Abiding in Jesus: The Key to Fruitful Living

Abiding in Jesus: The Key to Fruitful Living
John 15:1-8

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

I. Jesus is the True Vine, the only source for spiritual life

• Jesus refers to Himself as the True Vine (the last of the I AM statements in John’s Gospel)
• The OT refers to Israel as the vineyard of the Lord

Is. 5:7
7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are the garden of his delight.
And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed;
for righteousness, but heard cries of distress

• Jesus emphasizes that He is the Vine, the True!

• Jesus uses “I, me or my” 21 times

• Jesus says, I am the true vine; apart from me you can do nothing; and abide in Me (NIV=remain, stay connected)

• As the true vine Jesus is the only source of spiritual life and nourishment

John 7:37-39
37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

II. Jesus is committed to producing His fruit in our lives

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

• The verb “take away” is the Greek airo; it means lift up, to raise up, lift up to take away or take away. The word for prunes is kathairo from the word kathoros which means to cleanse or purifiy. The ancient custom was not to cut off branches but to lift them out of the dirt so that they could get sun and to wash them with water to get rid of the bugs. The whole point was to get as many branches as possible bearing as much fruit as they could.
• Jesus will lift us out of the dirt and cleanse us so that we may be fruitful

4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

• Jesus is teaching about abiding so that we can be fruitful
• Fruit is the manifestation of Jesus in our lives
• Fruit is the outward evidence of the inward nature; our new nature is Christ in us, so fruit is the manifestation of Christ in our lives

III. We Must Admit that we can do nothing apart from Christ

John 15:4-5
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

• Christ is the only source of spiritual life and apart from Him we can do nothing
• Our self-effort is pseudo-Christianity; It is a cheap imitation; It is a false veneer of authentic Christianity; It is a counterfeit of a true abiding personal relationship with Jesus
• We are either apathetic, legalistic, desperate or dependent on Christ
• If we are not 24/7 moment by moment dependent on Christ, then anything else is just religion

IV. We live fruitful lives by abiding in Jesus

• This passage mentions abiding 8 times
• The word abide is meno and means to stay connected to, immerse yourself in, draw upon, rely upon, depend upon
• Example of watching show where they were testing men’s capacity to function in an oxygen deprived environment, they demonstrated abnormal behavior. When oxygen levels returned to normal they resumed normal functioning. When we live disconnected from Christ we are deceived and our experience is affected, we were made to live in union with and moment by moment dependence upon Jesus

V. Abiding in Jesus involves a dependence on and commitment to the Word and Prayer

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

• If you abide in Me and My words abide in you
• We need to get ourselves totally into Jesus and we need to get His Word totally into us!
• We need to respond to the Word with regular, spontaneous and personal prayer; This is two way communication
• You will ask…this is continuous asking, all the time (Mt. 7:7-11)
• You will ask what you desire… this is praying about everything; of course our desire has been saturated with the word (Ps. 37:4)
• Are you a
1) never asker,
2) rarely asker,
3) occasional asker,
4) regular asker,
5) continual asker?
• This is the key to the Christian life, we are plugged into Christ, we are saturating our lives with His Word, we are continually talking to Him in prayer, He answers our prayers, produces His fruit, glorifies God and we show ourselves to be His disciples
• This is the abundant and fruitful Christian life: Abiding in Jesus