Summary: This is the second of a four part look at Jesus teaching that He is the true vine. This message explores how God disciplines us when we are branches that do not bear fruit.
Recap of message one -
John 15 - Personal moment with Jesus and His disciples on the night of His betrayal.
LET’S RESET THE STAGE FOR WHERE WE ARE -
On the heels of the Triumphant Entry
The Passover Feast
Positioning for greatness in the kingdom
Scene of confidence, power, and triumphant.
The mood shift - Jesus delivered verbal blow after blow
Begins final "I Am. . ." teaching - John 15: 1-8
Last week we set the stage.
DEFINED THE ROLES -
Jesus is the Vine: the trunk out of the ground.
God is the Vinedresser: focused on producing the highest yield of fruit possible in our lives.
We are the Branches: Conduit from the trunk to the fruit.
Trellis: Surprise for later.
DEFINED FRUIT -
Not strictly evangelism and conversions.
Fruit = our external works & deeds (including evangelism and kingdom building to be sure), but much more & also inner working of the Spirit
JESUS DEFINED DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRANCHES:
1. Does not bear fruit (v. 2)
2. Bears fruit (v. 2)
3. Bears more fruit (v. 2)
4. Bears much fruit (v. 5)
DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT
What God does with these branches?
airo: take up, lift up.
never in Biblical or Greek literature
does it mean to "cut off"
Imagery of the vineyard provides the imagery of the vinedresser lifting up these branches that don’t bear fruit - lifting up and cleaning them off, and connecting back to the trellis.
The key point is:
If your life is not bearing fruit, God does not desire to hack you off the vine, and toss you aside. Rather, Jesus is telling us that when we are not bearing fruit God desires to intervene as the vinedresser, pick us up, clean us up, re-attach us to the trellis, and help us once again bear fruit.
This process of God’s intervention is called discipline.
That is how God restores us to bear fruit.
Through His discipline.
Discipline Detailed - Hebrews 12:3-11
So if you are not bearing fruit, God will intervene to discipline you so that you can once again bear fruit.
Let’s spend some time here in Hebrews, and see how God disciplines:
1. Rebuke (v. 5) - verbal.
Allie example - "Don’t push me young lady."
God Methods - word from another person, Scripture,
conviction in prayer, preaching.
2. Chasten - emotional anxiety or distress involved.
Allie example - "Go to your room. I’ll be up there in a minute."
God’s Methods - allowing your spirit to feel disdain for the Word, unfulfilled at church, critical of other Christians.
3. Scourge - whip.
Allie example - "Bend over."
God’s Methods - pain, Paul believed it possibly even involved illness (I Corinthians 11:27-30)
OYB - Numbers example of woman drinking bitter water.
i.e. AIDS, lung cancer, liver disease: not "plagues" from God, but natural consequences God has put in place that can serve as scourges and attempts to clean the branches for fruit bearing.
I believe that God’s discipline can involve scourging
to physically try and get our attention, and clean us up to bear fruit.
One Year Bible Reading - Lev. 25:14-22 (and further)
My hardest prayer challenge -
for people who aren¡¦t caring for themselves.
People with lung cancer who are still smoking.