I am the True Vine
Passage: John 15:1–8
BIG PICTURE: In John 15, Jesus contrasts genuine believers (fruitful branches that remain in the vine) with phony believers (fruitless branches that do not remain in the vine). “Remain in me, as I also remain in you” means “Obey my words, and let my words remain in you.” Jesus abides in believers to the degree that his words abide in us, and believers abide in Jesus to the degree that we obey his words. Every believer abides in Jesus to some degree, resulting in different degrees of fruitfulness. Failing to abide results in eternal damnation.
- Explaining Jesus’ metaphor for abiding (1-3)
- Jesus’ command to abide (4a).
This command has at least three implications.
- Believers are already vitally connected to Jesus.
- Believers must maintain their vital connection to Jesus; it is a non-optional responsibility.
- Believers are equally required and responsible for Jesus to abide in them.
Commands such as this are a God-ordained means for the believer’s perseverance.
- Jesus’ reasons for abiding (4b–6).
- “Fruitfulness” is impossible apart from abiding in Jesus
- Abiding results in fruitfulness
- Failing to abide results in eternal damnation
- Jesus explains the result of his of abiding in believers (7–8.)
- When believers internalize Jesus’ specific utterances, we will make scripturally informed prayer requests, and God will answer them. The fruit in this context (what a believer produces) is the answers to those prayers. Bearing much fruit in this way glorifies God the Father and evidences that someone is Jesus’ disciple.
This sermon owes a debt to Andrew Naselli’s “Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology.”
The Components of Jesus’ Metaphor in John 15