VINE AND BRANCHES
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Read John 15:1-17.
The Connection: Vine and Branches
- Jesus at the end of John 14 said, Lets get going.
- Jesus is the Way to the Father. His life has a purpose and we are called to follow.
- The branches are connected to the vine
Notice that Jesus has an agenda.
- Agenda is purpose and mission
- Jesus is risen and that means that Jesus is active. He is not the Jesus who died and went to heaven.
- If we are the branches and remain in him then we must follow him as he moves forward with his activity.
We are friends. We are not servants.
- Servants do not ask questions. They do not know their masters business. Friends are on the inside.
- Friendship is relationship. A connection like vine and branches.
- Friends respond to another friend out of relationship, not simply in terms of obligation or reward.
- Good friends share their hearts.
- Good friends can finish each others sentences.
- Good friends draw together even when it is difficult to be friends, not just when its easy.
- Good friends put their lives on the line not just for ultimate sacrifice, but for daily sacrifice.
- We are expected to act like Jesus friends. We are expected to be friends.
Jesus has a direction/agenda + We are his friends
- So what is his agenda?
- What have we seen Jesus doing?
- Healing the sick,
- giving sight to the blind,
- feeding the hungry,
- reaching out to the outcast
- forgiving the sinful,
- restoring people to community,
- raising the dead.
- And Jesus wasnt afraid to cross longstanding boundaries to do all of this. He went into Samaria, he forgave a woman caught in adultery, he held accountable the scribes and teachers and many of them were offended because it didnt fit their expectations.
- To sum it up, the agenda is love. A risky, world-changing, life-changing love. Love that embodies the spirit of God
- We are expected to bear fruit. Jesus chose us so that we would bear fruit. Vine and branches ...
- We can do nothing apart from Christ, so we must remain in him.
- Considering the sort of agenda that Jesus has in this world, what sort of fruit are we to bear? It would be evidence of being connected to Jesus of course.
- Bearing Fruit means putting Jesus teaching into practice. When we bear fruit we show that we are Jesus disciples that means follower, learner.
- If we want to remain in his love then we will obey his commands but not like servants. We obey like friends who regard these commands as teachings for life. Who follow because we know Jesus and are known by Jesus.
- Jesus sums up his teaching with a single command: Love one another.
- And he doesnt mean a good feeling, he means the sort of relationship and action that bears fruit. Doing what Jesus did in our life and our world.
- And he isnt exclusive about it. It isnt limited to members or the inner circle.
- We might look at the works of Jesus and disconnect ourselves from the miraculous. But Jesus said that if trust in him then we will be able to do even greater things.
- The point of the miracle stories is love not power.
- The multiplying of loaves and fishes is a means to an end and the end is compassion for those who are hungry.
- Restoring sight to the blind man was all about glorifying God.
- Raising Lazarus from the dead was all about the power of the resurrection life that is rooted.
- Lets think about what that means ...
- If you have people who work for you and you treat them more than fairly, with respect and love thats bearing fruit
- If you are a father or mother and you share your faith with your children by having the sort of character and patience that they respect thats bearing fruit
- If you have an opportunity to forgive someone who has done you wrong and you really do so thats bearing fruit
- If you treat a friend, a co-worker, a classmate with respect rather than ridicule (to their face or behind their back) then thats obeying Jesus. Thats bearing fruit.
- If you visit the house of an elderly neighbor and cast out worry or loneliness thats bearing fruit.
- If you keep your heart pure and in doing so keep your covenant to your wife or your parents thats bearing fruit
- If you make contact with someone youve wronged or insulted and re-establish a relationship thats bearing fruit.
- If you show understanding and refuse to jump to anger (even when its a church matter) thats bearing fruit
- [Apple Tree story]
- Being healthy = bearing fruit.
- If we are Jesus friends, then we will bear fruit.
- If we do not bear fruit, then we are not acting like his friends.
- If we don't follow ... That is if we don't bear fruit ... Then we are cut off.
- Even if we do bear fruit then we are pruned. That's tough, but the process leads to bearing more fruit.
- But if we aren't bearing fruit then we are cut off from the branch.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 19 April 2009
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