Summary: To me, John 15, is one of the richest chapters in the Bible. It seems like you can study and study it and never get out all there is there to have. It shows what is my possession in Christ. What is my responsibility in Him? What is His responsibility to me?
Notice there is four names that He gives to us that follow Him.
1. Ye are the branches, verse 5
2. Ye are my friends, verse 14
3. Ye are my servants, verse 20
4. Ye are my witnesses, verse 27
So, in John 15, we have four titles, four descriptions of us who follow Christ. We are branches, we are friends, we are servants, and we are witnesses.
I want us to look at the meaning of these, the significance of these, the evidence of these, the results of these and the provision for them.
I. The Meaning of the Terms; Branches, Friends, Servants, and Witnesses.
1. The Branch indicates our relationship to Jesus, an inseparable relationship. It cannot be separated.
2. Friends indicate our intimate fellowship, verse 15
a. The branch indicates a living relationship.
b. Friends indicate an intimate fellowship, a loving fellowship.
1) A servant had no fellowship with his master, only commands. Verse 15
2) Jesus gives us commands, but also shares with us his confidence.
3) Verse 15
4) that is what a friend is: one with whom you share your confidence with.
3. Verses 19-20, shows lordship, he is the master, and we are the servant.
4. Verses 26-27, witness, shows our stewardship.
5. So, we are branches, friends, servants, and witnesses which mean relationship, fellowship, lordship, and stewardship.
II. The Significance of Them
1. The first two indicate our privilege and the second two indicate our responsibility.
2. The first privilege is the privilege of life. “He is the vine; I am the branch.”
a. Verse 1, the true vine, all others are false.
b. A vine is a source of life, and if your life comes from any other source it is a false life.
3. Second privilege is one of love, verse 13
4. First two is our privilege, next two is our responsibility.
a. Verse 19-20; servants show our likeness to Jesus if the world hated Him it should hate us also.
5. The responsibility of witness is one of loyalty to the Lord Jesus. Verse 27
III. The Evidence of Them
1. How do you know if you are a branch, a friend, a servant, or a witness?
2. First, the evidence of a branch is that it abides. That means it simply makes itself available to the Vine.
a. It gives itself to the purpose of the Vine.
b. It sees no other reason for its living other than being usable to the Vine.
c. Have we made ourselves available to the Vine?
3. Second, the evidence we are his friends, verse 14. “If you do whatsoever, I command you.”
a. Did you notice how different Jesus’ evaluation of friendship is than ours?
b. How many of us would ever think that the evidence of friendship is obedience?
c. Turn it around, if you do not obey me you are my enemy. No man can serve 2 Masters.
4. 3rd, what is the evidence that I am his servant? Separation from the world. Verse 19
5. 4th, what is the evidence that I am a witness? Cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Verse 26-27
a. If I am not witnessing for Jesus, I'm rebelling against the Holy Spirit in me.
b. The Holy Spirit indwells me to testify of Jesus, to glorify him.
c. Acts 8:26
IV. The Result of Them
1. The result of a branch is what? Fruit
a. What is fruit?
b. The life of Jesus in me.
2. The result of a friend is knowledge, inside. Jesus sharing with us all that He is.
a. As I obey him, he reveals more of himself to me.
b. A friend is one that is always receiving revelations, inspiration, insight, fresh knowledge.
c. You say, “I have not been receiving any of this.” Have you been obeying him?
d. Condition for additional revelation is obedience to present revelation.
e. The result of being a friend is we are constantly growing and increasing in the knowledge of Jesus.
3. The result of being a servant is persecution, unfair treatment, misunderstanding.
a. Why would the world hate Jesus?
4. The result of being a witness is sharing Jesus.
V. The Provisions for Each of These
1. How can I be a branch? How can I be fruitful?
a. Our union with Christ.
b. The branch does not do the producing. The Vine is the one that produces.
c. As Christ flows through my life, it brings forth fruit.
d. Fruit does not depend upon my ability, activity, but my abiding in Jesus.
2. What is the provision for being a friend?
a. Commune with Christ.
b. He talks with me and I with him in 100 different ways.
3. The provision of a servant.
a. It is found in our identification with Christ.