Summary: Sermon on John 15 part 5
PRUNED & CLEANED
Series on John 15 pt. 5
As most of you are aware we have a dog named Elphaba. Elphaba bring me much joy. Apart from her getting mad at me on Sundays and then displaying that anger in an unpleasant way, she is a real good dog. She always wants to show me affection no matter what. No matter how bad my day goes I can count on Elphaba to greet me with her little nubbie wagging and her wanting to give me kisses.
She is also a very smart dog. She understands several words. Words such as Outside, wall, Bills (she knows that means we are going up Edson Rd.), ride, ball in fact she know how to spell that, b-a-l-l. Other words include OK, snack, and one of her favorite words, Moose. Which is the generic term for any stuff animal that she can rip the stuffing out of as quickly as possible. She also understands the word Bath.
You can say any one of those words to her and her ears will go up, (one anyway), and she will look very intently at you. All those words but one. It is this word that makes her little nubbie go between the legs and she goes an hides under the table, and that word is bath. She does not like baths.
The reason I share all this with you, is because it illustrates that words mean things. They communicate things, even to dogs. Sometimes words communicate very important things.
In fact it is through words that God communicates to us that very means of salvation. Believing what the words of the gospel communicate brings eternal life.
Romans 1:6; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” The words of the gospel are powerful.
This is why we read in Rom 10:13-15; “For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"”
Please understand that I am not suggesting that there is some power in the words themselves. The phrase “"whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." is a powerful phrase. However, if I rearrange those words to read, “The LORD whoever on name calls the saved be of shall.” Those words in fact lose their power, because they fail to communicate the fact that it is the Lord that saves.
Why all this talk about words? Because we see the importance of words in our passage for today. Please turn with to our passage for today, that will be John 15:2-3. This of course is our Lord Jesus Christ speaking, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
We have spent the three weeks dealing with the first part of verse 2, today I want us to look at the second half of vs. 2 along with verse 3.
We can see that while the Father brings judgment upon those branches that do not bear fruit, we read that “every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
I want us to notice some things here. First it is the Father that prunes. This is the work of the Father, and it must be. You see if it we are responsible for this pruning, if we practice self-pruning, it will lead to self-righteousness. It will lead to thoughts of look how good I have made myself. When we try to get rid of those harmful things in our lives through self, not only do they usually come back, but we tend to take the glory rather then give it to God.
We must understand that this work of pruning is the loving work of the Father. We can also see from our passage as well that it is a work that the Father does upon EVERY branch that bears fruit, not just some. The Father is at work in the live of every true believer, working in them that they may bear more fruit. That is one reason why every true believer in Christ will bear fruit.
I want us to take note of that word “prunes”. It is the Greek word KATHAIRO (Kaa-thy-row). The word basically means to “cleanse” or “make clean”, “purify”. It is very similar to the word “clean” in verse 3. Though the word “clean” in verse 3 is a adjective, this word in vs. 2 is a verb.