John 15 – Chewing on The Vine

 

I have been memorizing John 15 for the past week, and God has been revealing Himself to me as I have chewed upon each verse. I thought it would be good to share some of the revelations He has given me concerning this paritcular chapter of Scripture:

Revelation 1 – 11/215 –  12:39pm – John 15:1-4

New revelation for me today – abiding in the vine = dwelling in a place of obedience to God’s Word when the enemy sends a strong wind from hell to blow us off the vine; staying fixed and settled in a place of obedience to God’s Word, so He can grow the necessary fruit for that season of our lives. IE – Fruit doesn’t grow without opposition, so EXPECT strong winds from the enemy of our souls. Do not grow weary or feel forsaken. God only gives the enemy so much room to work in our lives. We are safe under God’s Word. John 15 is what I am working on committing to memory right now – good stuff…not easy to activate in our lives – it isn’t supposed to be. God is not interested in easy races; He is interested in growing and perfecting our faith, which only comes through testing and trials. Fight the good fight, and run towards the prize we have in Christ Children of God!!!

John 15:1-4, “I am the vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away. Every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth that it may bring forth more fruit. You are made clean through the Word that I have spoken. Abide in Me and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except that it abide in the vine – no mare can ye except that ye abide in Me.”

Revelation 2 – 11/4/15 – 11:42 AM – John 15:1-9

God answers all prayers, which are prayed according to His will

God’s will is for Him to be glorified in our lives.

He is glorified when we grow fruit. In order to grow fruit, we must endure the opposite situation that causes the related fruit to grow – meaning – we must ENDURE situations that test us in the area where the fruit is…

EXAMPLES:

– love – hate

– joy – misery

– peace – distress

– forbearance – impatience

– kindness – callousness

– goodness – wickedness

– faithfulness – disloyalty

– gentleness – harshness

– self-control – unrestraint

Fruit is grown by staying fixed upon the vine.

Jesus is the vine. Jesus is the Word made flesh. Abiding in Jesus = staying/remaining in His Word by doing what it says.

God loves us. He wants us to remain in His love. His love IS His Word.

Whom the Father loves, He disciplines – thus His Word MUST BE a mirror into our hearts. By reading His Word, It must be the judge of our lives – It must reveal the intent of our hearts. We must react to what we find = allow It to discipline our lives = act according to what We read.

God is not looking us to rescue us FROM situations, but to be glorified THROUGH our situations. He who ENDURES to the END shall be SAVED!

– Not from the flood – but during the flood

– Not from the Red Sea – but through the Red Sea

– Not from the fire – but in the fire
– Not from the lion’s den – but in the lion’s den

– Not from the storm – but in the storm

– Not from the cross – but through the cross

– Not grace to sin – but grace to overcome sin through Jesus Christ – The Word of God made flesh

John 15:1-9 :”I am the True Vine, and my Father is the Husbandman. Any branch in me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away. And every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are made clean through the Word I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except that it abide on the vine, no more can ye except that ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, and You are the branches. As ye abide in Me, and I abide in you – the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing. Every man that abideth not in Me is cast forth as a branch and withereth. Men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they burn. If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in ye, ask what ye will, and It shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so ye be My disciples. As My Father have loved me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in My Love.”

I found the following article below online – very helpful information to consider when examining “fruit-production” in one’s life:

– LOVE: Joyfully serving another for their good, not to get something in return.

Opposite: Fear leading to self-protection resulting in the harm of others.

Counterfeit: Affection shown to others for selfish reasons. Attraction to others for how they make you feel. Helping                others to feel good about yourself.

– JOY: Delighting in the beauty of God and the salvation he gives us in Christ even in difficult times of loss, disappointment, and pain.

Opposite: Despair and a lack of or fear of hope.

Counterfeit: Excitement and happiness that exists only when things are good leading to mood swings. Happiness                  not in God but in what he brings.

– PEACE: Confident assurance that God is for us, that he is wise, and that he is in control rather than trust in ourselves.

Opposite: Worry and anxiety.

Counterfeit: Apathy that does not grieve over the difficulty.

– PATIENCE: Suffering joyfully and not becoming angry at God when his timing doesn’t match our own.

Opposite: Bitterness and resentment toward God that manifests itself in agitation or outright expressions of anger                with others.

Counterfeit: Self-righteous cynicism that pretends concern is unspiritual.

– KINDNESS: Sincere vulnerability that involves empathy, compassion, and help.

Opposite: The inability to rejoice in the good happening to others.

Counterfeit: Helping others in an attempt to control other people marked by promotion of self and pride.

– GOODNESS: Honesty, openness, and consistency in all contexts of life.

Opposite: Hypocrisy, phoniness, and insincerity.

Counterfeit: Being honest in an insensitive way without love. Insincerity that pretends to be sincere.

– FAITHFULNESS: Loyalty, reliability, and courage based on convictions and not on practical benefit leading to loving

confrontation when it is right.

Opposite: Opportunistic living that swings from committed to absent.

Counterfeit: Being ‘loving’ without any concern for truth. Being loyal out of self-righteous pride leading to an                          unwillingness to address wrongs.

– GENTLENESS: Not thinking of yourself highly so that you are sensitive to the needs of others.

Opposite: Thinking you are superior leading to self-absorption and self-promotion that crushes others.

Counterfeit: Insecurity that is self-absorbed so that words of self-deprecation are said so that others affirm us.

– SELF-CONTROL: Staying focused on the important things rather than what is urgent.

Opposite: Impulsive living in the moment.

Counterfeit: Using willpower to stay disciplined resulting in pride over your accomplishment.

bffrevloc.org

Revelation 3 – 11/6/15 – 12:04 PM – John 15:1-12

While working on memorizing the next few verses of John 15 today, I began to chew upon a few of the words in this passage – the subordinate conjunctions – “if” and “as” and the word “love.” Bear with me a moment, I was an English teacher, so I think about the little words too because they have MAJOR functions!

I understand that a subordinate conjunction is a word that attaches a subordinate clause to a sentence. This clause CANNOT stand on its own, and it DEPENDS on the rest of the sentence for its meaning. The clause can serve as an adjective or as an adverb clause. In this particular passage of John 15, it grammatically functions as an adverb conjunction – giving the conditions for and to – ‘abiding in the Vine’ (Jesus Christ – His Word) and the promises that come as a result – “bearing much fruit.”

I think God is very intentional with His Words – He knows grammar better than we do – I think He was very intentional with the words “if.”

Many of us want guarantees as a Christian. We want the benefits of Jesus Christ, but we are not truly willing to submit to His conditions. I am not talking about works – I am talking about active faith – active belief – which involves actions that reflect our faith. The Word of God clearly teaches that the two cannot be separated. Paul makes it clear, that we do BECAUSE we believe – and what we do REFLECTS what we believe. (Romans 6-11). Thus – God uses “if” – allowing the Believer to understand that “this is the proof of what you believe, IF you truly do it.” The word “if” here comes from the Greek word “ei” – meaning “except, unless.” The word “faith” throughout the New Testament comes from the Greek word “pistis” meaning “belief and trust with an implication that action based on trust must follow.”

Also, James 2:16-26 further explains what faith really means. James explains that even the demons believe and tremble. What separates the demons from the Believer? What we do with our belief! The word ‘believe’ comes from the Greek word “pisteuo,” meaning “to put one’s trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust must follow.”

Meaning, the only guarantee of our salvation is based on our active belief – reflected by producing fruit by abiding in the Word. The Scripture makes clear upon further study, that the phrase “abide in Christ” means “to follow His example of a life obedient to the will of God.” Since the word “abide” comes from the Greek word “meno” – meaning “to be in a state that begins AND continues, yet may or may not stop.” This tells me there are some conditions.

Now, everybody who knows me, knows I am FAR FAR from already measuring up to Christ – in any manner. What’s important to ask one’s self – “am I actively walking in obedience to God’s Word? Am I knowingly walking in willful and constant disobedience?”

For many years, I said one thing, but my actions reflected something else. I lived in constant condemnation because I lived in constant WILLFUL disobedience. The confidence I have now is IN Jesus Christ, THROUGH His grace, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me how to ABIDE IN the Word of God – Jesus!!!

How do I know what tree I belong to? By the FRUIT I produce. (It would be helpful here to study what a GMO is – a genetically modified organism – an organism that’s DNA has been altered in way that it does not grow naturally. Further study will explain why the produce you pick up from a local grocery store is ten times bigger than what you grow in your garden, why it does not rot naturally, and why it seems to have lost its flavor and zeal – which is an entirely other study for a different day.) But I mention that to mention this:

Salvation involves confession and belief. Look those words up in your concordance. They both require action!

This is important children of God! For God said that there will be MANY that would stand before Him and say, “Lord, Lord.” But Jesus will respond, “I know you not.” You can’t tell me that these people aren’t going to truly believe themselves. I mean, they stand before the KING of KINGS and start listing all their “GMO fruit.” Jesus’ response? “Depart…I never knew thee…you workers of iniquity…whosoever hears these sayings of mine and DOES them…I will like unto a wise man” (Matthew 7). Jesus is looking for the REAL fruit – not the kind that grows unnaturally.

So what does that mean?

The next conjunction is “as,” which suggests similitude. Meaning – if we are truly God’s children, than we are commanded to be “as Christ” – similar to His nature and character. The Scripture in John 15 even goes a step further to be more intentional by saying that IF we do not abide in Christ, we are cast forth as a branch and burned. God wants His children to be AS His Son, by this – we know Whom we belong to – “IF ye keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My Love.

That got me to thinking about what Jesus means here when He says “My Love.” So many are perverting this word today. It is diluted by many people today as some sort of ooey gooey love that tolerates and overlooks sin as not to stir one another or hold one another accountable. Well, upon further study of the phrase “My Love” – the Greek word for love here is “agapao,” meaning – “the active love of God for His Son and His people, and the active love of His people are to have for God, each other, and even enemies.”

Well what does the Father’s love entail? A further study of Hebrews 12:6-11, you can find the same Greek word “agapao,” as Paul declares, that who the Father loves, He disciplines. That doesn’t sound fun? And the Bible confirms that it isn’t, but you go on to find that although it does not feel good at the time, it goes on to produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised by it. Meaning, God doesn’t overlook our sin – He uses His Word as a mirror into our lives, while He uses our circumstances to test and try our hearts – to show us what is REALLY in it – thus expecting us to then submit to His Word and allow it to transform our lives (Romans 12:1-2).

So what does that mean when it comes to loving one another, after all, John 15:12 commands us to love one another?

Well, that’s where it gets sticky. The KJV of I Corinthians 13 uses the word “charity” – the Greek word is still “agapao.” Upon studying I Corinthians 13, we find an in-depth picture of what that love looks like – a list of actions we are to DO to one another, which are all based upon the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.

Friends, I don’t like to be judged…but please don’t overlook my sin – call it what it is – love me the way God loves me – hold me accountable – correct me when I am in error – just do so lovingly, gently, patiently, and unselfishly. I am not looking for ooey gooey love – I am looking for iron that sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).

We must stop taking Scriptures out of context to justify our points…we must put the Scriptures in Their context, so they can interpret Themselves. We can’t pick apart God’s Word to find all the promises we want to claim for our lives without reading and considering all the conjunctions – the “ifs, and hereins, and therefores.”

God isn’t Santa Claus. He is The Almighty El Shaddai. He loves us – beyond our wildest imagination – and it would do us all some good to let that love be what prods us to study the Word of God and let It serve Its purposes in us – for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16).

Salvation has no short cuts. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just slide into Heaven for eternal life only. I want to stand before Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior, and hear “faithful and well done.” Therefore, we should all study to show ourselves approved (II Timothy 2:15), work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), stop nursing on the bottle and begin chewing on the meat of God’s Word (Hebrews 5:11-14), and stand firm to the END – because that is the only guarantee of salvation (Matthew 24:13)!

John 15:1-12: “I am the True Vine and My Father is the Husbandmen. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are made clean through the Word that I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. ‘As’ a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except that it abide on The Vine – no more can ye except that ye abide on Me. I am the Vine, and Ye are the branches. Abide in me, and I in you – the same bringeth forth much fruit – for without Me, ye can do nothing. ‘If’ a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and withereth. Men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. ‘If’ ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you – ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified – that ye bear much fruit, so ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in My Love. ‘If’ ye shall keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My Love, as I have kept My Father’s Commandments and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you that you might remain in My Joy, and that your Joy may be full. This is My Commandment, that ye Love one another, ‘as’ I have loved you.”

James 2:17-26: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew 7:15-29: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

John 1:1, 14: ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Hebrews 12:6-11: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Hebrews 5:11-14: “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

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