Summary: Part 4 in a series learning to "Discover & Experience God’s Will". As God is the Masterful Gardener and Christ the True Vine, by our REMAINING IN THE VINE, God will produce fruit!
A. THE SERIES
1. Eph 2.10 – “He Wants You To Know” - Artist/Masterpiece – God, thru Christ, desire to work through you to make you the Masterpiece He has planned.
2. Rom 12.1-6 – “What Is Expected?” - The Relationship expected is that of a Living Sacrifice not only to God but to others.
3. Jer. 18.1-6 – “The Potter & The Clay” - God, the master Potter, gives Us, the marred Clay, value by shaping us to be His masterpiece.
Each week we have seen the same thing. God, through Christ, desires a relationship with His Children that will allow Him to work in our lives to accomplish the “good, pleasing, and perfect” (Rom. 12.2) will mapped long ago!
APPLICATION: We have seen that to “Discover and Experience God’s Will”, we must allow God, through the many tools around us, to work His good, pleasing, and perfect will. We must “reverse the thought that “we must do anything” and teach ourselves to believe that “God, the master, must do everything!”
B. TODAY – A VINEYARD
Today, to end this series, our study is built around a Vineyard – a GRAPE VINEYARD. In our passage, Jesus is talking to His disciples who, because of their Jewish descent, would be able to understand the significance of the Illustration Jesus used!
1. OT – Israel – a Vine
Several passages in the OT referred to Israel as a Vine that had been “transplanted” into Canaan. Listen to what God later wrote of the Vine:
Isaiah 5:4 (NIV)
4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?
You would think that this marvelous display of mercy and grace would produce tremendous fruit. God gave them every invitation for a relationship that would allow Him to work through them providing spiritual blessings, but instead of trusting God’s Hands, the vine produced wild grapes!
2. NT – Christ – A TRUE Vine
While Israel was the past vine, the present and true vine was and is the Lord Jesus. And to teach them the relationship that God desired through Christ, Jesus used what they would know, the Vineyard, the Branches of the Vine, and the Fruit of the Vine.
3. Passage is found in “JOHN 15:1-8”
As last week, because of the way the passage is written, I feel it best to read the entire and then break out the parts. There are 4 parts: The Vine, the Vinedresser, The Branch, and The Fruit.
I. THE VINEDRESSER – THE GARDENER
Let’s 1st consider the Vinedresser – the Master Gardener. Verse 1 tells us that God is the Master Vinedresser – the Gardener.
* SCR: “Without the Master Gardener, There is No Vineyard!”
Webster says the part of the Vinedresser is to
(1) Cultivate, (2) To Purge & (3) To Prune the Grapevine.
A. HE CULTIVATES
The word “cultivate” means “to prepare or prepare and use for ‘the raising of crops’”. So the Vinedresser has the part of getting everything ready ! Let’s think about that part of the definition that describes “the raising of crops”
The Cultivator must have good soil, right mix of water. He must constantly work to make sure there are no insects, disease, or infection. In fact, without proper cultivating, the VINE nor the BRANCH stand a chance to survive. There is no CROP/FRUIT without that Vinedresser.
B. HE PURGES
Vs. 2 says “he cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit”
READ Vs. 6 further says …
There has been a lot of discussion on these 2 verses. What is the meaning here and is this a statement or a warning? It IS NOT a statement showing the possibility of one loosing their salvation but rather a WARNING to one who makes a superficial commitment.
Follow The Process:
1. John 10:29 (NIV)
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (obviously once saved always saved)
2. Matthew 7:16 (NIV)
16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (if they are really saved, you will know it)
3. Matthew 13:21-22 (NIV)
21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears (not receives) the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
Anyone can follow Christ, when everything is going well! That’s easy. But it’s the toils and snares of life that expose what is in one’s true heart. I don’t mean a mistake, a stumble, a temporary setback. I’m talking ones life.