|Create Date||December 5, 2017|
|Last Updated||December 5, 2017|
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I AM THE VINE
CHRIS KHOURY - SERMON SUMMARY - 26 NOV 2017
This is another of the great ”I AM...” statements of Jesus. In context he spoke these words directly after leaving the upper room where he had just taken the communion with his disciples. They were probably passing through a vineyard .....
48 Years ago - Apollo 11 went to the moon. On July 20 - 1969 the lunar module landed on the surface of the moon and two men Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin climbed out of the lunar module and walked on the moon.
When Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder and onto the moon he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While still in the lunar module at 5.57pm Houston time Buzz Aldrin silently recited John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” and then took communion on the moon.
John 15 New International Version (NIV)
The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also 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.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
This is another of the great ”I AM...” statements of Jesus. In context he spoke these words directly after leaving the upper room where he had just taken the communion with his disciples. They were probably passing through a vineyard when Jesus uttered these words.
I AM THE TRUE VINE
Jesus did not compare himself to a vine. He did not say, I am like a vine... or I am a vine... like he was one of many.
He said, “I am the true vine.” The one and only. The real deal.
Israel was often compared to a vine in the Old Testament, but they withered and died. They did not abide in God and did not bear the fruit that God intended. Here Jesus states, “I AM the true vine.”
Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, God is the gardener. if you abide in me you will bear much fruit.
So the question is, “WHAT KIND OF BRANCH ARE YOU?”
Are you fruitful or unfruitful? In v 5 we are told, “If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;”
Are you abiding? What kind of fruit will you bear?
To be a fruitful branch, what do we need to do? We must abide! What does that mean? To abide means, to remain, to stay put, to linger. To dwell! In other words the branch needs to stay connected to the vine so as to receive nourishment and life giving sap and goodness from the vine.
The branch does not produce the fruit. It does not make the fruit grow. The fruit comes from the life giving sap that flows through the vine. I don’t have to worry about producing the fruit, all I have to do is abide! When the branch does bear (carry) fruit the gardener prunes it - so that it will bear more fruit. The gardner does not cut off the entire branch, he just cuts it back to make room for new growth.
Hebrews 12:10-11 (NIV)
10 ...God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
God’s discipline is painful, but we need to remember it is not punishment. He prunes us for our own good, that we may share in his holiness. Therefore we are told, strengthen, feeble arms and weak knees. How? By abiding in Christ. It all comes down to the central message of John 15. Abide in Jesus.
We do not produce fruit by trying harder, or using our own abilities. We have only one option.
Jesus said, “Whoever abides in me, he it is who bears much fruit.” He also said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” If we do not abide in the vine we will not bear the fruit God is looking for. Love, joy, peace, gentleness, self control, goodness... In times of great need the master gardner is pruning us. So in difficult and disappointing times we need to draw more deeply from the life-giving vine.
How do we abide?
POINT 1 PRAY REGULARLY.
Have you prayer today? Did you pray yesterday? How about the day before? And the day before that? If we are not praying regularly then we are not abiding?
Matthew 5:6 (NIV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
We want to come hungry and thirsty to the feast of love God continually spreads before us.
POINT 2 READ THE WORD.
Matt 15:7 If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
It is through his Word that he abides in us and we abide in him. Did you read the Word of God today? Yesterday? The day before? How about the day before that?
What type of branch are you? Are you green, flourishing, growing, bearing fruit?
Or, are you dry, shrivelled, barely alive spiritually? In danger of becoming a dead branch that the gardener is going to lop off? How do you respond to the pruning?
John 15:8 By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit.