I AM Statements: True Vine

John 15:1-11

If College Students wrote the Bible

Instead of God creating the world in six days and resting on the
seventh, He would have put it off until the night before it was due
and then pulled an all-nighter.

The Last Supper would have been eaten the next morning–
cold.

The Ten Commandments would actually be only five–double-
spaced and written in a large font.

A New edition would be published every two years in order to
limit reselling.

Forbidden fruit would have been eaten because it wasn’t
cafeteria food.

Paul’s letter to the Romans would become Paul’s email to
abuse@romans.gov.

Reason Cain killed Abel: they were roommates.

Reason why Moses and followers walked in the desert for 40
years: they didn’t want to ask directions and look like freshmen.

Today we will look at the last of Jesus’ I AM statements
As we have done each week, we will start by remembering the
three important aspects of who Jesus is.

Jesus is Pre-Existent – when He says I AM, we must keep in
mind that He was with God in the beginning. Everything that was
made was made through Him.

Jesus is Incarnate – He came in the flesh and dwelt among us.
He was able to experience life as we experience it. He felt
hunger, pain, anger and suffered every temptation that is common
to man without succumbing to any of them.

Jesus is Deity – even though He came to earth in the flesh and
was fully man, at the same time He was fully God. He was able
to use the power of the Father to heal the sick, cast out demons
and raise the dead back to life.

When Jesus says I AM – He means I AM God!

Let’s take a look at our text
John 15:1-11
Jesus says He is the true vine and the Father is the vinedresser
The vine is what sends nourishment to the branches.
The vinedresser is the one who maintains the vine and the
branches. It’s his job to ensure that the vine and branches remain
healthy and are kept free of disease. He protects them and
provides for them.

Jesus isn’t the one who points out the vine, He IS the vine.
Today’s text is rooted in one word – Abide
It means to dwell, linger, stay, remain.
We know it is important because it shows up 10 times in these 10
verses.

Today we will see 5 truths about abiding.

Those who don’t Abide in Christ will NOT bear fruit

Look at v.2 and 4
Branches that don’t bear fruit are taken away.
That word in Greek means to cut off or take away.
It’s used in a sense of dead branches that are taking away
nourishment that could go to living branches. When the branches
are dead there is no chance of fruit coming from them.
It’s impossible for branches to bear fruit apart from the living vine.
Jesus is the vine, He is the one who gives life, nourishment,
strength and support. Without Him we can do nothing.
V. 5 says, apart from Me you can do nothing.
Look what Jesus says happens to those who don’t abide in Him
They are thrown away, they dry up and they are gathered and
thrown into the fire to be burned.
Last night I cut off this branch from my Crepe Myrtle tree. It is no
longer connected. I cannot expect it to bloom any longer. It has
no way to receive the nourishment it needs to survive and bear
fruit. It’s going to die and will never produce blooms again.

That’s what Jesus is talking about – believers must stay
connected to Him by abiding in Him so their lives may bear fruit.

Those who Abide in Christ will be pruned

The second half of v.2 says every branch that bears fruit He
prunes it.
Let’s talk about the word prune.
Some of your Bibles may have the word cleans
The Greek word Kathaireo means to cleans, purify prune
V.3 mentions you are already clean because of the word which I
have already spoken to you. Believers have heard His word which
reveals sin and explains about His grace and mercy that was
given because of the great love of the Father.

What is the purpose of the pruning?
Think of a rose bush, the roses come out and bloom and look
very pretty, but after a while they wilt and begin to die.
If the gardener leaves the dead roses on the branch fewer new
roses will come out. If the gardener chops off the dead roses
many new ones will sprout and there will be more than there were
previously.
How does pruning work in the Christian’s life?
When God prunes, it hurts in the moment, but it helps us see His
power and often it requires us to depend on Him even more than
we have before.
Have you ever heard the story of Joni Eareckson Tada?
When she was 17 years old she was in a diving accident that left
her paralyzed from the neck down.

She could have turned from God and wallowed in her self pity, but
she didn’t. She has become an advocate for people with
disabilities. She has written over 40 books, recorded several
albums and even starred in a movie about her life. In all of it she
gives glory to the Lord for never leaving her or forsaking her.
Sometimes God uses what seems bad to us in a way that helps
us see that He is holy, sovereign and in control of every area of
our lives.
He doesn’t always use something this drastic, but He definitely
wants His children to bear fruit. He is always working and He is
working all things to the good of those who love Him and are
called according to His purpose.

Those who Abide in Christ bear fruit

V.5 says he who abides in Me will bear much fruit.
V.8 says the Father is glorified when we bear fruit and prove to be
disciples of Jesus.
Psalm 1:3 mentions a righteous man is like a tree planted by
streams of water. The tree doesn’t move. It is rooted, it abides in
the soil that nourished it. And it bears fruit in season and it’s leaf
doesn’t wither. Whatever he does he prospers.
Why? Because he is an abider.
He delights in the law of the Lord
He meditates on it day and night
He understands that abiding in Christ allows him to bear fruit

Abiding with Christ allows us to bear fruit.
Bearing fruit brings glory to the Father

We must do everything we can to stay connected to the vine so
we can bear fruit. That means living lives that point others to the
Father and show moral purity and holiness.

Those who Abide in Christ pray effectively

V.7 Jesus says “if you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
This is one of those verses that people take out of context.
They don’t read the first part; they only read the second part- ask
whatever you wish and it will be done for you.
That’s only if you do the first two things.
Abide in Christ
Allow His words to abide in you

This reminds me of Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord;
and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
When we dwell with the Lord, His desires become our desires.
When that happens our prayers become effective and bring glory
to the Father.

Paul wrote this to the Colossian church in Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all
wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in
your hearts to God.”
In the context, he is talking about love and how they should
forgive each other and honor Him with our conduct, speech and
thought and do it all with thankfulness.
Abiding in Him through loving God and others.

When we abide with Christ we are one with Him and His thoughts
and ways are revealed to us and our prayers are according to His
will and bring glory to the Father.

Those who Abide in Christ keep His commandments

Vv.9-11 discuss abiding in the love of Christ just as He abided in
the love of the Father.
When we abide in His love, we want to keep His commandments.
They aren’t burdensome, His load is light and He takes our
heaven load.
Jesus obeyed the commands of the Father.
He did everything the Father asked of Him.
He was our perfect example of obedience.
He was obedient even to death, death on the cross.
When we abide in Him we understand just how much He loves us
God loves us the same no matter what we do, He can’t love us
more or less than He already does.
When we let that digest, we begin to understand that His
commandments aren’t meant to bring us down, but they bring us
joy because we get the privilege of serving Him and living for Him.

APPLICATION

Jesus ended this I AM statement by telling His disciples that He
spoke these things to them so that they would have His joy and
that it be made full.
Our application is to have the joy that Jesus gives by abiding in
Him – we can’t have joy without abiding

Abide with Jesus – Experience the Joy
That may look different for each of us, but my ask is that you
spend some time today abiding in Him.
Just bask in His holiness.
Maybe it looks like worship
Maybe it looks like service
Maybe it looks like love
Maybe it looks like forgiveness
The more time you spend with someone the more you get to
know them.

Draw near to Him and He will draw close to you.
Joy comes from relationship with the Father, not circumstances
Enjoy the joy!