Fruit Bearing For God, Part IV, John 15:5-15
John 15:5-10, 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. 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. 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. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 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.
Jesus Christ, in instructing his disciples told them clearly that without Him they could do nothing.
This instruction was given in the context of bearing fruit acceptable to the husbandman.
So Jesus is telling his disciples that they cannot bear fruit acceptable to the husbandman without Him.
And acceptable fruit is fruit which can only come by a continual abiding in Christ, a continual attachment of the branch to the vine.
The world has its fruit.
The world has its love, its joy, its peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
But this fruit is the fruit of the flesh, not the fruit of the Spirit.
This fruit is the fruit of Cain who brought to God the fruit of the labor of his hands rather than the prescribed offering brought by his brother Abel.
Gen 4:4,5, And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.
For the fruit of the world is self-serving fruit, fruit produced from hidden motives and is unacceptable to the husbandman and therefore Jesus Christ can say, without me ye can do nothing.
And there is no limitation imposed on fruit bearing for in verse 8 we are told that the Father, as any husbandman would, desires much fruit for in much fruit He is glorified.
Glorified means to show God in his splendor, his greatness, his brightness, his magnificence.
Think about the farmer going to the state fair bringing his best crops, his best fruit and winning the best of fair.
Think about the pictures you have seen of the smiling farmer as he shows off the largest watermelon, or the largest pumpkin.
Glory goes to these farmers and to the farmer whose acreage brings forth the most bushels or bales per acre.
God is looking for disciples who reveal Him by their fruit for God chooses to reveal Himself by the fruit his children display.
God told us that we should know men by their fruit but this is also true whereby Godís children who bear the fruit of the Spirit also reveal God to the world.
And in this, Godís splendor, his magnificence, his brightness, his greatness is shown and therefore He is glorified.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
So Christ again gives a mark of a disciple.
Bearing much fruit is evidence of discipleship.
Remember in John 8:31 Jesus said: If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
Continuance so fruit comes. Continuance in His Word meaning abiding in Christ.
Abiding in Christ results in fruit bearing and much fruit in the life makes one a true disciple of Christ.
God makes you a disciple of Christ when he makes you into a fruit bearing branch of the vine.
Your responsibility is simply to abide in the vine.
Stay put on the vine, stay close to the vine.
Be a faithful branch and let the vine and the husbandman do the work in producing the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus Christ does not neglect to press us to know if we are a disciple.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5, admonished all to: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
And in this examination will you find the fruit of the Spirit in your life?
Do you love with godly love, a love given with no expectation of return?
Are you joyful? Is there the peace of God in your life?
Donít neglect this important self-examination for many deceive themselves.
Examining yourself is not to remember some decision you made one day in the past but examining yourself means to look for fruit in your life today.
We are not only to examine the fruit of others that we may know their standing before God but we are for sure to examine the fruit of our own life that we may know we are a disciple of Christ.
Jesus continues his disciple training for in:
John 15:9 he says, As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
To continue in Christ's love is to abide in Christ's love.
To abide in Christ's love is to be occupied with Christ.
To abide in Christ's love is to count on his love, to know that nothing can separate you from His love.
To abide in Christ's love is to stay put in Christ's love.
To be unmovable from Christ is to abide in Christ.
Christ's love is eternal and unchanging.
Our responsibility is to take full advantage of his love.
To enjoy it fully. To rest in his love.
This is how you may bear much fruit for the husbandman.
And to abide in his love is to bear much fruit and Jesus then connects obedience to his commandments to abiding for in:
John 15:10 he instructs, 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.
Jesus tells us that the way to abide in his love is through obedience to his commandments.
He kept his Father's commandments and always abode in his love.
He was occupied with his Father.
"I must be about my Father's business." He could do no less.
He knew that nothing could separate him from his Father's love.
And he tells his disciples that obedience to his word will keep them abiding in him.
Jesus Christ expects submission of the will if abiding is to take place.
Fellowship with Christ, abiding in Christ is achieved only on the path of obedience to the Word of God.
And that path brings joy to Jesus Christ as he tells his disciples in:
John 15:11, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Here is the formula for joy.
Jesus Christ has spoken of the necessity of abiding in him.
Your joy might be full only by abiding in the one who produces the fruit of joy.
Joy is the fruit of the Spirit and it is only procured through abiding in the one who has joy to impart to his children.
You cannot manufacture joy. It is not a human product.
Whatever the natural man calls joy is not the joy of which Jesus Christ speaks.
The world may produce happiness, which is only the result of happenings, but it cannot produce the joy of the Lord.
It is not in our nature to have the joy of which Christ speaks.
Joy is a spiritual product only given by abiding in Christ who has all joy.
Christ had all joy for He abode in his Father's love,.
His joy was in pleasing the Father, in doing his will and glorifying his name.
This is described in Heb. 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It was a joy to do the Father's will and therefore Jesus Christ endured the cross for the joy that was set before him.
He knew that obedience to the Father's will would bring joy.
He looked past the cross and saw the joy that was set before him.
He looked past the cross and heard the Father's word that he was his beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
He knew that joy was set before him because he pleased the Father by obeying the Father.
And our joy is full only when we abide in Christ and we abide in Christ by obeying his word.
John encouraged this joy in 1 John 1:3,4: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
So in John 15:12,13 Jesus gives commandment to his disciples for He says: This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The first commandment of Jesus Christ to his disciples after giving instructions concerning abiding in him is for them to love one another.
The two are connected. Abiding in Christ and loving one another.
What should folks in the church do who do not love one another?
What should the Pastor do when he finds people at odds in the church, people who refuse to love one another?
Doesnít he need to counsel these brethren to work at it and find common ground and settle their differences?
Doesn't he need psychological training to be able to get people together so they can get along?
Shouldn't he work diligently to bring people together so they will love one another?
NO! The effort of the Pastor is to preach the necessity of abiding in Christ.
The worldís approach, the direct approach of interpersonal relationships is not the answer.
A personal relationship between the brethren is not the answer.
Only a personal relationship with Christ is the answer.
If you do not love the brethren you need to abide in Christ until you do!
Jesus Christ commands that ye love one another!
I must simply abide in Christ, then I will have the fruit of love, Christ's love in which to love
As children of God we are ordered by our Master to love one another.
If we do not love one another then we are disobedient children and we are not abiding in Christ.
If God commands us to love then he must also provide the ability to love.
The ability to love comes from abiding in the vine, abiding in Christ.
If we are not abiding in Christ the fruit of the vine is choked from growing on the branch.
The Spirit is quenched when we do not abide in the vine and we cannot love without abiding in the vine because love is a fruit of the vine.
We can only love one another as Christ loves us, by abiding in him.
By abiding in him we allow his love to flow through us and therefore we can love one another as he loves us.
By saying Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, he tells us that there is to be no limit to our love.
Our love is to reach to our readiness to give up our life for our friend.
In other words our love produces works to even giving up our life for the brethren.
1 John 3:16, Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Oh yes Lord, I will lay down my life for the brethren! You can count on me!
But do we say yes to this command and yet deny the lesser love of daily needs and daily comforting of our brothers and sisters?
It is so easy to think of the greater love we would exercise if we are called upon to do so but what about the everyday needs and sufferings of the brethren.
In these we have greater opportunity to do so.
If we neglect these daily needs can we really say that we will somehow conjure up the love it takes to lay down our life for the brethren?
So Christ continues in John 15:14,15, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 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.
You are a friend to Jesus Christ if you abide in him, and thus obey his word.
The friendship of Jesus Christ is dependent upon obedience to his word.
Disobedience to his word servers friendship because disobedience separates from the path of Christ.
The cause of that separation is never Christ because he is always on the path of obedience.
Friendship is always severed by the one who is disobedient to the word of Christ.
He proves his friendship by confiding in his disciples and all who abide in him.
He does not keep his confidence from his disciples but all things he has heard of his Father he has made known unto them and to all who in him abide.
That is a mark of abiding in Christ.
Knowing all that Christ knows of the Father.
God does not keep things from his Son nor does he keep things from those who abide in his Son.
He reveals to them the Father's thoughts and brings them into the intimacies that he has with the Father.
It is the new nature that Christ imparts to those that abide in him that allows this intimacy.
That is what abiding is, an intimacy with Christ and therefore an intimacy with the Father that the natural man cannot and will never know in the natural state.
Ye must be born again in order to abide.
And when you abide Christ reveals things to you that the world does not know.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.
It is given unto those who abide to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.
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.
This is specific to the disciples but the same principal applies to all believers.