Summary: Series on John 15 pt. 14
ABIDING IN THE VINE V
Series on John 15 pt. 14
Most of you I am sure have heard the expression that you need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact some of you have heard it from this pulpit. But what does it mean? What exactly is the Christian saying when they use those terms? Are we saying we have a relationship with God in the way Abraham had a relationship with God? Or Moses? Or Isaiah? These men had a very close walk with God. Actually talking to God. Is that what we mean? Of course not.
I believe that in our study of John 15 we can see what it is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us realize that the phrase “personal relationship” is not found in the Bible. But that is not to say the Scripture does not reveal to us how it is that we may have a close a union with Christ. That we might have a relationship with the Lord that goes beyond just an acquaintance. A relationship that goes beyond just knowing about Christ, but knowing Christ, and what is equally important, Christ knowing you.
You see I know Jeff Burton. He is race car driver. I know he lives in NC. I know that he shares the same birthday as my wife, June 29th. I know his wife’s name, Kim, the names of his two kids, (Paige and Harrison). I know he likes to golf and fish. I know all kinds of things about Jeff Burton. But do we have a personal relationship? No. Why because Jeff does not know me.
In order to have a personal relationship with someone, you must know them, and they must know you. That is true with Christ. If you want to have personal relationship with Him, you must know Him and He must know you. That is what our passage for today talks about. And as we look at this portion of Scripture, I pray that I would give you a greater insight into what it is to have personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Let us turn to our passage for today. You have heard this passage of Scripture over and over again over the course of the last few weeks. John 15:4-5
Several weeks ago we began to take a look at these two verses of John 15, 4-5. What we saw was in order to fully understand with these verses are telling us we have to have and understanding of what “abide” meant and what Jesus means by “fruit”. So we spent some time looking at what it is to abide in Christ and also what Biblical fruit is.
So now we will continue our expository look into John 15:4-5.
Please turn with me to John 15:4-5,
"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. "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.”
What we see in vss. 4 & 5 that these two verses strengthen one another. We see from vs. 4 that branch cannot bear fruit of itself. It must abide in the vine. That is we cannot bear fruit unless we are abiding in Christ. Vs. 5 on the other hand states that when we do abide in Christ we WILL bear fruit. Then the last phrase reinforces what vs. 4 states. That we can do nothing apart from Christ.
So then branches (us) without the vine (Christ) will not bring forth fruit. But branches (us) in the vine (Christ) cannot help but to produce fruit. Kind of like a math formula. Us + Us = 0, Us + Christ =fruit.
What we see then is the test that determines if we are truly in Christ and that Christ is truly in us, is fruit. Just as 2 + 2 always = 4, us + Christ will always produce good fruit.
I want to look at the details of verse 4. Christ tells us first to “Abide in Me…” We already have discovered what the word abide means. It is the Greek word “MENO” and it means to dwell with.
Remember when you where in school and you had to take grammar. If you were like me would think to yourself how grammar was useless information. Well I finally reaches a point in my life, it took 46 years, where I actually found a use for grammar. I comes in handy when you trying to uncover the fullest sense of Scripture.
You see this phrase here, the “abide in me” is what is called an “active voice” What that tells us is that when our Lord Jesus Christ says “Abide in me” it comes with the sense of a continuing kind of action. It is not a one shot deal. We are to continue in Christ, continue to produce good fruit. The life of a Christian is not just professing faith in Christ and that’s it. The Christian life is one of continuing in Christ. The true Christian, the truth branch, will continue in Christ.