Summary: Sermon on John 15 part 3
THE BRANCHES II
Series on John 15 pt. 3
We will be reading verse 1-6, but our focus will be one verse 2; “"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. "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. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you [are] the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
As we pointed out two weeks ago we can see there is one main truth that He is declaring in these verses, and that ABIDE IN CHRIST. We must abide in Christ, the true vine, in order that we might produce fruit.
We also can see that our Lord Jesus Christ also presents us with two main groups within this passage. First branches that bear fruit, and branches that do not bear fruit.
We also see the results of this fruit bearing or lack there of. Fruit bearing branches are pruned. Fruitless branches are cast out of the vine, gathered up and burned.
This brings us to the question that we began to answer last week, “Who are these fruitless branches?”
We pointed out that there are three main views of who these branches are;
The first was what I referred to as the Arminian view. Basically this view stated that these are genuine Christians who lose there salvation. We saw however how this view contradicts what the Scripture states regarding the believer’s security in Christ. Note John 10:28-29.
The second view of who these fruitless branches are come in two variations. The first states that these are genuine Christians, but because of their fruitlessness the are divinely disciplined. This discipline coming in the form of God taking them home through death.
The second variation of this line of thought is that these are genuine Christians but that the words “He takes away” in verse should be translated, “lifts up” and not “takes away” or “cut off”. In other words God “lifts them up” in trying to get them to bear fruit.
Last week we made note how these two variations of this second view cannot withstand the scrutiny of examining the context of John 15 or the terminology that Jesus uses here and in other Scriptures.
The third view we made note of, is the one which I believe best fits the context here in John 15, and the testimony of the rest of Scriptures. That is to say that the branches mentioned in verse 2 are not in fact genuine Christians. These folks have not experienced a genuine union with Christ, but one that is external and artificial. While they may claim to believe and fellow Christ, their fruitlessness reveals their true hearts. They are counterfeit Christians.
As stated two weeks ago I believe that there are eight reasons why we ought to hold to the that view that Jesus here is not speaking of genuine Christians in verse 2. We looked at two of them two weeks ago, today we will try to get through the next six.
These final six reason will be supportive of why hold that view, as opposed to seeing why the other views are no viable.
The third reason why I believe we are to support the third view, (we are getting too many numbers here), is that the gospel of John, as well as the Scripture in general, supports the concept of “unsaved believers”.
With in Scripture we have people who are said to believe in Christ, yet they are unregenerate. They do not have a saving faith, but a shallow, self-serving belief in Christ. Let us look at some passages.
Note John 2:23-25; “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.”
Jesus, because He is God, knows the hearts of men. He knows that these who believe in Him, believe in Him not for the forgiveness of sins, not because He is the Son of God, theirs is a superficial believe.