Summary: In the greatest command of all, Jesus says, “Love each other”. He commands us to go and be fruit that will last, and above all, “Love each other”.

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The Vine and the Branches (What is Spiritual Fruit?)

John 15:1-17

Tonight we will tackle an important question for all believers

Critical: “What does it look like to live like a Christian?”

If you’ve never asked yourself this before, perhaps tonight will help you

∆ What is spiritual fruit?

IMP: The true vine is not the church – it is Jesus

The gardener would be referring to God (Greek: georgos; meaning farmer)

The vine would be referring to Israel: Psalm 80:14-15, “O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You; Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine, even the shoot which Your right hand has planted, and on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.”

Jesus lists and shows us three types of believers here

• Those who bear fruit

• Those who bear some fruit

• Those who bear much fruit

Now, what is fruit? How does the Bible define fruit?

Fruit is NOT defined as evangelism or bringing others to Christ

IMP: It is an easy slope to fall down; as if soul winning is only fruit (false)

What is fruit? Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

This is not a passage on salvation; but on living for Christ

Those who are referred to have already been reborn – this is application

When we remain in Christ, we are abiding – we are content, satisfied

The true Christian will want more of Him, not more of what exalts yourself

To be content in Christ is the greatest accomplishment we could desire

Consider: What if we prayed more; read more; or desired more of God?

Jesus says (v5) that He is the vine, and we are the branches

A branch cannot survive if it is of the vine … it will wither and die out

When plugged into the vine, we thrive and live more fully

So Jesus says, if you remain in me, YOU will bear much fruit

So, how do we handle v6 and the implications of being tossed away?

One word: carefully! Let’s explore this intent from the words used

FACT: Christians who are saved cannot lose their salvation

This lends more weight to losing rewards in eternity – still saved but …

1 Cor 3:15, “If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved--even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

Consider APP: Imagine God’s disappointment for choosing to disobey Him

A father gives good things, but He still withholds rewards for disobedience

It is the same concept – while salvation is not removed, reward may be

Now, why would a loving God do that?

Sunday: Because He is a just, righteous, and Holy God

And … it is to the Father’s glory that we are to live rightly for Him (v8)

∆ How does God love us?

So, Jesus gives them very explicit directions on how to live (v9)

HUGE: God loved Him; He has shown us that love; now remain there

If we do what Jesus has told us to do, we will remain in Him

Re: Every lesson to date has been done to show us the Father’s glory

And we’ve been told these things so our joy would be complete

Being a Christian is not a life of rules, regulations, and legalistic views

It is a life of JOY; a life that brings us reward that surpasses what we want

Consider: Jesus regenerated in the tomb and He is alive

How much more will what He brings us be than what we desire?

Then, Jesus really piles it on for us to soak in (re-read v12-15)

We are no longer slaves, we are called into friendship with God

A slave has no idea what the master is doing … or even WHY he does it

Jesus gives us every reason for why He does what He does

To bring glory to the Father, who is so deserving

So consider, what has God done for you? He has laid down His life.

Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

And in this, even in the suffering, He says “you are my friend”

Now, this doesn’t mean we get easy with our familiarity – He is still LORD

But, it does mean that we have been brought in close to who He is … why?

So that everything He has made known to you God has told Jesus to tell you

APP: Our understanding of God can be so finite (small), it is just the surface

But Jesus not only tells us who He is, He shows it AND gives us the “why”

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