Abiding in Christ and Bearing Good Fruit, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 236)

spiritual-warfare


TEXT: John 15:1-2

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

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.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 236.

Joseph Parker said, “Humans need Jesus Christ as a necessity and not as a luxury. You may be pleased to have flowers, but you must have bread…. Jesus is not a phenomenon, He is bread: Christ is not a curiosity, He is water. As surely as we cannot live without bread, we cannot live truly without Christ: If we know not Christ we are not living, our movement is a mechanical flutter, our pulse is but the stirring of an animal life.”

In the continuation of His discourse with His disciples before He is arrested to be crucified, Jesus now turns his attention to how He and the Father will interact with the disciples during His physical absence. Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”

The vine is a metaphor that everyone in Israel would be familiar with. Grapes, a fruit for which the land of Palestine was well-known, grew on the vine. A good crop of grapes was considered a sign of prosperity and well-being. Jesus takes this metaphor and applies it to himself and the union between His disciples and the Heavenly Father. Every Christian living today is also a part of this vine.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe describes this relationship thusly: “The vines I saw in the Holy Land were large and strong, and it was next to impossible for anyone to break off a mature branch without injuring the vine itself. Our union with Christ is a living union, so we may bear fruit; a loving union, so that we may enjoy Him, and a lasting union, so that we need not be afraid.”

While the concept of the vine was familiar to the disciples, the idea of Jesus being a vine was new to the disciples. It is significant that Jesus says, “My Father is the husbandman.” The husbandman is the person who is in charge of the vine. He plants the seed, checks on its growth, prunes bad growth or unfruitful branches, and then, in season, he collects the harvest.

The fact that Jesus tells us His Father is the husbandman ties this chapter in with the previous one where Jesus said He was going to the cross out of love and obedience to the Father. Just as the Father was in charge of Jesus’ life on earth, the Father will be in charge of the disciples’ lives on earth. Just as Jesus loved God and obeyed God, the disciples were commanded to love God and obey God.

This revelation is significant for two reasons:

First, Jesus is leaving physically, but the disciples are staying behind. The fact that they are “branches” in the vine indicate that they are an outgrowth of Jesus Christ. They are an extension of Him. They are, as C.S. Lewis put it, “little Christs.” An apple tree produces more apples. A tomato vine produces more tomatoes. So, must the Christ-vine produce more little Christs. The disciples could be encouraged knowing that, even though Jesus was gone physically, they were a part of something much bigger than themselves.

The second reason why this news is significant is because, this was Jesus’ first act of turning the disciples over to God. To this point, the disciples only knew God through Jesus Christ. Now, they would begin to know God directly as He began to work in their lives (made possible, of course, only because of Jesus’ sacrifice). This was a growth phase for the disciples. Just as a tree grows from a tiny sapling into a many-branched tree, the disciples would grow up from their step-by-step training with Jesus into full faith in God.

One hymnwriter put it this way —

He’s the vine and we’re the branches,
We should ever abide in Him,
And He should always abide with us
As the flow of life within.

As we hear His instant speaking,
He’s the rich indwelling Word;
To abide we must be faithful
To the speaking that we’ve heard.

Oh, how precious this abiding,
Oh, how intimate and sweet;
As the fruit of life is added,
And our joy is made complete.

Jesus wants you to be a part of His vine and to place your life under God’s control today. Here is how you can do that right now.

The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.

The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.

Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.

Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.

And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.

The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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