Summary: Series on John 15 pt. 8
ABIDING IN THE VINE III
Series on John 15 pt. 8
Many of you I am sure of footage for the 1958 Disney nature documentary White Wilderness, that shows lemmings into jumping off a cliff and into the sea. It has given rise to the believe that lemmings are stupid animals that will follow each other off cliffs, jumping to their deaths. This is also that basis of belief that lemmings commit suicide en masse when their numbers grow too large.
Disney’s White Wilderness was actually filmed in Alberta, Canada, which is not a native habitat for lemmings. Lemmings were imported for use in the film, purchased from Inuit children by the filmmakers. The Arctic rodents were placed on a snow-covered turntable and filmed from various angles to produce a "migration" sequence; afterwards, the helpless creatures were transported to a cliff overlooking a river and herded into the water. White Wilderness does not depict an actual lemming migration — at no time are more than a few dozen lemmings ever shown on the screen at once. The entire sequence was faked using a handful of lemmings deceptively photographed to create the illusion of a large herd of migrating creatures.
Now you know the rest the of the story.
The reason I bring that up is because that while it may be an insult to be called a lemming, insinuating that you will follow blindly, we all in fact follow someone, or some idea, or philosophy. I would further say that we all follow some sort of god. While I would hope you follow the living a true God, the God of the Bible, many folks follow gods that they in fact have created. Even the atheists follows a god. Webster’s defines a god as “the supreme or ultimate reality.” So for the atheist that “supreme or ultimate reality” is themselves. They have made themselves gods of their little worlds.
The point is we all follow something or someone. I will further put forth that to follow is closely associated with abide. Remember to abide means to “dwell with”, or “to remain”. So to follow someone, or some idea, or philosophy, is to abide by that person or thought. To remain in it. We see that they are closely related and in some ways are in fact the same.
We have looking at what it is to abide in Christ as we work our way through John 15, were the main teaching there is that we must abide in Christ. The verse under consideration is John 15:4 “"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.”
We have been looking at some practical ways that we can abide in Christ, ways that can be applied to our lives. Thus far we have seen that to abide in Christ is to bear fruit in our lives, to abide in Christ is to abide in the love of God, to abide in Christ is to obey. Last week we saw that to abide in Christ is to love one another, and to abide in Christ, and show that Christ abides in us, we are to profess that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God, and our Lord and Saviour.
Let us turn to the passage of Scripture that we will begin to examine today as we continue to look at how we are to abide in Christ. Practical things for us to apply to our lives.
Please turn with me to 1 John 2:4-6. That is page 1054 in your pew Bibles. We will be focusing on verse 6 but I want to set up the context of the passage so we will be reading verses 4-5 as well;
“He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
Here I believe we can see the nuts and bolts of what it is to abide in Christ. Specifically in verse 6, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
Before we look at verse 6 I want us to look at vss 4-5 very briefly to set up our understanding of verse 6.
Verse 4 is what I call the liar, liar, pants on fire verse. This is a pretty straight forward verse. A person cannot say “I know Christ”. But not do what He says. I believe this goes back to what we said a couple of weeks ago, you cannot say Christ is your Saviour and not have Him as your Lord. Because to know Christ, to truly know Christ, is to love Him as Saviour and obey Him as Lord.