John 15:1-8 - Homiletics
The vine and the branches.
This discourse of our Lord had relation to the new position of the disciples that would be created by his departure.
I. THE NATURE OF THE NEW SITUATION CREATED BY PENTECOST . "I am the true vine, and my Father is the Husbandman."
1. Christ is the true and essential Life of his people . He lives in his people by his Spirit. He is at once the Root and the Stock from which the branches derive their sap and nourishment.
2. The Father is the Husbandman , at once Proprietor and Cultivator. He engrafts the plants into the vine, as he supports and guards the vine itself, that it may bring forth fruit abundantly. Christ is "the Plant of renown;" "the Branch thou madest strong for thyself."
3. The operations of the Husbandman .
(a) God knows the inner character of every man.
(b) Fruit, as the result of growth, is the end of the plant. Therefore a fruitless man has lost the end of his being.
(c) God takes away the fruitless man
( α ) by death,
( β ) by judgment.
(a) by afflictions and
(b) temptations, that they may not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ.
4. The instrumentality of this purging process . "As for you, ye are clean already because of the Word which I have spoken unto you? The Word of Christ is sharper than any two-edged sword for this severe discipline; it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It thus enables the believer to see the plague of his own heart.
II. THE NECESSITY OF A PERMANENT FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST . "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."
1. The union of the branch with the vine is the very law of its life and fruitfulness . "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" ( Galatians 2:20 ).
2. The union is continuously sustained in the believer ' s soul by constant acts of faith and love .
3. The absolute dependence of the believer upon Christ for all his power . " Apart from me ye can do nothing."
III. THE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF LIVING OUTSIDE THIS FELLOWSHIP . "If a mall abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they burn."
1. The man who rejects Christ is himself rejected .
2. The faculty that is disused loses its vitality , and is ultimately extirpated .
3. There is final judgment which ends in unquenchable fire .
IV. THE GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE OF THOSE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST . "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
1. The privilege is the abundant answer to prayer . Those who abide in Christ receive of his fullness; for all that is in Christ Jesus is theirs, through federal relationship and vital identification with him.
2. The condition of the privilege .
V. THE RESULT OF THIS CHRISTIAN FRUITFULLNESS . " Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and ye shall become my disciples."
1. The Father ' s glory is identified with the fruit-bearing vitality of the believer . It displays the glory of his power, grace, and mercy. All the fruits of righteousness are by Christ, to the praise and glory of God.
2. Christ is honored by a fruitful discipleship .
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