Do Whatever He Tells You: Week 7 - John 14:25-31
Series: Do Whatever He Tells You
Do Whatever He Tells You: Week 7
Jesus had been with the disciples in the Upper room, and now He is preparing to go with them to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. In Chapter 15, Jesus begins with His seventh and final "I Am" statement when He says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." He is going back to the words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 5:1-7. Isaiah had spoken of Israel as the Lord's vineyard. God expected His vineyard to bear fruit, but it produced nothing but worthless grapes. Instead, the Son of God came as the authentic vine, perfectly obeying the Father and revealing His will to the people.
Psalm 80 is possibly the most important passage in connection with Jesus' claim to be the True Vine because it blends talk of Israel as "a vine from Egypt" with "the son of man you have raised up for yourself" v17.
John 15:2 says, "Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may produce more fruit." The branches in a vineyard could become large and drag the ground easily. So God the gardener "takes them away" from the ground by lifting them up. God will seek to make you fruitful by lifting you up, encouraging you, and motivating you. Those who are fruitful God also prunes so that they bear more fruit. Sometimes God will bring challenges and trials into our lives to enable us to grow in our faith. Fruitfulness is a life of spiritual usefulness and productivity for the good of others and the glory of God. It's the proof of true discipleship.
Fruit has 3 characteristics:
- It reflects the character of its tree. The fruit i your life should reflect Christ - His attitudes and actions, His character and conduct.
- Fruit is visible. The presence of fruit lets you identity a tree's kind and whether its healthy. An authentic follower of Christ is a visible follower of Christ.
- Fruit is always for the benefit of others. If you're always serving yourself instead of others, your fruit is going to rot on the tree.
Jesus goes on to say in verse 4 to "abide in Me". To abide means to stay, to remain, or dwell. The focus of Jesus' command is not the fruitfulness, but in abiding. Everything in our life starts with an abiding life. Abiding IN HIM is a statement of identity. He goes on to say, "for apart from me you can to nothing." You can try, but your life will make you weary apart from Him. We can do things, even very good things, but it's not the production that benefits the Kingdom.
Verses 7-8 say "If you abide in me and my Word abides in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you." The believer is transformed from the inside out, and our minds dwell on the kinds of thoughts that God thinks. Our heart begins to reflect the values of God, and as we think as God thinks, we ask for what is consistent with His plan.
What happens when we abide?
- Answered prayer
- Identifies you as a follower of Christ
- The Father is glorified
- Love flows through you
- There is joy in your life
How do you really abide? Verse 10 says, " If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love, just as I've kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love." We abide in Christ through obedience.