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Summary: PART 4 A lot of this sermon series is like the study the Vine & Branch Study

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Part 4 of 4

What Do I Believe About Getting Close To God?

1.Think of a time when you felt especially near God. List three words that describe how that felt.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ABIDE?

To abide means to remain intimately connected to Jesus Christ.

In vineyard terms, abiding happens at the place where the branch connects to the vine. The greater our connection to Jesus, the more we tap into His power and presence-and the more fruit we can bear for Him.

In vineyard terms, abiding happens at the place where the branch connects to the vine.

1 John 4:13-15. From this passage we see that we begin to abide when we accept Christ as our Savior. This kind of abiding is a supernatural gift from God.

Yet in John 15:4 and 9, abide is used as an imperative-Jesus commanded His disciples to abide. That means that abiding for “much fruit” requires an action on our part.

1. A word closely related to abiding is fellowship. According to 1 John 1:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 1:9, who can we have fellowship with?

2. Another synonym for abiding is communion. Second Corinthians 13:14 tell us that we can enjoy the communion of _____________________.

3. Abide can also be translated “ remain” or “stay”.

What does this say about who is responsible when there is distance between you and God? How might knowing this change the way you approach intimacy with Him?

WELCOME TO THE PLACE OF ABIDING

In John 15, Jesus mentions three ways or “places” we abide:

1. WE ABIDE IN CHRIST. Notice the wording of John 15:5. Jesus was describing a level of intimacy between Jesus and His friends that could continue even after His death. We don’t remain with Jesus, or even near Jesus, but _________________________Him—and He in us~!

Is the God of the universe knowable? Yes! In fact, coming to know God better is what abiding is all about. Paul was so convinced Christ was knowable that he wrote, “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). And God told Jeremiah,” Let him who glory in this, that he understands and knows me” (Jeremiah 9:24).

1. WE ABIDE IN HIS LOVE, Read John 15:9-17.

Jesus tells us that we are to abide in His_____________(v.9), which is possible as we keep His ____________________(v.10).

This passage echoes Jesus’ teaching about the greatest commandment

(Mark 12:28-34). How might abiding in God’s love lead naturally to loving others?

2.WE ABIDE IN HIS WORD. In John 15:7, Jesus

Told His disciples to_____________ in Christ and let

His ________________abide in them. What are some?

Practical ways to make this happen?

WHY IS ABIDING SO IMPORTANT?

2. ABIDING IS ONE OF GOD’S GREATEST DESIRES. From the Garden of

Eden to the closing pages of Revelation, the Bible is a chronicle of God’s initiatives to have a personal relationship with the human race.

What does Revelation 3:20 reveal about God’s desire for and active pursuit of friendship with us?

How does this personal invitation make you feel? How often do you hear this knocking on the door to your heart? How do you tend to answer?

ABIDING IS ONE REASON GOD CREATED US. David expressed the longing of the human soul for God: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, pants my soul for You, O God “(Psalm 42:1).

A. Read Psalm 16:11 and 17:15. What do we find in God’s presence?

B. What are some ways people tend to look for personal fulfillment outside of intimacy with God? How successful are these efforts?

C. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low), how strong is your own desire to know God? Why do you think this is so?

3. ABIDING IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN YIELD AN ABUNDANT HARVEST OF “MUCH FRUIT.” Way do you think a deeper friendship with God and obedience to Him might result in more fruitfulness for eternity? (See John 15:5)

HOW DOES ABIDING LEAD TO “MUCH “ FRUIT?

The branch that bears “much” fruit bears the highest yield possible. Surprisingly, the key to this abundance is not doing more for God, but being more with God. How does this work?

1. Let’s look more closely at what Jesus said in John 15:4-5:

“As the branch cannot bare fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless, you abide in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.”

a. What activity on our part is the only source of real abundance?

What startling truth dose Jesus reveal about our ability to bare fruit at any level?

b. Read Mathew 11:28-30 and Galatians 6:9. How might abiding help us to not grow weary in doing God’s work?

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