Summary: Bearing fruit is not an option it is imperative. Not just to bear fruit but to bear more fruit, much fruit and fruit that remains.
Bearing fruit John 15:1 – 16.
Jesus uses fruit is an analogy several times.
Israel was very agriculturist culture so the picture was easily understood.
In Matthew 7 Jesus says “We are known by the fruit we produce”.
Good fruit comes from good trees.
Bad fruit comes from bad trees.
Jesus also mentions that sometimes we run into a problem when harvesting certain fruit. “Thorns”
I’m sure all of you desire to be productive fruit bearing branches but I’m also sure that all of us have had a few thorns and thistles along the way.
Today I want to share with you Jesus principle and command about bearing fruit.
Jesus is using the grapevine and the sweet, multipurpose fruit of grapes as an illustration.
Notice the progression of fruitfulness – not fruitiness – not fruitlessness.
Too many Christians are going wrong direction!
We are to start, build, and grow.
Not start and stop Not start and stay Not start and park
Not start and retire early.
We are to bear fruit, more fruit, much fruit and fruit that remains.
There are 4 levels of fruit bearing.
Which one of these are you?
Which one of these do you want to be?
Which one does God want you to be?
John 15:1 – 16
1) Bear fruit. (2)
This is not really an option – you going to bear some type of fruit – it’s just a question of which type.
Good fruit or bad fruit.
Notice that Jesus commands us to bear fruit not just feed off the vine.
We are not to bear bitter fruit!
We are not to be fake fruit (like table decorations)!
We are not to be vegetables!
Most vegetables have to be cooked – most fruit or ready-to-eat right off of the vine and are sweet once they are ripened.
Cooking fruit makes it softer and easier to digest.
What type of fruit are we to bear?
Is it the fruit of the spirit?
(Galatians 5:22 – 23) love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
(Ephesians 5:9) goodness, righteousness, and truth.
Yes to all!
Jesus also describes acceptable fruit in this passage.
Fruit of righteousness (clean) (3)
Fruit of joy (11)
Fruit of love (12)
Fruit of obedience (14)
Bearing fruit is a supernatural life – being fruitful is a Spirit filled life.
Fruit does not always come at once.
You are not the vine – you are the branch.
Leaf – shoots – fruit a maturing process is required to bear fruit.
Bearing the basic fruits may get you by but will likely leave you less than completely satisfied.
None the less we are commanded to bear fruit.
2) Bearing more fruit. (2)
This goes beyond mediocrity – just getting by.
(3) “You’re already clean because the word.”
The indwelling Holy Spirit can help us to get rid of self.
The Holy Spirit cleans houses and hearts – resulting in more fruit.
Another method that Jesus mentions for allowing us to bear more fruit is by pruning (discipline).
The word airei used here means to cut off and take away but also means to lift up.
It can also apply to cutting back or cleaning out uselessness (worldliness and flesh).
Pruning does not always include just withered limbs but sometimes what may appear to be good limbs so that better and stronger limbs may allow sweeter and more fruit to be produced.
The shaping of the Limb and trimming of the leaves can allow the fullness of the sun (Son) to feed and nurture the vine.
2 Types of discipline.
a. Self-discipline – to control ourselves.
What we deny in and of the flesh.
Production is often reduced because of “self”.
We are not on our own agendas!
Not all branches will produce the same fruit, however all branches are commanded to bear fruit, and not just the minimum.
Discipline may require some self-sacrifice on our part.
b. God’s discipline – to correct.
God (the vine dresser) (1) keeps a close eye on the crops.
He sends the rain, provides the sun, and supplies the nutrients necessary.
An unproductive branch gets “taken away” – “destroyed”.
(Hebrews 12:5 – 7) 3 forms of discipline.
1. Rebuke – this is by the word.
2. Chastening – this is by conviction.
3. Scourge – this is by action (real consequences).
Each worse than the other.
I’m sure that none of us look forward to discipline – ours (self) or Gods.
However, some branches need to be pruned in order to produce more fruit.
Are you willing to take the next step in fruit bearing and bear more fruit?
It may require discipline (self-sacrifice) and may even require some pruning!
3. Bearing much fruit (5, 8)
The greater the level of productivity (fruit bearing) the greater the level of obedience and commitment are required.