Summary: Second sermon in series on John 15.
Series on John 15 pt. 2
I want to show you some optical illusions this morning. This man draws these pictures so that when you look at them a certain way, they appear to be three dimensional. But it is all a optical illusion.
Some folks live their lives like a optical illusion. They claim to be one thing but in reality they are something else. The majority of people living in the US claim to be Christian. But if one looks to the Scripture to define what a true Christian is, we see that there are many folks who simple do not fit in with what God defines as a true disciple of Christ. They are living a life of illusion.
Last week we are began a series of messages on John chapter 15. One of the thinks that Jesus defines for us in John 15 is what a true disciple of Christ looks like. What as some things that should be found in their lives. Last week we looked at the vine and vinedresser. This week we will begin to look at the branches.
Please turn with me to our passage for this morning. John 15. 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 begin to take a look at who these branches are I want to make two points. The first is my desire to see each one of you grow spiritually through the study of John 15. When I went to visit my sister’s family over the Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law was telling me how big his church, 700 people. This week I received an email from a pastor down in Alabama who was interested in getting the complete set of my Titus messages, (that’s right all 107 of them). He pastors a church of 2000. I know that most pastors dream about have a big church. And to be honest I used to.
But my desire has really changed. My desire to have a spiritually growing church. I would be lying to say that I do not want this church to grow numerically. Certainly I want people to be saved, and come to church here. Certainly, I want people to feel at home here and join our fellowship.
But rather then have a church of 700 or 2000 I would rather have a church of 70-100 folks who love the Lord like there is no tomorrow. I would rather have a church full of folks who serve as they should, who pray as they should, who read the Bible as they should, who give as they should. Give me a church of 70 folks who have a hunger for God’s Word over a church of 700 any day. I can say that I mean that sincerely.
As we go through John 15 please keep that in mind. I present these things to you so that you will grow in Christ, because that is my desire for each one you.
The second point I want to make before we get into this passage is connected to the first. I present this material for you to first and foremost examine yourself. Too often we read the Scripture looking for how we can apply to someone else. I will admit that I am first in line when it comes to doing this.
But as we talk about being a true disciple of Christ, as we examine the wonderful teachings found in John 15, listen by examining yourself? Ask yourself how does this apply to me? Is Jesus talking about me? After you have done that, then and only then can you apply to someone else.
As our Lord states in Matt. 7:5 "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
So let us make sure we get rid of the planks before we go trying to pull out the specks.