Summary: Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

I.“Abide in Me”—Experience Life (verses 1-8)

verse 2, “no fruit”

verse 2 “fruit”

verse 2 “more fruit”

verse 5 “much fruit”

Where are you and I? Are we still acting like people that are not saved. Are we just barely growing so that we are still struggling with swearing or lying or stealing etc.? Or are we becoming like Christ?

1 ¶ I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

The Lord Jesus is the true vine. This word true is used primarily in two senses in the New Testament. First of all it denotes that which is true or genuine in contrast to that which is false or spurious. Surely our Lord is the one genuine vine in whom we should abide, and surely we understand that there are other “false” vines. But this I do not think to be the emphasis which our Lord intends here. This word “true” is also used of that which is the ultimate realization, or here, of that which is the heavenly reality which transcends any earthly counterpart. I think, then, that Jesus is saying that whereas the vine was a picture of Israel in the Old Testament, He is the fullest realization of Israel’s hope, of their expectations, of what God intended her to be as her Messiah. Israel, as a vine, was an utter failure; it never achieved its goal. Our Lord Jesus Christ Who came as the True Vine would accomplish all Israel failed to do.

As the true vine our Lord is the source of life and strength and fruit. There is a relationship of complete dependence between the branch and the vine. The vine supplies life-giving nourishment to the branches. Apart from it, the branches have neither life nor fruit. —Bob Deffinbaugh

A. Picking Up The Vine

B. Purging or Pruning The Vine

C. The Vine Producing Fruit

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away (airo= “take up” or “lift up”): and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

A. Picking Up or Pruning The Vine (discipline)

A man approached Bruce Wilkinson at a pastor’s conference on the West Coast and asked, “Do you understand John 15?

“Not completely,” I answered. “Why?”

“I own a large vineyard in northern California,” He said, “and I think I have it figured out,” I offered to buy him coffee on the spot.

As we sat across the restaurant table from each other, he began to talk about the life of a grower—the long hours spent walking the vineyards, tending the grapes, watching the fruit develop, waiting for the perfect day to begin harvest.

“New branches have a natural tendency to trail down and grow along the ground,” he explained. “But they don’t bear fruit down there. When branches grow along the ground, the leaves get coated in dust. When it rains, they get muddy and mildewed. The branch becomes sick and useless.”

“What do you do?” I asked. “Cut it off and throw it away?”

“Oh, no!” he exclaimed. “The branch is much too valuable for that. We go through the vineyard with a bucket of water looking for those branches. We lift them up and wash them off.” He demonstrated for me with dark, callused hands. “Then we wrap them around the trellis or tie them up. Pretty soon they’re thriving.

. . . Suddenly I had a burst of insight. Lift up. . . clean. . . . I have never read John 15 in the same way again. —Bruce Wilkinson, Secrets of The Vine, pages 34, 35.

B. Purging or Pruning, (priorities)

Wilkinson— “The vine’s ability to produce growth increases each year, but without intensive pruning the plant weakens and its crop diminishes. Mature branches must be pruned hard to achieve maximum yields.”

You can have lots of leaves or lots us fruit. It depends on pruning. I think this is talking about priorities.

What are our priorities?

∙ Leaves or fruit?

∙ A nice car or an influence on your children?

∙ A lot of programs in the church or reaching the community and ministering to people?

Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two paddle boats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snails pace of the other.

Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.

One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship’s cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. They ended up winning the race, but burned their cargo.

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