Abiding in Christ and Bearing Good Fruit, Part 2 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 237)
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 237.
A.T. Pierson said, “By a matchless parable our Lord taught us that all believers are branches of the Living Vine, and that, apart from Him, we are nothing and can do nothing because we have in us no life.”
In our last message, we were introduced to the idea of God the Father as the husbandman of the vineyard which is Christ and His church. If you are a Christian, you are a plant — planted in Christ — and God is the gardener who is taking care of you. What does God do as the gardener?
First, Jesus says, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.” What does it mean to bear fruit in the Christian life? There are three main “flavors” of fruit that a Christian is expected to bear.
1. The Christian ought to bear the fruit of divine life. When a Christian lives in full knowledge of and in accordance with the life of God and Christ within him, he is bearing fruit as a part of the vine. Every Christian ought to be demonstrating that he is a part of the body of Christ and that Christ lives in him through the Holy Spirit. The chief evidence of this fruit is love for God and obedience to God.
2. The Christian ought to bear the fruit of good works. God has called all of his people to “love and good works.” For the Christian, these good works are often carried out in the context of church ministry. We could go into a long description of the good works that a Christian can do, but I think Jesus’ words suffice: “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and “Do unto others as thou wouldest have them do unto you.” The Christian who follows these two commands is a fruit-bearing plant.
3. The Christian ought to bear the fruit of evangelism. Every Christian is called to be a witness for Christ. Every Christian should be involved, in some way, in getting the Gospel out to those who are not a part of the Vine. The Great Commission is not a suggestion, but a commandment, and those who take it as such are fruit-bearing plants.
What happens when someone who claims to be a Christian is not bearing any of the fruit that a Christian should be bearing? Jesus says, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he [God, the husbandman] taketh away.” A person who is fruitless simply shows that he is not a true believer, a true part of the Vine, and he is eventually cut off from the Vine. Perhaps, you have heard of people who have left the church saying they don’t believe anymore. The truth of the matter is, as the Apostle John would later write, they were never true believers. Judas, who betrayed Christ, was never a true believer, thus he was cut off from the Vine. The Bible has a few metaphors for unbelievers who appear to be a part of the Vine — they are weeds among true plants, tares among wheat, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and false brethren.
The IVP New Testament Commentary states, “As it is the Father who draws people to Jesus, so it is the Father who cuts off those who do not bear fruit and who prunes those who do bear fruit. In a sense, these two activities summarize chapter 13, with the cutting off of Judas and the cleansing of the disciples. All judgment is in the hands of the Father, both among Christ’s disciples and those outside that community.”
Now, speaking of the true Christian — the branch that is bearing the aforementioned fruit — Jesus says “every branch that beareth fruit, he [God, the husbandman] purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” The word “purge” means ‘to cleanse of filth and impurity, to prune trees and vines of useless shoots.’ God takes the fruit-bearing Christian and gently, lovingly smooths out the rough edges so she or he can bear even more fruit. This shows us that God does not expect any of us to be perfect. Even if you bear only a little fruit, God will take you and purge you so that you can bear more fruit in the future.
Watchman Nee wrote:
Thou hast said Thou art the Vine, Lord,
And that I’m a branch in Thee,
But I do not know the reason
Thy I should so barren be.
Bearing fruit is my deep longing,
More Thy life to manifest,
To Thy throne to bring more glory,
That Thy will may be expressed.
Thou art the Vine, Thou saith it.
And I am a branch in Thee;
When I take Thee as my Savior.
Then this fact is wrought in me.
Now in Thee I rest completely,
With myself I gladly part;
Thou art life and Thou art power,
All in all to me Thou art.
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.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “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.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.