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Summary: What it means to remain in Christ.

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John 15:1-8

Galatians 5:16-26

“The Right Connection”

By:Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

Shortly after I was saved, I was hanging out with my teenage friends, and a group of them were being

really mean and bullying to a kid who happened to have a different skin color.

They seemed to be doing this for no other reason than for entertainment purposes.

I remember how evil it felt.

I could see the clear line between right and wrong...God’s way and Satan’s way.

In the past I would have either joined in with them, or not thought much about it.

Not this time.

This time, I smiled at the kid who was being harassed...I spoke to him like a human being...I stood up

for him....

...and you know what he said to me?

He said, “You’re not the same as them...you’re not like them...you’re not one of them.”

It felt good and scary at the same time...good: because I was filled with the Holy Spirit of

God...scary: because I knew I could no longer hang out with my friends like I used to and do what my friends were

doing any longer....

...well, it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t do it...

...it was more like I couldn’t do it anymore and be happy...and be at peace...

... “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear

much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown

away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

What does this mean?

How does one remain in Christ?

Think of it this way:

When we put a tea bag in a cup of hot water, something amazing happens to the water. As the tea bag

remains in that water, the tea begins to color and flavor the water until that water begins to take on the color and

the taste of the tea bag. The longer the bag remains in the water, the stronger the color and taste of the tea.

And this is exactly what happens when we remain in Christ and He remains in us.

The longer we remain in Christ and the deeper we go with Christ, the more the influence of Christ will

pervade our lives, so that we begin to reflect His nature and His character.

In our Epistle Lesson, Paul is talking about the fruit of the Spirit of God....

This fruit is love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

How can anyone display all of these qualities consistently?

Humanly speaking...we can’t.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that it is not only a possibility but a distinct reality--if we have the right connection.

“No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you

remain in me.”

A five year old boy fell out of bed, waking the entire household with his cry.

After his mother had safely tucked him back under the covers, she asked: “Why did you fall out of bed?”

Between tears and sobs, he said: “Well, I guess I went to sleep too close to where I got in.”


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