Summary: FRUITFUL LIFE - All want a life that’s fruitful - Might think… lives we lead to Christ… certainly includes - BUT FRUIT IS ALL THAT IS COMING FORTH
Order is a relative term—Order lies within/ the order that matters is below deck
- Titanic—captain influenced to impress others pushed her… at the bridge… manage what’s below the deck everyone sees… casual…
- Ice…what’s below… the ballast is being lost…>Picture of tragic irony… see below & above
- Trying to impress the very people he wanted to serve… led to one of the greatest tragedies of all time
- True of our lives
- Good news is that it’s avoidable
- As we press into this New Year, Jesus calls us to consider the bridge of our own lives.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:1-17)
- Like all of Christ’s words… filled with depth of meaning… diversity of implications.
- But let’s try to take hold of what’s most basic
- Focus is on Fruitfulness, main point… our connection with Christ; living from the inside out.
- All want a life that’s fruitful
- Might think… lives we lead to Christ… certainly includes
- BUT FRUIT IS ALL THAT IS COMING FORTH
o In this chapter… effective prayer, joy love
o Fruits of Spirit… Paul… love; peace, joy, patience, self-control
o All that comes out of us/ A quality of being
- FRUIT IS CHANGED LIVES; LIVES CHANGED FROM WITHIN
o This room is full of fruit, not without frustration as well… but there’s fruit.
JESUS SAYS HE IS “THE TRUE VINE”
- To grasp all that they… ISRAEL AS VINE
o Even the symbol of the grapevine on coins during the Maccabean period
o But nearly all prophetic descriptions… God’s vine… show such heritage to be lacking.
WHAT BEGAN AS A SPIRITUAL IDENTITY… (DEEPLY DEPENDENT ON HIM) too often became externalized… dependent on doing
WE CAN DO THE SAME… Get the Christian thing down… upper deck may look good
- Jesus warns us… don’t look at the outer alone, look below the deck
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matthew 12:33-35)
- What comes out is what’s within
- Righteousness must exceed the Scribes and Pharisees-religious leaders
- Fruit… isn’t external… empty
- But neither do we need to think of spiritual fruit as so mystical as to evade any of us
- Not simply to hearing the new daily directive… he said “these words have cleansed you” Word is living
EMPHASIS… is to REMAIN IN HIM