Summary: I don’t know if any of you out there has given to thought to living in a place like Bubble Creek Canyon. Where only Christians live and are in harmony together. To be separated from the rest of the world and not have the worries that come from being with
“Abiding with Christ”
Introduction: I don’t know if any of you out there has given to thought to living in a place like Bubble Creek Canyon. Where only Christians live and are in harmony together. To be separated from the rest of the world and not have the worries that come from being with those of the world. I know that sometimes in our lives as Christians it would be nice to seclude ourselves from the world and just live amongst likeminded people. To live along side with those that has the same values, morals and ethics as us. To work with those who see the Lord’s gift of grace as we do.
Then I woke up. It is all but a dream. Despite the utter reality of such an absurd residence the Lord requires much more from us as believers. He requires much more than we are willing to offer to the world sometimes. In fact it can be darn right painful to follow what the Lord requires of those who love Him.
John 15 takes place again during a period of time when Jesus requires some teaching points for His disciples. His time is nearing an end with them and there is still much for them to learn. Much of the time when Jesus would have a teaching point He would use what resources were around Him and parallel that with a parable. In John 15 this is such a time. I can almost see Jesus as He walks along with the disciples they walk near a vineyard and He begins to explain things to them.
He says that:
GOD THE FATHER IS A VINEDRESSER.
JESUS IS THE TRUE VINE
BELEIVERS ARE THE BRANCHES
This relationship is important. I want you to take hold of this concept. We all know that in science class we learned that it is by the roots that a leaf draws its food to sustain itself. Jesus as the vine depicts himself as the one who nourishes the branches which is the believer. He not only says that He is a vine. He says that He is the TRUE VINE. Did you catch that? Tuck that away for a minute.
Starting in verse 9 and going through verse 15 Jesus expounds on that foundation.
THE FATHER LOVED JESUS - JESUS LOVED BELEIVERS = JOY COMPLETE
I want you to take notice of the word ABIDE this morning. If you have your Bible this morning I would like you to perform what many would say is a taboo. Circle the word ABIDE. This word ABIDE is a word that carries so much weight in chapter 15. In fact it is mentioned no less than 8 times in this chapter. Do you think this is important for us to remember?
ABIDE= Endure, Sustain, Continue, Reside Now Jesus knowing that the disciples are sharp as a tack builds upon this premise of abiding in Him.
VS. 12 This is my commandment – LOVE ONE ANOTHER. NOT= this is a suggestion. NOT = If you feel like doing it one day a week. He meant it as a commandment. Love one another. The word He uses for love works closely with abides. He wants the disciples to love each other in spite of circumstances. In spite of faults, mistakes, appearances and whatever else keeps us from loving others.
VS. 13 Then here comes the finale. The cest’ resistance = If you want to love someone, die for them. That is commitment. That describes the most certain and permanent evidence of true love for another. Jesus mentions this in hopes that the disciples will grab that idea and it would carry them through the tough times ahead. Jesus loved them, loved us enough to die for us. He did it knowing we were not loving Him back. He did it in spite of us living a life that was unworthy of such devotion.
VS. 14 You are my friends. Not slaves.
SLAVES = no relationship other than to follow instruction. Don’t really know the end result.
FRIENDS = mutual respect, admiration
If YOU follow MY commandment you are my friends.
If you ever want to see the image of what true friendship is check out the relationship between King David and Jonathon in 1 and 2 Samuel.
Their relationship stresses loyalty and steadfastness. What is the test of a true friend….adversity? But Jesus said He is our friend. When we grasp how this all works it boggles the mind. I exceed anything our hearts can stand. God loves the Son. The Son loves us. We have to love others.
But it’s hard to love people that are not living lives right with God. It is hard to love people when they persecute us for our relationship with God. It’s hard to love people that are different than us.