Summary: A look at John 15 on Jesus' words about the two steps toward bearing "much fruit."
THE PATH TO BEARING MORE FRUIT:
1. God wants us to be fruitful.
- John 15:2, 4, 5, 8.
- It¡¦s abundantly clear from this passage that God wants us to be fruitful. Let¡¦s take that a step further: He also expects us to be fruitful.
- Being fruitful is a defining characteristic of the true Christian life.
2. HOW DO I BEAR FRUIT? The answer: By abiding in Christ.
- John 15:4, 5.
- Verses 4 and 5 tell us that we will bear fruit when we are abiding in Christ.
- Abiding means that we are close to Christ.
- This goes with the overall analogy this chapter is using: the vine and the branch. The key to a branch bearing fruit is having an uninterrupted flow from the vine.
3. HOW DO I ABIDE? The answer: By keeping Jesus¡¦ commandments.
- John 15:10.
- The obvious follow-up question to point 2 about abiding in Christ is ¡§ok, then how do I abide in Christ?¡¨
- Well, Jesus also answered that question for us.
- In verse 10, Jesus tells us that if we obey His commands, then we will abide in His love. Therefore, obeying leads to abiding.
HOW TO REMEMBER THAT: ¡§Obey¡¨ „³ ¡§Abide¡¨ „³ ¡§Abound¡¨
- To put those truths that I just shared in a simpler form, here¡¦s the pneumonic: obey, abide abound.
a. We obey His teaching.
b. When we obey, we will then abide in Christ, as discussed in v. 10.
c. When we abide, we will ¡§bear much fruit¡¨ (vv. 4-5) or, to put it a different way, we will ¡§abound¡¨ in fruit.
BEARING MORE FRUIT: Bearing more fruit doesn¡¦t come from trying harder, but from getting closer.
- The main idea here is that bearing more fruit doesn't come from doubling down and trying to do more, but rather from seeking to be closer to God and allowing Him to flow through us.
FIRST STEPS IN OBEYING:
- If you¡¦re not one who has been actively seeking to obey Christ and be a follower of His, let me give you a few first steps.
- If you¡¦re one who is a regular church attender, pay attention to these to make sure that you¡¦re actually obeying and not just someone with a faith in name only. We are called to be followers of Christ, not merely fans of His.
- These three things that I am about to share are part of S4, which is something we do without our church to emphasize basic steps toward spiritual growth.
- There are three places in the gospel of John where Jesus basically says, ¡§If you do this, then you¡¦re really my disciple.¡¨ Obviously, those are pretty huge statements because He¡¦s giving us some basic information on what a follower of His should look like.
- Obviously, these three things are not everything that we need to be doing, but if you do these things you¡¦re on the right path toward obeying Jesus and therefore beginning to bear more fruit.
1. Read the Word.
- John 8:31-32.
- Unpack those verses.
- To be able to obey, you have to know what Jesus actually said. To know what Jesus said, you have to read the Word.
- Some think the essence of Jesus¡¦ message was something bland and generic like ¡§Be nice¡¨ or ¡§Don¡¦t kick puppies¡¨ but Jesus¡¦ actual message is radical, counter-cultural, and far from the accepted wisdom. You¡¦re not going to stumble into it ¡V you have to seek this wisdom.
2. Invest in people with your time, love, and money.
- John 13:35.
- Unpack that verse.
- Here the word ¡§love¡¨ doesn¡¦t mean ¡§think nice thoughts toward¡¨ but rather actually show your love in practical ways. That¡¦s why I¡¦ve phrased this to say to love with your time, love, and money.
- The most loving group of people on earth should be Christians. People should be impressed by how much we love each other and how we take care of each other.
- John 15:8.
- Unpack the verse.
- You need to be actively serving in some way. If you don¡¦t know what your spiritual gift is, then find out it by trial and error.
- We need to be doing, not just talking.