One Essential Thing: Jesus is the vine

Chapter One""I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1“So, what is Christianity? It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Christianity is not an ideology or a philosophy. Neither is it a new type of morality, social ethic, or worldview. Christianity is the “good news” that beauty, truth, and goodness are found in a person. And true humanity and community are founded on and experienced by connection to that person. Conversion is more than a change in direction; it’s a change in connection. ”We are going to look at John 15:1-8. It is one of the most important teachings of the Lord Jesus. In fact, if we can experience what Jesus the Messiah teaches in this portion of scriptures then we will live successful and effective lives for God. Let us try to understand how these eight verses are organized 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 it so 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, so 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, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and [so] prove to be My disciples. [Jhn 15:1-8 NASB]Basic Structure of John 15:1-81. VS. 1-3 – I am the vine and you are the branches – Teaching2. Vs. 4 – Abide in me – Command3. Vs. 5 – I am the vine and you are the branches – TeachingNegative warning Vs 6 – If there is no abiding there is no life or fruit.Positive promise Vs 7-8 – If you do abide there will fruit, the FATHER will be glorifiedWe see that the main point here is to learn to “abide in Jesus” and that without that there is no life or fruit; but with that we will be effective and bring glory to God the Father. This teaching clearly states that success or failure all rests on experiencing this one reality; which is “abiding”The first truth is that we must know who Jesus is and the role of God the Father in giving us an effective and meaningful life. Without know who Jesus is we cannot abide. ""I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1Jesus is the true vine and God the Father is the vinedresser or gardener. Since Jesus says that HE is the “true” vine there must be at least one “false vine”. The Messiah Jesus may be thinking of Jeremiah 2:21 in which Israel instead of being the faithful planted vine of the LORD, has become a foreign vine bearing ungodly fruit. HE is the true Israel, the faithful vine, and the one that will now be the source of a great harvest from God. The LORD Jesus will be the source of life, fruitfulness, nourishment, and strength. if I am looking to anyone outside Jesus to be the source of life, fruitfulness, nourishment, and strength I am connected to a “false vine” which will never produce the good fruit of true loving holiness. Outside of Jesus where do I turn to find energy, effectiveness, and enjoyment? This is my idol. We all have idols. It must be Jesus only Jesus that I depend on as my Savior, hope, helper, healer, leader, teacher, prophet, priest, and king. I come to know and experience Jesus as the source of healthy and holy life in me. The Apostle Paul seems to reflect this when he says:""I have been crucified with Messiah Jesus; and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah Jesus lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20Only when we as we grow in our vision of Jesus can we grow in our abiding in HIM.There was a sermon called “That’s My King” that always has helped me remember the greatness of the Lord Messiah Jesus. You can listen to this message online at and if you can do so now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE&feature=emb_logoAnother summary of who Jesus is found in the message by Dr. James Allan Francis “Here is a man who was born in an obscure village as the child of a peasant woman.He grew up in another obscure village.He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher.He never wrote a book.He never held an office.He never owned a home.He never had a family.He never went to college.He never put his foot inside a big city.He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born.He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.He had no credentials but himself.He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of his divine manhood.While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him.His friends ran away.One of them denied him.Another betrayed him.He was turned over to his enemies.He went through the mockery of a trial.He was nailed upon the cross between two thieves.His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he wasdying, and that was his coat.When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.”And then God raised HIM from the dead Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today he is the center of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life.”This is the vine that we as branches are connected to and get our life from. This is the Lord King Jesus who we have a connection with and are in relationship with. Wow!We are not saved by a doctrine or teaching, although we have to accept the truth about the Messiah Lord Jesus. But one can accept a doctrine and not know the person. To have life in us we have to be connected to the living person of the Messiah Jesus who died for our sins and was raised from the dead.All who call out to the Lord Jesus Christ believing that HE died for their sins and was raised from the dead and now want HIM to be in their life as the ultimate source of truth, the ultimate forgiver of their sins, and the ultimate leader of their life, who ask HIM to come an dwell in them, be their life; will be connected and will have the eternal life of God the Son who became the Son of God; Jesus in them. Have you with sincerity and faith cried out to the LORD Jesus to save YOU? If not, now is a good time to do that and get connected to the Vine and have HIS life invade YOU. The second truth of this first verse is that God the Father is the “vinedresser” or gardener. The heavenly Father takes care of the vineyard and HE oversees, cares for, nurtures, trims, and defends the garden and the vine (Matthew 21:33). The eternal loving Father has planted HIS SON, giving HIM to be the source of life, grace, mercy, and love to HIS people. The effective Divine Gardener has great investment, care, and love for HIS vineyard. HE manages the vineyard to produce the greatest amount of production and profit for HIS kingdom. The wise and compassionate Father is the ultimately good, great, committed, caring, and involved gardener of my life in Messiah Jesus. How is God the Father active as a gardener in your life? PrayerLiving Triune great, good, and eternal Redeeming Creator, give me practical and real faith in the LORD Jesus to be the one and only source in my life that can produce in me wisdom, righteousness, love, holiness, purpose, and redemption. Help my heart to see that Messiah has a monopoly on everything good and that the only thing that I have to boast about is that HE is in me and I am in HIM (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).Good gardening Eternal Father, King of the Universe, help me believe that regardless of how chaotic my life appears, YOU are watching over, caring, and providing me daily opportunities to grow and give in a useful way. YOU are working all things out for good. Help me trust YOU heavenly Father when I am in the dark that YOU never sleep or slumber but are a faithful Watchman over my daily life and soul every moment of every day. Give me faith LORD Jesus to trust YOU to be my vine and the Father to be my vinedresser.Questions1. What outside of Jesus do you trust in to give to you, life, productiveness, and effectiveness?2. Do you trust that God the Father is a good gardener in your life? Do you believe HE cares for you? Why or why not?

Posted by Norman Wise on Thursday, April 2, 2020