Summary: Message 38 in our journey through john's Gospel. This message explores the concept of abiding in Christ taught by Jesus in chapter 15.
Pastor David Welch
“Key to a Fruitful Life” John 15
I. Public teaching and ministry of Jesus 2-12
II. The Private teaching and ministry of Jesus 13-17
A. Forgive as Jesus forgives
B. Love as Jesus loves
C. Practice the truths that soothe the troubled soul 14:1-31
The focus of chapter 15 is fruit bearing. People expend a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out God’s will for their life. Why am I here? What does God want? Jesus unmistakably communicates God’s purpose for these and every believer.
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you. John 15:16
The whole purpose of adoption into God’s family is to bear fruit. God lovingly chooses us in order that we might bear lasting fruit. Jesus talks about branches connected to the true vine bearing lasting fruit.
Progression of fruit bearing believers
• Connected but no fruit -- the Father lifts up off the ground to stimulate FRUIT.
• Fruit – the Father prunes that it may bring about MORE FRUIT.
• More Fruit – The Father deepens connection to bring about MUCH FRUIT.
• Much Fruit – the Father answers prayer to bring about LASTING FRUIT.
D. Stay connected to the True Vine to bear lasting fruit 15: 1-11
Spiritual fruit is the result of spiritual life. Just as the blood is essential for physical life, the Holy Spirit is essential for spiritual life. So just what does this vital fruit-bearing ministry of the Holy Spirit look like? We summarized His ministry last week from creation to eternity. The Holy Spirit ministers to believers in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes He takes an amazing visible approach. Sometimes He focuses on an internal invisible ministry.
Chapter 15 describes the way to experience that wonderful ministry. How can we bear the kind of lasting fruit that glorifies God and validates our heritage? In this passage Jesus draws on the principles of the actual fruit bearing process of grapes on vines to teach fruit bearing in disciples. In this context I believe that Jesus refers to the fruit that comes when one keeps connected to Him and draws their strength from the Holy Spirit. What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit turns self-centered fallen people into…
People who are driven by love God and others with genuine sacrificial love.
People who express an inward triumphant joy in spite of their tragic outward circumstances.
People who know an inward contentment and peace in the midst of outward turmoil.
People who remain faithful to their commitments to God and others even when tempted to give up and quit.
People who can refrain an angry response when facing difficult people and events.
People who look for ways of showing deeds of kindness to all men.
People who continually love and pursue that which is good.
People who demonstrate gentleness in all their relationships with people including difficult ones.
The Holy Spirit enables ministry by gifting individuals to serve the body of Christ.
People able to discern and declare God’s heart.
People able to see and do what needs to be done.
People able to learn and teach truth.
People able to direct others through the crooked snares of a fallen world.
People able to not only generate but also liberally give away resources to the kingdom.
People able to diligently organize and administrate.
People able to cheerfully demonstrate mercy to hurting people.
The Holy Spirit has distributed one of these passions and abilities to EVERY believer.
Peter exhorts believers to employ these gifts for the glory of God. 1 Peter 4:8-11
Paul talks about a variety of effects that should be evident when the Holy Spirit is allowed to operate in the church in 1 Corinthians 12.
People who God grants special application of truth to a given difficult situation.
People who God grants specific insightful information regarding a person or circumstance.
People whose demonstrate an especially strong trust in God for great things.
People who see others healed through their prayers
People who see miraculous things happen through their prayers.
People who proclaim God’s truth with unmistakable power.
People able to discern demonic influence and stand against it.
People able to speak another language and interpret an unknown language.
The Spirit also gifts individuals to operate in various minstres.
Apostolic ministries for stating new works in uncharted areas.
Prophetic ministries for proclaiming truth in dark places.
Evangelistic ministries for winning people to Christ.
Pastor/Teacher ministries for discipling and training believers to do effective ministry.
Paul prayed that the inner man be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit.