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Image by: marianne perdomo
Text: John 15:1-8; 16
He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.
The Greek word for prune is kathairo. The English word "catharsis" means to prune or clean. Jesus is talking about cutting back of the branches for future growth. This is a common practice among vine growers (and Tea planters in Sri Lanka).
Four types of "Branches" (believers)
- No fruit (Vs. 2)
- Fruit (vs. 2)
- More fruit (Vs. 2)
- Much fruit (Vs. 5)
What is the fruit?
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles. Romans 1:13
So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:21-22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Primarily speaks of fruit of righteousness
By the word
You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. John 15:3
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself John 15:4
If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. John 15:10
If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you do not belong to the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. John 15:19 (1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 4:12-13)
Why God wants to prune us?
I. God prunes us because He loves us
A. He proved His love in the act of redemption
1. Man is helpless, and hopeless because of his sinful nature
2. No one can reconcile to God through mere human effort (Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-12, 23)
3. The plan of redemption cost the Father that which was most dear to Him.
B. True love involves discipline
1. Distinction between discipline/punishment. Punishment is for disobedience but discipline is for growth.
2. When God says no it's because He loves us.
II. He knows what's best for His children
A. As the creator he knows what fits us and what doesn't
1. Adam and Eve were created in innocence without fallen nature.
2. Christ came to die for men, but He also came to live among men. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15)
B. Trusting God is a difficult lesson to learn
1. In the Psalms the word "trust" is used 70 times.
2. Job knew what it was to trust in almighty God (Job 13:15)
3. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding… and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
C. When you cannot understand, hold to His unchanging hand.
III. He has a high purpose for our lives
A. God takes time to accomplish His plans in your life.
1. Disciples were not ready to become leaders
2. The metaphor of vine, growth, fruit, pruning indicates this not an overnight job.
3. Believe in "instantaneous" and "progressive" sanctification.
4. Paul encourages the Ephesians that we "may grow up into Him in all things."
B. His purpose is self manifestation through believers
1. Nothing more significant than the revelation of God's glory
2. Attributes of God found in His word, (Eternal, immutable, faithful, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Holy, Just, Truth, Love, Merciful, Good, Gracious, Un-searchable, Incomprehensible.)
3. Jesus came to reveal the "glory of His Father"
4. Now, through us, God has chosen to make Himself known to the world individually (Matthew 5:14), Collectively as the Church, Earthly representation of heavenly love and unity.
C. His plan for you is unique to you
1. God knows the "uniqueness" of past, personality, potential. Desires to change the "liabilities" in to "assets"
2. Refer to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel.
Jeremiah in Jerusalem.
Ezekiel in Babylon to captive Jews
Daniel in Babylon from palace.
3. He will purge, prune your life in ways unique to you.
Yes, times of pruning will come to your life, but it is so that you may bring forth fruit in abundance, and that it may remain.
He loves you
He knows what is best for you
He has a unique, high purpose for you
Taken from: Insights from the word – The scriptures applied by Dr. Maurice Lednicky