Abiding in Christ and Bearing Good Fruit, Part 4 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 239)
TEXT: John 15:4-7
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.
5 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.
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 239.
Basilea Schlink said, “Do not lose yourself in your everyday work and activities. Rather, lose yourself in God. When you are doing work, let your innermost heart be centered on Him. Live in His presence and abide in Him. Then your work will follow you into eternity, and you will reap a rich harvest.”
As we continue on this passage, consider once again the metaphor of the vine. If you look at a vine during harvest time, it is accurate to say that the grapes are on or “in” the vine. Now, if we were to take a single grape and pluck it from the vine, it would also be accurate to say that the vine is in the grape as every single grape contains the seeds to grow a whole new grape vine.
This metaphor helps us understand Jesus’ words to His disciples, “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.” These words serve, first of all, as a means of reassurance to the disciples. Even though Jesus is going away, He will still be with them. In fact, they will be in Him and He will be in them spiritually speaking. The relationship is mutual. The relationship is also ongoing. We have already looked at the meaning of the word abide — it means to dwell permanently. True disciples dwell with their Master, and He with them, forever.
However, this abiding is a choice. Jesus is not forcing them to remain in Him. They, like Judas, could leave. They could have gone back to their old lifestyle as they did temporarily after the crucifixion. James Montgomery Boice said, “When our Lord says: Abide in me he is talking about the will, about the choices, the decisions we make. We must decide to do things which expose ourselves to him and keep ourselves in contact with him. This is what it means to abide in him.”
Now, if a person abandons Christ, instead of abiding in Him, he can no longer expect to bear the fruit of Christ. Jesus says, “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” A person who does not abide in Christ is left vulnerable to the devil and the influence of the world. He no longer has the Holy Spirit speaking to him, able to guide him in the way that he should go. This statement is particularly appropriate for Christians who are walking in the flesh. These people normally try to appear spiritual, but they are cut off from the vine and are not abiding in Christ. They are striving in their own flesh to do good works, but are not bearing any real fruit.
Although the relationship between Christ and His disciples is mutual, that does not mean that we are somehow equal to Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” In other words, we are not the vine. We cannot replace the vine. We are just a branch responsible for bearing fruit. Jesus says, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Without Christ, we are nothing. We can bear no fruit of eternal value on our own. It is He who not only enables us to do good, but does good through us. Without Him, we can do nothing. Without Him, we are nothing. If you think that sounds wrong, just remember that you did absolutely nothing for your salvation. Jesus paid it all — 100%.
Knowles Shaw wrote:
“I am the vine and ye are the branches,”
Bear precious fruit for Jesus today;
Branches in Him no fruit ever bearing,
Jesus hath said, “He taketh away.”
“Now ye are clean through words I have spoken,
Living in Me, much fruit ye shall bear;
Dwelling in you, My promise unbroken,
Glory in heaven with Me ye shall share.”
Yes, by your fruits the world is to know you,
Walking in love as children of day;
Follow your Guide, He passeth before you,
Leading to realms of glorious day.
If you have not yet become a part of the vine of Christ, I encourage you to make the decision to receive Him as your Savior 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.