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Summary: This passage explores the love of God as expressed in the teaching of Jesus regarding teh Vine and the Branches.

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EASTER 2013

LOVING ACTS

John 15:1-17 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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. 5 "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. 6 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. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 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. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 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. 16 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. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

INTRODUCTION: THE PASSAGE BEFORE US THIS MORNING IS THE FINAL PASSAGE OF THE “I AM’S” OF JESUS. THIS IS A PORTION OF THE TEACHING OF JESUS IN THE UPPER ROOM. JESUS IS INSTRUCTING HIS DISCIPLES AND US ON THE ISSUE OF LOVE. GOD’S LOVE, THE LOVING EXAMPLE OF JESUS, AND HOW WE SHOULD PRACTICE THE LOVE GOD AND HIS SON HAVE SHOWN US.

I. LOVE IN THE GARDEN 15:1-8

a. THE VINE AND THE GARDENER

i. THE VINE IS JESUS

1. SINGLE VINE

2. BEARING MANY GRAPES

ii. GOD IS THE GARDNER

1. A GARDNER CULTIVATES THE VINE

2. A GARDNER PROTECTS THE VINE

b. THE GARDNER AND BEARING FRUIT

THE DESIRE OF GOD IS TO HAVE FRUIT

EIGHT TIMES IN THIS PASSAGE FRUIT IS MENTIONED

i. CUTTING OFF – TWO MEANINGS

1. TAKE UP FROM THE GROUND

a. IN ORDER FOR A BRANCH TO BE FRUITFUL THE BRANCH NEEDS TO BE TAKEN UP OUT OF THE DIRT.

b. THE PSALMIST SAYS IT BEST – TOOK MY FEET UP FROM THE MIRY CLAY AND SET THEM UPON A ROCK

c. WHEN YOU AND I CAME TO KNOW JESUS CHRIST, GOD STARTED THE PROCESS OF OUR FRUIT PRODUCTION.

d. GOD IS IN THE PROCESS OF CLEANING YOU UP, AND EXPECTS THAT AT SOMETIME, YOU WILL BEAR FRUIT FOR HIM.

2. TO TAKE OFF FROM WHAT IT WAS ATTACHED TO

a. AFTER A WHILE OF PRUNING AND CARING, THERE COMES A TIME WHEN IT BECOMES OBVIOUS THAT FRUIT WILL NOT BE PRODUCED.

b. THE ISSUE OF NOT PRODUCING RESULTS IN BEING REMOVED FROM THE VINE.

Many people try to be good, honest people who do what is right. But Jesus says that the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to him, like a branch attached to a vine. Apart from Christ our efforts are unfruitful. Are you receiving the nourishment and life offered by Christ, the Vine? If not, you are missing the key to living the Christian life.

Life Application Bible Commentary - Life Application Bible Commentary – John.

ii. PRUNING

1. THE PROGRESSION OF FRUIT IS FRUIT, MORE FRUIT, AND MUCH FRUIT.

2. FRUIT PRODUCTION REQUIRES PRUNING TO INCREASE PRODUCTION.

3. THERE ARE SEASONS FOR FRUITFULNESS AND TIMES OF PRUNING.

Criteria to gauge your spiritual productivity:

1. Is my life bringing God glory?

2. Is my life an example of discipleship?

Life Application Bible Commentary - Life Application Bible Commentary – John.

iii. OUR RESPONSIBILITY IN FRUITFULNESS – 15:3

1. ACKNOWLEDGING OUR REDEMPTIVE CLEANLINESS

a. SALVATION CLEANED US

2. ACTIVATE OUR POSITIONAL CLEANLINESS

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