Summary: Jesus teaches us the definition and requirements for finding "true joy" - joy that will last! Are we a ’no’ fruit, ’more’ fruit, or ’much’ fruit Christian? Your fruit determines your joy!
Last week –
- Giving up the “bondage in our lives” that satan uses with his “bag of tricks” to rob our joy:
- What is the “bag of tricks” he uses on your life?
sickness, disease, temptations, habits or addictions, failures, relationship hurt, children, etc.
Today – What do we ‘replace that bondage’ with?
- What is necessary for a true believer to experience the ‘abundant joy’ that Christ promised?
- READ JOHN 15.16
- Our passage today indicates that the keys to Abundant Living is Abundant Fruit. But then – What is ‘Fruit’? How ‘Much’ Fruit – Is it Quality or Quantity?
TEXT: John 15:1-8
Prior to our text – the Last Supper - much discussion with many lessons:
1. He washed their feet – an act servants performed …
2. He spoke about the events about to take place - surely upset them.
3. He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit – ‘Counselor’ ‘Spirit of Truth’
A lot to absorb. … Jesus used this timing to explain the secret of making their joy complete.
Between the Upper Room and the Garden of Gethsemane, they go along the side of the Mt. of Olives … a tremendous vineyard.
As always, He used something familiar – an ‘illustration’ – to present a point. Here Jesus uses the “Vineyard” and the “Vine” as His illustration for a lesson on “ABUNDANT JOY”.
… see Him touching the Vine and the Fruit on the Vine presenting a lesson:
“It’s All About Fruit”
LET’S UNDERSTAND THE PLAYERS IN THIS ILLUSTRATION FROM JESUS:
3 Parts to this Vineyard:
READ VERSE 1 (NKJV) "… the ‘vinedresser’.
1. Father – God - The Vinedresser, the husbandman, the vine keeper, the gardener. The Vinedresser is the keeper of the vineyard. His job is to coax the most healthy fruit possible.
2. Jesus – The True Vine - The trunk that grows out of the ground - it has “branches”
3. Believers – The “Branches” (Vs. 5a “I am the vine; you are the branches”).
a) The “branches” are the focus of the vinedresser’s efforts -- they produce the fruit)
b) The “branches” were tied to a trellis or sticks to ‘lift them up’ in order to …
- To ‘Circulate the air’
- To ‘Receive sunlight’
- To give vinedresser full access for tending.
c) The vinedresser cultivates each branch so it will produce as much fruit.
d) The “branches” must be attached to the vine for one purpose – “Fruit bearing”.
SO WHAT ABOUT THE FRUIT? NOTICE THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF FRUIT:
I. THOSE WHO PRODUCE ‘NO FRUIT’ – (Verse 2a)
READ VERSE 2
1. “In Me” – In Christ. Jesus is talking to believers; -- NOT a Message of Salvation
2. “that bears ‘no’ Fruit” – What is fruit?
1. Gal. 5:22-23 “But the “fruit of the Spirit” is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance…”
2. READ VERSE 10 – “obey my commands” -- the “Fruit of Obedience”
3. READ VERSE 17 - Fruit of “Loving Others”
FRUIT IS All of these!
3. “He “cuts off” or “He takes away”(NKJ) “every branch in me bearing no fruit”
a. Is this a lesson that one who produces NO FRUIT can loose their salvation?
b. “airo” in GRK – can also mean to “lift up”.
Some branches fall off the trellis from the rains & wind & weight from growth.
c. Do they cut off the branches on the ground? NO!
The vinedresser takes a bucket of water - lifts up the branch producing “no fruit” & cleans them placing them back on the trellis. Now they can once again receive the sunlight and the clean air in order to produce fruit for the harvest.
God, like the vinedresser “lifts up” his children (the ‘branches’) that are “not producing fruit” and places them in surroundings that will encourage the production of fruit. HOW?
- By placing us in relationships with other believers. We need each other to produce the best fruit.
ILL: Picture the Armed Forces:
… trained in different roles, … a strong force ready for battle to best chance for victory.
God places us in a church with other believers, -- different gifts, -- help each other -- a mighty team – ready to do battle against satan, -- desires to rob your joy.
- By instructing us in His Word. -- Holy Spirit our Teacher; … devotions, sermons, teaching and interacting of Small Groups, .. cleanse and strengthen our lives through the Word of God.
- By Renewing Our Minds so that we are no longer conforming to the ways of the world … too much a part of this world as this is all there is!
Are you a Christian that produces NO Fruit? This is a Miserable Christian!