Abiding in Christ and Bearing Good Fruit, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 238)
TEXT: John 15:1-4
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.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
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 238.
George Müller said, “I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it. What is the food of the inner man? The Word of God; and not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.”
In our last message, we discovered that God, who acts as the husbandman of the vineyard removes those branches that are not bearing fruit and purges or prunes those branches that are bearing fruit so that they can bear more fruit. How is the purging or pruning process carried out? Jesus speaks to this in verse 3 when He tells the disciples, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
You might recall that back in John 13, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. At first, Peter had refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus explained that only those who were washed by Him had any part in Him, he relented. But then he said, “Lord, wash not just my feet, but my head and my hands also.” Jesus had to explain to him that he had already had the full body wash when he believed on Jesus Christ as Savior, and now he just needs the foot washing (the partial washing). The cleansing process that Jesus is talking about in verse 3 is the same as that partial washing and it is the same as the pruning or purging that God does as the husbandman of the vineyard.
Merrill C. Tenney said, “The means by which pruning or cleaning is done is by the Word of God. It condemns sin; it inspires holiness; it promotes growth. As Jesus applied the words God gave him to the lives of the disciples, they underwent a pruning process that removed evil from them and conditioned them for further service.”
Ephesians 5:26 speaks of God as ‘sanctifying and cleansing the church with the washing of water by the word.’ The word of God is a miraculous cleansing agent in the life of the believer. In Hebrews 4:12, it is described as “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
If you want to be a more fruitful branch in the vine of Christ, you must submit to the influence of the word of God in your life. This means two things.
First, you must read, study, and hide the word of God in your heart. You need to deliberately expose your heart and life to the Word of God every day. The Word of God is no dead book, but a living entity composed by the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if you are following a guided Bible reading plan, which I highly recommend for the new believer, God’s Word has a way of speaking directly to your heart and to your life situation.
Second, you must sit under the regular, faithful teaching of God’s Word. Before you sit under a pastor or join a church, examine their statement of faith. Make sure that they believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and that it is the only reliable guide for faith and practice. God will use a good pastor to teach you the Word of God, explain difficult passages to you, and directly address situations in your life from the pulpit. You may feel at times that the pastor is deliberately aiming at you; he is not. That is God’s Holy Spirit directing his words to tell you what you need to hear.
The Word of God is how you begin to live a clean, holy, fruitful life. Psalm 119:9 says, “How shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
William W. How wrote:
O Word of God incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky:
We praise You for the radiance
That from the hallowed page,
A lantern to our footsteps,
Shines on from age to age.
The Scripture is a banner
Before God’s host unfurled;
It is a shining beacon
Above the darkling world.
It is the chart and compass
That, all life’s voyage through,
Amid mists and rocks and quicksands,
Still guides, O Christ, to You.
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, the most important thing you can get out of the Bible is that it guides you to Christ. Everything in Scripture points to Jesus. Jesus wants you to be a part of His vine; He wants to cleanse you and make you a fruitful part of His family. 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.