Summary: 2nd sermon in a 3 part series on John 15.
Life with Each Other
Living in the Vineyard Series
What is this? (show plant from window and wait for answers)
I’m not so sure where the actual name is, you may…I call it an anomaly…a plant that I haven’t killed.
Remember, I have the black thumb of death.
What I want to focus on is this little vine of ivy.
When we brought it home it was only a couple of inches long, my goal is to get it long enough to start weaving through the blinds and around the kitchen window treatments.
Notice the make up of the vine.
It is grounded, it has roots…like what we talked about 2 weeks ago about being rooted in Christ.
If I break part of this vine off, that part dies.
Or if it is not properly planted, it will not grow and die.
There are times, especially with grapes, you have to remove the leaves…the pretty stuff, so that fruit will grow.
That is called pruning and it is necessary.
One more thing about pruning, you have to know what to do…too much or too little may be detrimental.
Was in a church once and I was told “We’ve had a lot of pruning take place recently.”
She was right, but the pruning wasn’t done by the owner of the vineyard who knew what He was doing…meaning God.
The pruning had been done by the people, and as a result the vine was actually dying…down to the roots.
The grounding was now in question.
Back to our vine, notice how it has one huge leaf.
(wait a second) Right?
Of course not, it has leaves all the way down the vine.
Each one a little different, yet similar.
This is a picture of a local church.
A body of born again believers, each with different gifts, backgrounds, talents and shapes…yet there is something that goes beyond the uniqueness that makes them similar.
That is salvation.
Read Eph. 4:4-6 (put on slide).
We are all different, God broke the mold after each of us was lovingly and fearfully created by His own hands.
Yet we are united and made one…secured into the vine and living life together.
God has called us to live in the vineyard, His vineyard, and part of that means living with each other.
Let’s read about that life together this morning.
Read John 15:12-17 and pray.
What does life with each other in the vineyard look like?
Jesus gives us 4 aspects of this life in the vineyard in our text.
First of all, notice…
1. The Command: Love
Notice the words Jesus uses again, “This is my commandment”…and I want you to understand what exactly that means.
If you do a search through the gospels on the word commandment, you won’t find many references with that word.
In the HCSB, which is what I am reading from this morning, you will only find 11 references in the 4 gospels.
In 10 of those 11 references you will find that they are related to previously stated commandments that are found in the OT, or in the case of the first and greatest commandment, a restatement of something from the OT.
Here in John 15:12 you find the ONLY time Jesus says, “This is my commandment.”
This is the one time Jesus says to His disciples, to us, “This is what I want you to do, and this is what I expect you to do.”
And that commandment is to love one another.
This is so vital and important that He actually repeated Himself in vs. 17.
What this should say to you and me is that if there is one thing we should do, other than loving God, it is loving each other.
Not just saying it either, but showing it.
How sad is it that love is one of those many words that we have allowed to be watered down in this generation.
I guess it is understandable considering we have also allowed Christian to be watered down to the lowest possible standard.
The word “love” today is thrown around today like it is just another word.
• I love fried fish
• I love those shoes
• I love that song
• I love this, that or another…and we just suck the true meaning out of the word.
Love as defined here is that Greek word that many of us are familiar with, “agapeo”…a love that comes from God.
The definition is “to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly”
But get this, the root for “agape” is “agan”…which means “much”
We are to love, and have much love.
And Jesus tells us just how much we are to love at the end of vs. 12.