also calling us to be conduits of that salvation for those people who are part of our lives. It’s no coincidence that the Philippian jailer immediately leads his family to salvation, and Cornelius introduces his whole household to God’s grace in Acts 10, or that the Samaritan woman runs back to her town to introduce her community to the Messiah.

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