Summary: This sermon focuses on the four types of followers that claim connection to Jesus Christ as their Savior. Their proof is evident by the fruits they bear.
“Grape Expectations from the Vine to the branches”
JN 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
JN 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.”
JN 15:8 “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.”
Today’s text comes to us towards the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus has been preparing his disciples for the drawing end. He has told them of the painful events coming His way. He has also encouraged them in the midst of their sorrow.
Jesus now challenges them (and us) with a message on what it means to be a true disciple. A true disciple of Christ is he/she that produces & continues to produce “much” fruit in their lives.
In our text Jesus identifies Himself as the “true” vine. Israel was God’s choice vine on which God lavished care & attention. God longed for Israel to become fruitful, but the vine became degenerate & instead produced rotten fruit.
So Jesus came to earth & became the “true vine” who fulfilled what God- the Father, had intended for Israel to be.
In our text God the Father is the gardener. It is He who cultivates and protects the vine.
Finally in the text Christ’s followers are called the branches. But not all branches are what they claim to be. And so the false braches, its says, “are cut off and burned”
We find in our text four types of branches (followers) that claim connection to the vine (Jesus). Let’s identify them in the text, and then look at each and see what Jesus has to say to each.
In our text we find:
NO fruit bearing branches
SOME fruit bearing branches
MORE fruit bearing branches
MUCH fruit bearing branches
Which kind of branch are you? & Which kind should you be?
1. NO FRUIT BEARING BRANCHES- What does that mean?
It means that you are not connected to “the true Vine”.
Some in here today think they’re Christians, but they’re really not.
They think they have a connection to Jesus, but their lives reflect something different.
Some think that because you come to church, or read Bible, or pray, give money to church, or try to be good, you’re connected to Jesus.
But the truth is that you’re ignoring or have been unaware of the most basic principle of the Christian faith-it is not about what you do, but rather what Christ has done for us.
Bible makes it clear that our sin makes it impossible for us to have a relationship with God.
Bible makes it clear that as long as we are carrying our sin, we are also carrying the penalty of that sin-separation from God and an abundantlife & eternal condemnation.
Some people here today, are calling themselves “followers”, but you’ve never established a connection to Jesus.
You’ve never acknowledge before God that you have a sin problem.
You’ve never sought out God’s forgiveness & remedy for your sins.
So although you may claim to follow Christ(as a religion)you’ve never truly have begun a genuine relationship with Jesus, you’re just stuck on a religion about Jesus.
Your lack of a connection is causing you to be unfruitful. And if you remain unconnected, you will be cut-off (eternally lost without the possiblity of entrance into heaven).
Today you can get off the religion wagon and get connected to Jesus through a person relationship with him.
2. SOME FRUIT BEARING VINES
There’s also another group here. You’ve got a connection to Christ, but your connection is not clear-You’ve got static on your line!
So in your case, your fruitfulness is being limited. You are producing some fruit, but you ought to be producing more fruit.
In your case there’s no doubt you’ve admitted your sinfulness and have asked Jesus to cleanse you of your sin problem. Maybe you have even been fruitful in bringing others to Jesus’ feet. But your fruitfulness is small in comparison to what they ought to be.
You have (with the help of Christ) overcome the consequences of your sins, but now you are facing a second probelm-LACK OF OBEDIENCE!
In your case, the gardener-God, is not going to cut you off, instead He is going to have to pune you.
Many “new believers” get stuck in a rut. You’ve embraced Christ as Lord and Savior, but you do not moved in other elements of the Christian walk.
What is causing you to falter in your walk with Christ? Sin/ Disobedience to God’s Word & His Spirit living within you.