John 15:1-17 March 22, 2009
Abiding in Jesus World Water Day
Being fruitful is serious business!
Not to produce fruit is to be cut off and burned
Pruning – you have already been pruned… - pruning is suffering with a purpose
What is this fruit?
1) Fruit of Repentance
Luke 3:7-14 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
"What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
John answered, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"
"Don’t collect any more than you are required to," he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay."
Fruit of repentance – not relying on your “heritage,” but changing your behavior.
Doing the right thing in what ever position you are in
2) Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22-3 The fruit of the Spirit is…
love, - self sacrificing love
joy, - much more than happiness, but contentment and hope as well
peace, - not agitated
patience, - with the other drivers
self-control. – not just doing or saying what ever you please
3) Fruit of New Believers
Growing up in the evangelical tradition, being fruitful as a Christian almost always meant brining other people to Jesus.
The idea of producing fruit does have this type of reproduction in mind, but it is not the only meaning, nor the first meaning. It is more implied that if we are producing the fruit of the Spirit in connection with Jesus, the people around us will be drawn to Jesus as well!
We cannot produce fruit apart from Jesus
Especially obvious with the Fruit of the Spirit – stuff produced without Jesus might be like wax fruit – looks good, tastes bad
False fruit – “I never knew you”
"Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
What we might think of as obvious fruit – prophesy, victory in spiritual warfare, miracles are not fruit if we are not connected to Jesus. Like Paul, I would say that I wish that everyone would prophesy, I wish that everyone had gifts of healing and power in spiritual warfare! But these things are not necessarily an indication of a close relationship with Jesus!
Fig tree – all leaves
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.
The fig tree was all leaves – all show: God is not concerned about the show of faith – going to church, worshiping passionately… he cares about the fruit of faith.
- God doesn’t Judge us by the leaves, but by the fruit
We can only produce true fruit by abiding in the vine.
Shack walking on water story – p 139 tell & P 173 read
How do we do “abide in the vine”?
1) Practice the presence of God – be Jesus’ friend – Brother Lawrence
Brother Lawrence related that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him. It was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries. We should feed and nourish our soul with high notions of God which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.
Habits that keep us connected – Prayer, meditation: “Lord Jesus, Son of God have mercy on me, a sinner” – physical things that remind us of God’s presence. – cross, sign of the cross…
2) Obey – verse 9
a. Love each other – not just with our words – but with action Abiding in Jesus ‘ love is loving like Jesus!
b. Lay down your life. – Theme in Jesus’ last week – Mary anointing with 1 year’s salary – last week: the glory of the cross – giving up your life to save it. – self sacrificing love – giving yourself, spending your self for others. – fasting for your “friends”
It’s more about staying in the vine than producing fruit!