|INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES||JOHN LESSON 27|
David Parham 940-613-3494
||John Chapter 15:1-27
Memory verses for this week: Psa 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Psa 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Introduction: In our last weeks study, we saw Jesus explaining to the disciples how that when He left them, that the Holy Spirit would come and both comfort and guide them unto all truth. You and I are still blessed with this promise today. When we know Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and abides within us. This week in Chapter 15, we take up the teaching about us being the branches with Christ being the true vine.
I. Our Relationship to Christ in Fruit Bearing
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
If you and I want to be fruitful in Gods vineyard, we must see ourselves for what we are, humble creatures in need of help if we wish to be fruitful. We see that God is the husbandman, the owner of the vineyard. Jesus is the true vine. In the Greek, the word for true is "alethinos." This speaks of being genuine. And when we will take our position as a branch out of the true vine, we can really become fruitful. When you look at verse 2, we see that if we do not bear fruit, the Father takes us away. In my life, I can relate to how close I came to losing my physical life by rebellion and refusal to serve the Lord when I was twenty years old. I was hit with such a massive dose of gouty arthritis, that I doubt I would have lived much more than six months. But by Gods grace, some members of a church came and visited my wife and I, and we were able to get back into church and I rededicated my life to God. My arthritis got better immediately. When this happened, I could not stand up more than 20 seconds at a time, and all my joints were swollen out of proportion. But in six months, the swelling was gone, and a year later, I was playing on the football team that we had out there. Before getting into church, I was not being fruitful at all. I was a stumblingblock to those around me. But when I got my heart right and back into the service of the Lord, God started molding me into a vessel mete for the Masters use. Twenty seven years later, I praise God for allow me to be used. Im sure you share the desire for God to use you in His service. God has had His hand in my life, and I want him to continue to purge me that I might be branch that brings forth much fruit. It is important that we all understand that these verses are directed to a saved person, one of the true children of God by the second birth.
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The believers are the branches in the vine. Without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are not clean. And as verse 3 states, we are clean through the word. (Gospel). Jesus desire is for us to abide in him, and when we do, he abides in us. If you look at a peach tree or an apple tree, you dont see the branch bearing fruit without being tied into the main trunk of the tree. It has to have deep roots to give water for the fruit to be produced. In the Christian life, we have to be tied into Jesus Christ, the true vine for us to produce and be fruitful. Our heart needs to be wholly dedicated to the work of the Lord, and desiring to do things Gods way. When our lives please the Lord, and we do things Gods way, he promises that we will bring forth much fruit. I am proud to be a member of our local church. We have members whose desires are to do things the way they are laid down in the Bible. We recognize that without Jesus, we can do nothing.
In John Phillips Study on the Gospel of John, I loved his comments on this verse. "Without me ye can do nothing." Jesus added, re-enforcing the lesson. There is no such thing as a freelance Christian. To be a Christian in the biblical sense of the word involves an organic spiritual relationship with Christ. In the Bible there is no such thing as denominational church being ruled from some headquarters, or an independent church ignoring all other gatherings of believers. All are united to Christ and through him to one another, in a many branched whole. Christ is the head of the church. Christ is the vine. Severed from him there is no life at all, individual or corporate, and what passes for life is a wretched imitation, lifeless and sowing death. Denominationalism, tradition, programs, or money might keep a dead church going through the motions for a time. But all it produces is worldliness, carnality, legalism, and death. The abiding life is to become the abounding life, a life that brings glory to the Father by being a reflection of the life of Christ. " I want to add that all saved believers are not a part of the church, they are all in the family of God Only scripturally baptized believers make up the church of Jesus Christ.
Jesus had other teachings about bearing fruit. Over in Matthew 21, the Lord taught that His disciples should bear fruit. It was not well received by the chief priests and Pharisees.
John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Does verse six teach that if we dont do works, we will be lost and go to hell? At first glance, this might appear that way, but we have to put the verse in context. J. Vernon McGee had this to say about verse six. "Oh-oh", somebody says, "that sounds as if you lose your salvation." No, remember this passage is not talking about salvation but about fruit-bearing. It is talking about that which is the result of being saved. First of all, what is the fruit? I do not believe that the fruit mentioned here refers to soul-winning, as so many people seem to think. I believe soul-winning is a by-product but not the fruit itself. The fruit is the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance " Gal 5:22-23 This is fruit in the life of the believer. Abiding in Christ will produce effectual prayer, perpetual fruit, and celestial joy." Ive never hear this about this verse, and Ive always related the fruit being other souls saved. I do think this is an interesting teaching on the verse, and worthy of consideration.
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
This verse is clearly pointed in my opinion to saving souls. If we want to be known as followers of the Lord, we need to be known as men and women who put forth the Gospel, just as Jesus and his disciples did in his ministry. Here are some verses about growing in the Lord to do good works.
II. Our Relationship to Christians in Fruit-Bearing
John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
All of Gods commandments are for our own good. Never once has God commanded us to do something that would be to our disadvantage. Now Satan will come along and accuse our Heavenly Father of limiting what we can do, trying to get us prideful to do things our way. That was his way from the beginning with Eve. "Hath God said " Just a little doubt and we will turn to our own way. But the verses here say that if we love the Father, we should continue in His love, and obey the commandments. God is much more pleased with our obedience than our sacrifices for our sins.
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
We see that the Lords desire is for us to love one another as He loved us. It is sad to see churches where the members have negative things to say about one another. Instead of lifting up one another in prayer, they gossip and tear down those that they should love. Let that never be said of you and I. I believe that if we are true disciples of the Lord, we will be exhorting and encouraging one another, never being destructive to anothers character. If a brother or sister is making a mistake, lets correct them in spirit of love and reconciliation.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
When we talk about love, there is no love like the Love of God. What Jesus did for you and I, while we were yet sinners and enemies of God, shall never be exceeded. I might die for my family, or for one of you that I love so dearly. But would I die for one that hates me and despises me? I doubt it. But that is exactly what Jesus did when he died for our sins. Anyone who knows Christ as Savior understands this love, and know that it was God who made the first move to us. He draws us by the Spirit of God. Our tendency is to turn away from God. But while we were yet sinners, God commendeth his love to us.
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
We see that we have the proof of Gods love to us in verse 14. In verses 15 and 16, we see the result of that love. When we know Christ as Savior, we are walking in the perfect will of the Lord, we will be fruitful and bring others to the Lord. Did you take that opportunity this week to tell a lost man or woman about Jesus? If we will pray and ask God to send us to sinners, I know from personal experience that God will give us an opportunity to witness. But we must be willing to be used of the Lord. Note the promise at the end of verse 16, "that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." Are we asking the right things of the Father? If we are asking for an opportunity to witness about Jesus, we are asking the right question.
III. Our Relationship to the World in Fruit-bearing
John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Is it a good idea for us to love one another? Not only is it a good idea, it is a commandment directly from Christ. By our love, the world is to know we are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Should we expect love back? They hated our Savior without a cause, and you can look at the leaders of our nation today, and few look fondly upon Christians today. America is a nation founded on God, yet few in our country speak well of Christians, particularly those that believe strongly in Gods Word and walk a separated life. Verse 19 says that if the world loves us, we are not taking much of a stand for the Lord. Take a strong stand, make your life exemplify Jesus Christ, and there will be attacks on you. Be sure, they are coming. But if we live like the devil, we can blend in well with the world, and they will accept us. I dont know about you, but if I can only please One, that One will be God. Please God, and He will take care of all of the battles.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
John 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
John 15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
The world will persecute us when we stand for God. Why does the world despise Christ like it does? Part of the reason is our pride. When God sent Jesus into this world, Christ made our sins known and apparent. The fleshly man does not want to hear that he is a sinner separated from God. But that is why Jesus came to make us see our true position, and then to live the perfect life and die that we might have a pardon for our sins. Not many want to suffer for Jesus, but we all desire to be part of the glory. But if I know my heart, I want to love for the Lord and understand even the fellowship of Christs sufferings like the Apostle Paul
John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
When we speak evil of God, we directly speak evil of Christ. In the same way, when we speak against Jesus, it is an offense to God. We need to realize how much God loves Christ, and honor Him in all that we do. And we know as verse 25 declares, Jesus was hated without a cause. No other ever loved His own like Jesus. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, cast out demons, even raised the dead. But in all this, the world still hated Him. Dont be surprised when you are evil spoken of for doing a good work in the name of Jesus.
IV. The Comforter Promised
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The Spirit of Comfort and Truth shall testify of Christ. Each of us who know Jesus as Savior have that confidence in our hearts that we are the sons of God. And our lives will count and testify of Christ because we are His disciples.
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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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