Summary: Jesus told His disciples the secret to being a fruitful follower.
What Kind of Branch Are You?
May 25, 2003 Chester’s FBC, Chester, IL Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A It’s getting warmer and people are getting their gardens ready!
a Corn, tomatoes, beans, flowers.......
b Winery in Red Bud has their rows all staked out and ready for growth.
B Our message is "What Kind of Branch Are You?".
(Jesus and his disciples had just had the Lord’s Supper, Judas had done disappeared from the disciples. Probably going up to the Mount of Olive’s to pray. He looks over a valley filled with a huge vineyard.)
a JN 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  "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.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
b Jesus told his disciples the secret to being a fruitful follower. (ETS)
C We become fruitful by staying connected to Jesus. (ESS)
a I hope you stay connected to the vine. (Objective)
b What kind of branch are you? (Probing Question)
T.S. b Let’s look at three branches that will describe each one our spiritual walks.
Jesus told his disciples the secret to being a fruitful follower. We become fruitful by staying connected to Jesus.
A We’ve looked at 3 branches that described each one our spiritual walks.
(1) Disposable (2) Prunable (3) Fruitful
B I hope you stay connected to the vine.
a Flourish or squeak by. Grumble or Grow.
b You chose which branch that describes your spiritual walk.
C What kind of branch are you? (P.Q.)
a Anybody ever use honey? A bee works it’s whole life gathering, making, storing and producing honey. The average bee spends its entire life producing 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. (Doesn’t seem like much, but you get a lot of bee’s making honey...we can dine fine!)
b You may think your fruit doesn’t matter, you’re just one person. When we all produce much fruit...we become a branch that produces a bumper crop for Christ.
I The first branch that describes our Christian growth is....a disposable branch.
A The vine-dresser, always looking out for the best interest of the vine, removed the fruitless branches from the vine. (2 reasons: (1) Justice to the unfruitful branch & (2) Kindness to the fruit bearing branches.)
a At one time these branches appeared to be promising, full of potential,. . . but they dried/died on the vine.
b (v.6) If anyone does not remain in me, he is.....put on an inactive membership list. (The first century church didn’t have inactive members.)
like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
These unproductive/unfruitful branches were not HELPING the vine. (Actually serving as a detriment to the other branches.)
The vine provided sap to the unproductive branch. The vine was getting nothing in return, that sap could be used by productive branches.
B Why do some professing Christians who start out with so much potential, promise, and possibility just fizzle out? (v.6 If anyone does not remain in me...)
a The vine supplies life giving sap to the branches, if the branch disconnects from the vine....it dies.
 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
b When people stop going to church, Sunday School, giving, reading the Word, praying...they are becoming unattached to the vine. When you come detached from the vine...you do two things.
(1) Do not bear fruit.
C Many years ago at the Tournament of Roses parade, the Standard Oil Company (now Chevron) had a beautiful float in the parade.
a In the middle of the parade route the float came to a grinding halt and stopped the entire parade in it’s tracks. Why? The Standard Oil Company float had ran out of gas!! (Had to wait for somebody to go get a gallon of gas in order to get the float going again!)