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113: Final Explanations–Part 1 [The Importance of Intimacy]

May 15, 2009

Major Text: John 15:1-17

Key Verses: John 15: 11-12

Outline:

  1. Intimacy Bears Fruit John 15:1-4
  2. Fruit Brings Glory to God John 15:5-8
  3. Glory to God is Obedience to God John 15:9-17

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus and His disciples are about to leave the Upper Room and walk toward the Mt. of Olives where they are camped. Jesus begins explaining in more detail what He has said earlier in His “Final Instructions” of Lesson 112. He is expanding on the themes of trusting, believing, loving, obeying, asking, knowing, and following Him. He is also repeating His teaching of Lesson 71 [Bear Fruit or Die], Lesson 105 [Parable of the Talents], and Lesson 51 [Discipleship]. Actually, this is a summary of all His teaching [scan Lessons 50-100 to get a complete context].

So, in a sense, Jesus has a full court press on to make sure His disciples understand and comprehend all that He has taught them. These principles [trust, believe, love, obey, ask, know, and follow] are very important. Ignoring them brings death, spiritual death. Following and obeying them brings life, abundant life, joyful life, peaceful life.

We, His disciples, are like branches connected to/grafted in the vine, Jesus Christ. God, the Father, is the husbandman. Our purpose is to bear fruit. The Holy Spirit, which Jesus has just disclosed will be indwelling all believers, is the sap. It is the carrier of instructions and requests between Jesus the vine and us the branches. The Holy Spirit is our health line enabling us to bear fruit. If the Holy Spirit is not present in our lives, we die. If the Holy Spirit is not present in our lives, we are not true disciples. If the Holy Spirit is not present in our lives, we do not bear fruit.

Bearing fruit provides evidence that we are connected to the vine, Christ, via the sap, the Holy Spirit. The fruit we must bear is simply being Christ-like, obedient to the Father, being an ambassador for Jesus Christ, acknowledging Christ as Lord and Savior via the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22. Fruit attracts others to Christ, it nourishes others in His Word, and it broadcasts that true abundant life comes from Christ alone. Fruit glorifies God. It builds the Church in strength and in numbers.

The love of the Father, the love of Jesus, and the love we have for Christ are important factors enabling the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Obedience is also important. We obey because we love. We bear fruit because we obey. We ask because we love and obey, wanting to bring Glory to the Father.

Therefore, we have a clear idea of our responsibility as His disciples in His Kingdom. We are to love as Christ loved. It would not be unusual for us to be required to lay down our lives as Christ did so that others might hear the Gospel. Many missionaries have done just that in obedience to Christ. We are to love God so we can love others so that we might serve others and thus, bear fruit in the name of Christ.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Church attendance, confirmation, and participating in religious activities does not necessarily assure that one is connected to the vine, Jesus Christ, and is able to bear fruit. Judas Iscariot was a member but was not connected to Jesus as a branch is to a vine.
    • Bearing fruit is the evidence required. Bearing fruit means that we are connected to Christ in love and obedience through the work of the Holy Spirit.
  2. We are created and called for a purpose; to serve others in love and glorify His name.
  3. We are to ask for His help for He has promised to help us. He will give us what we need in order that we might obey His Will, that we might bear fruit for His Kingdom.
  4. Be connected to Christ. Be obedient to Christ. Be loving and serve others.

Love, Obey, Bear Fruit, and Glorify God.

Live intimately with Jesus,
Commit to His Ministry,
Glorify His Name,
and
Joy will Abound.

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