Monday, 28 December 2009

Abiding in the vine, Part 1, John 15 v 4, 8-10, John MacArthur,
1971, listen yourself

I found this sermon stimulating and challenging. John sets the bar high for our discipleship and walk with Christ. Ideal pattern designed by God, not the exceptions, what we should be aspiring to.

Biggest question a believer can ask. What does it mean to abide in Christ? Most intimate of relationships. That is why the vine is used.

Abide in me, remain and stay in Christ, v4

Basic meaning of abiding. v4, 8, 9 & 10

Be for real, show that your faith is real. Tragic when men superficially line up with Christ but are not true Christians.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. v4

Remaining in him is evidence that you are a true, abiding believer. Show reality of your discipleship by remaining in Christ. Non-believer sooner or later departs. Jesus promises us that if we remain in him he will remain in us.

This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. v8

Be a for real disciple. "My disciples bear fruit." Only a real disciple bears fruit.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. v9

Don't experience the love of Christ then go away.

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. v10

A true disciple obeys the commandments of Christ. Pleading with the superficial branch; abide and bear fruit.
True Christian bears fruit, stays in his love, obeys his commandments.

If you love me, you will obey what I command 14 v 15

Two things in the Christian life: love and obey

True believers abide, non-believers don't abide.

Clear cut: doesn't deal with exceptions. Ideal pattern designed by God, not the exceptions.

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
1 John 3 v 6
How does that work?! John is drawing the line clear cut. Not dealing with the exceptions. Puts the ideals where they belong and puts the general patterns in place.

Are there times when a Christian doesn't abide in the fullest sense? Yes.

Love your brother; Paul exhorts this many times. He is the author of the exceptions. We need to be continually reminded.

How can a Christian fail to abide?

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— Gal 1 v 6

Stop abiding by legalism. This is the opposite of abiding.

Stay close to Jesus; totally connected. Vine sends his energy through the branch to bear fruit so Christ sends his energy through to you to bear fruit.

How do I get close?

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, v7

Word is the key. Believer who feeds on the word of God; nourishes his soul with the truth of God stays in a close and energised relationship with Jesus Christ.

We cease to abide and become detached.

Don't bear fruit by trying but by abiding. Put aside all sin which saps your energies.

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