Summary: John 15’s teaching of the need to be connected to Christ
“Weeding the Garden”
Intro: What would you think of a farmer like that one in the skit? Sometimes farmers can be pretty stupid. I know I’ve done some foolish things in planting a garden. My gardens haven’t always done very well. This year I got very little out of it. Last year I planted both squash and cantaloupe, and it cross-bred giving me “squasheloupes”. All it takes is one trip out to Ron Smithson’s patch to show me what a poor farmer I am. Did you ever stop to think that the Christian life is a lot like planting a garden.
We see the idea of the Christian life being tied to a garden in John 15.
Read 15:1-17 -- Pray
Background: We have just read in John 13 & 14 the events of the last supper. Very possibly at this time Jesus is traveling with his disciples, going from the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives, where he will pray and be betrayed. They may have looked up at the temple wall and seen the large gold vine, the symbol of Israel, displayed so prominently on the wall. And Jesus gives them some lessons about relationships. He teaches them about their relationships to Christ, to each other, and to the world. This morning we will talk about the first: our relationship to Christ.
I. God’s Plan is that We Bear Fruit.
Vs. 16 - we are appointed to go and bear fruit.
The Jew was very familiar with grape arbors, and that is the idea presented here of the vine. Really the analogy could carry over for our culture of a fruit tree.
Sometimes we focus on being a pretty tree, or having a nice sign or a little picket fence around our tree. Sometimes we focus on being a big tree. But what God really wants is FRUIT. The analogy here is to the Christian life. Our lives are to bring forth fruit. This comes through an internal heart change.
Peter tells women in 1 Pet. 3:3 - Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
You might ask me: what is this fruit?
Is it the fruit of the Spirit?
Gal. 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Or maybe is it the fruit of the light - Eph. 5:9 - for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth
Or maybe is it the idea of winning other souls for Christ - Ps. 126:6 - He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Pr. 11:30 - He that winneth souls is wise.
Or maybe is it the idea of a righteous life - Phil. 1:11 - filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.
And the answer is YES - all of the above. The idea here is that our lives should be filled with fruit that brings praise to our God. If God would look at our lives this morning, what would he see? Would he see a tree loaded with good fruit, or would he see branches with no fruit, or would he see scrawny, gnarly fruit?