Summary: Final sermon in a 3 part series on John 15.
Life in the World
Life in the Vine Series, III
Have you ever felt like you have been hostile territory?
Let me show you what I mean: Put on LSU jersey and put up LSU banner.
Yeah…that is the reaction I expected.
I just turned 38, and about half of those 38 years have been spent in hostile territory for an LSU fan.
I went to college in MS during some of the lowest years in LSU football history, the 90’s when my Tigers lost to power house teams like Southern Miss, Houston and Alabama-Birmingham.
Needless to say, I took a lot of grief.
From there I moved to Louisville, KY…during some lean years for LSU basketball, and a rebuilding time for football.
Needless to say, the Big Blue KY faithful would let me know when the Wildcats beat LSU, and would always remind me of the biggest comeback in KY history taking place against LSU in Baton Rouge in 1995.
And then there is the last 2 ½ years that we have spent with you all…a blessing to us, until sports comes up.
In spite of winning a National Championship, I’m still constantly reminded of the last 2 LSU-AR games.
In fact on the Friday after Thanksgiving the last 2 years I have simply turned off my phone because I can only handle so many scoring updates.
But that is what it is like when you stand your ground in hostile territory…and I think is a picture of what it should be like for born again believers who are living and actively involved in the world.
And that is where our series takes us this morning, life in the world.
Let’s read about it in John 15:18-28 this morning
Read passage and pray.
We’ve been talking about the vineyard the last couple of weeks, using Jesus’ teaching and illustration in John 15 as a reference.
His teaching begins by showing us that we should be incorporated into the vine, rooted into Christ in a relationship that comes by grace through faith alone.
To be attached is to be alive and to be separated is to be dead.
Last week we discussed being united with other born again believers on the vine…each of us different, but having the one common faith and Savior.
It is our love for each other that tells the world that we belong to Christ…people will know that we are His disciples by our relationship with each other that comes through him.
And this morning we are looking at the last aspect of this passage, our life in the world.
Vineyards are their own little ecosystem, requiring a certain climate to thrive and survive.
Let’s consider the Napa Valley as an example. (show slide of vineyard)
How is that for a view?
Let’s consider it’s location in the state of CA. (show slide of CA map)
Slightly north of San Francisco, and just east of the coast…it is a location that allows the grape vineyards to flourish.
But think about this…it is in a specific ecosystem surrounded by other ecosystems in the state.
Just to the East are mountain ranges, and to head due south you will find the beaches of Los Angeles and eventually San Diego coastline.
We go out a little more in the region and what we find is even more dramatic (show western US slide)
North of Napa is the Pacific Northwest where a friend of mine told me that you can tell people are living Godly lives in Portland when it doesn’t rain…for the record you can expect 8 months of rain each year there.
Go west of Napa and obviously you are in the Pacific Ocean…possibly one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country.
Southeast of Napa you move into the desert and valley regions of Nevada and the American Southwest.
And once again, due south takes you into Mexico…a world of difference from Napa.
My point is this; Napa exists in the middle of a region that is way different from what it is.
Go in any direction and you see something different.
And Napa stands out amongst it all.
Is that not what we should be like as born again Christians…standing out in a world that surrounds us and seems so different in so many different ways?
That is what I believe the premise of our passage is this morning as we consider our relationship to the world.
We’ll have 2 major points that you will find in your outlines and we will break down.
First of all…
1. What we should expect from the world.
A. Hatred, vs. 18
This is more than basic antagonism…way more.
The Greek word for “hate” here is “miseo”, which is a verb that can be translated as, “to hate, pursue with hatred, detest, to be hated, detested”