Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Notes on John 15:1-11.

Text

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
(NIV)

Notes
[The following observations concerning the above text were compiled with the help of a small group of Christians with whom Abby and I were studying the Bible this evening.]

I. The Father
A. The Father is the gardener, tending to the branches of the vine.
1. The Father cuts off the non-fruitbearing branches, which wither and are cast into the fire.
2. The Father prunes the fruitbearing branches, so that they bear more fruit.
B. The Father receives glory.
C. The Father loves the Son.
D. The Father issues commands.

II. The Son
A. The Son is the vine, bearing fruit through the branches [His followers].
B. The Son remains in those who remain in Him.
C. The Son reveals truth.
D. The Son receives love from the Father.
E. The Son loves His followers.
F. The Son gives joy to His followers.

III. The Followers of the Son
A. Followers of Jesus are branches:
1. being pruned by the Father (the gardener),
2. bearing fruit as we remain in:
a. the Son (the vine)/
b. the love of the Son (v. 10) [i.e., the Holy Spirit]
B. Followers of Jesus (those who remain in Him and have His words remaining in them) ask whatever we wish.
C. Followers of Jesus obey His commands.
D. Followers of Jesus experience His joy.

[When I first reviewed this Bible passage I was, due to the influence of an excellent book I have read, focused on the phrase, "apart from me you can do nothing." Abby pointed out that the key verse in this passage is, "This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples;" this verse provides a grounding for the previous paragraphs, and the following paragraph flows from this verse.]

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