LESSONS FROM THE LORD’S VINEYARD

Intro: Jesus and the Disciples are about to leave the upper room, where they have shared the Passover meal, according to John 14:31. They are traveling to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus will offer the great High Priestly prayer before being apprehended by Judas's mob. While they are on their way to the garden, Jesus says the words that combine chapters 15 and 16.
Jesus is depicted as the "True Vine" for our benefit in this chapter. Imagine Jesus and His men walking through the city's pitch-black streets before crossing the walls and entering the countryside. Jesus began to discuss fruit, vine dressers, and other topics with His men as they made their way toward the Garden of Gethsemane. What brought about this lesson? There are a number of options. They would have passed right by the temple, whose doors had huge vines carved into them. It's possible that they went through the Golden Gate, which also had beautiful vine designs carved into it. Naturally, the fact that it was April meant that the grape vines would be beginning to bloom, offering the prospect of a new harvest. It's possible that Jesus used a vine to impart a practical lesson to His followers as He walked with His disciples. Wait, the instruction might have been even more in-depth! According to Psalm 80:8–10, a vine was the nation of Israel's emblem. Isa reveals the same truth. 5:1-2. Jer, however, this vine had failed to fulfill its intended function. 2:21; Hos. 10:1. As a result, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as "The True Vine." He would accomplish what Israel had failed to accomplish! Whatever the reason for this lecture that night was, it is abundantly clear that His intention was to educate them about the relationship between Jesus and His Father that is the most important one in their lives. We might consider asking, "Why did Jesus teach them this now?" The response is easy: They required it! John 14:12 says that these men have just been told that Jesus is leaving, but that His work will continue through them and their lives. They needed to know how to bear that kind of fruit in their lives if they were going to continue the Lord's work. He wants them to understand that only by remaining in Him, the True Vine, can they bear fruit for God's glory. Despite the fact that we are approximately 2,000 years removed from that night, the Lord's work continues. The followers of Jesus Christ are still assisting God in carrying out His work and will in the world today. As we sit here, many of us may be perplexed as to how we are supposed to carry out the Lord's work and produce such results in our own lives. Well, these verses provide the solution. Today, I want to teach you a few straightforward lessons from Jesus Christ. This is the topic of my sermon: The Lord's Vineyard: Lessons These priceless verses instruct us on how to bear fruit for the Lord's glory. I. A LESSON ON RELATIONSHIPS A. In the second verse, Jesus uses the phrase "in Me." We are being informed by Him that He is speaking to people who are in a vital, life-giving relationship with Himself at this time; He is speaking to saved people. Without a crucial connection to the Lord, no one can be considered a branch in His vine. Without being a part of the Vine, no one can produce fruit for the Lord's glory. Jesus uses the phrase "in Me" at least six times in these verses. He is referring to a circumstance that is absolutely necessary for life and fruit production. B. How does one become a "member" of Jesus? The "new birth" must take place for this to take place. This happens when someone realizes that they are a sinner. They feel the Lord calling them to come to Him and are made aware of their sins. They accept Jesus' finished work at Calvary as payment for their sins, respond to His call by faith, and confess that He is their soul saver. Rom says that this is the Bible's salvation method. 10:9, 10:13; Acts 16:31. C. There are a lot of people "in" religion right now; and the church has a lot of people "in" it. Although there are many moral and upright individuals, this does not imply that they are "in" Jesus! In fact, Matt, many people in this situation are and will be deceived. 7:21-23. That should never happen to you! Rom, make sure you have been grafted into the True Vine and that you have been saved. 9:17. D. Until a vital, life-giving connection to the Vine exists, no one can be a fruitful branch for God's glory. The "sap of life" cannot enter and exit you without that essential connection. You must have a relationship with God in order to have anything else—from God or with God. You must have a relationship with Him in order to have a hope of Heaven or forgiveness of sin. Can you recall a specific moment in your life when that relationship began? If you don't, you can be grafted in right now if you come to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith and ask Him to save your soul. John 6:37 says, "He won't turn you away." After all, consider everything He has done to save you! (John 3:16 in Il) Isa. 53:1-12; Rom. 10:21.) II. A LESSON ON REPRODUCTION A. A vine serves one specific function: producing results However, you'll notice that the fruit does not come from the vine itself. It leaves the branches to bear the fruit. The branches of the vine are the fruit of the vine. Jesus Christ is the same way. Mark 10:45 says that he came to this world to die on the cross for the sins of fallen men; Luke 19:10; John 18:37. The souls rescued by His grace are His fruit. The believers are his fruit. The branches that have been grafted into Him through grace are His fruit. We are His fruit, and He has given us the responsibility of bearing fruit. B. Ill. When a branch is grafted into a fruit tree, it takes on the life of the tree but keeps producing its own fruit. For instance, if a peach tree branch is grafted into an apple tree, the grafted-in branch will continue to produce peaches while the host tree will produce apples. However, a wild branch acquires a new nature when grafted into Jesus Christ, the True Vine. The Lord gives the lost sinner who seeks salvation through Jesus a brand-new nature. In point of fact, he receives 1 Pet's "divine nature." 2:4. The essence of the "new birth" is that. According to 2 Corinthians, it makes those who are saved "new creatures." 5:17. Consequently, the saved person receives Jesus' life, the True Vine, and that new branch bears the Vine's fruit. C. You'll notice in these verses that God says that He wants us to produce fruit. Additionally, you will observe a progression in our fruit production. “No fruit,” “fruit,” and “more fruit” are all mentioned in verse 2. In verse 8, "much fruit" is mentioned. This suggests to me that God anticipates our continual development as fruit bearers. What does it mean to say, "bearing fruit"? When we give, what will come out of it in our lives? How will we know whether we are producing fruit? In the lives of His children, the Lord produces three primary fruits. These are: 1. Sanctification, or growing closer to Him (Rom. 6:22; Phil. 1:11; Col. 1:10. 2. Spirituality means acting more like Him, Gal. 5:22-23. 3. Souls, i.e., we are burdened in the same way as He is, Rom. 1:13. D. Does Jesus still live His life in you today? Are you producing results for His praise? Gal., this was the secret to Paul's Christian success. 2:20. Matt: A lot about your life is revealed by the fruit you produce or do not produce. 7:16-20; Matt. 12:33. III. A LESSON ON RESPONSIBILITY A. When we consider bearing fruit, we shy away because we believe that it will be difficult and impossible for us to accomplish. Many believers hold the belief that those who "have arrived" and the "super saints" will bear fruit. In point of fact, it is not at all difficult to bear fruit for the Lord! In point of fact, it is one of the simplest actions that any believer can take! I'll go even further. The cultivation of fruit is completely passive. Fruit will appear in your life if you only do one thing! What exactly is it? In the verses, it is mentioned six times. The only thing the branches need to do in order to bear fruit is to "abide" in Jesus. The fruit will be for God's glory if the branches remain in Jesus. The only thing that the Lord expects from the branches is for them to rest in Him and derive strength for their lives from them. Fruit will always result if this occurs! (Ill. I have never witnessed a fruit tree, vine, or other plant that produces fruit struggle to produce fruit. The vine commands submission from the branches; They bear fruit as life flows through them! B. In what ways can a person remain in Jesus? You must first be "in" Jesus. You need to be spared! After that, you remain in Him through prayer, studying His Word, meditating on Him and His Word, v. 4, worship, praise, and total life surrender to Him, Rom. 12:1-2. I must derive my life from Christ if I am to remain in Him. I must submit to His will and allow Him to live through me. I must come to terms with the fact that I am nothing and cannot do anything without Him. It may appear to be challenging, but it is not. Even though it's easy, few people actually do it because it costs money! Most people don't really want to pay the price of completely submitting to the Lord's will. C. I must learn the secret of fruitfulness if I want to be a fruitful branch for the Lord's glory. I must learn to live my life in Him and abide in Him. Otherwise, my life will never produce anything. John 15:4 says, "You and I cannot bring anything spiritual to pass without Him." Phil, on the other hand, we can use Him to great effect. 4:13. D. A quick thought before we continue with the passage: Every genuine branch seeks to serve the Lord with honor. The glory of God is the top priority for anyone who is truly saved by grace, 1 Cor. 10:31. In verse 8, Jesus makes it abundantly clear to us that our bearing "much fruit" brings glory to the Lord. Learn the secret to surviving in the vine if that truly is your heart. You can watch Him use you to produce a lot of fruit for His glory if you let Him live His life through you. I am not accountable for the fruit's quality. I simply have to comply. Through me, He will produce fruit that pleases Him. That fruit's quantity is not my responsibility. It is my duty to remain in Him. He will harvest from my life the quantity of fruit that pleases Him. It would make a huge difference in our lives if we could ever understand that abiding is the foundation of being a fruitful Christian. IV. A LESSON ON REALITY A. The unfortunate fact is: Each branch does not produce fruit at the same level. Nevertheless, the Vine Dresser takes care of each and every branch in His vineyard. Take note of what Jesus says. 1. "Taketh away" means "to lift up or to raise higher," verse 2 reads. "every branch in Me that beareth not fruit he taketh away..." A picture of a fallen branch in the ground can be seen here. Its filthy and overgrown leaves are unable to absorb light, so the branch cannot produce fruit. When the gardener notices the branch in this state, he lifts it back up, cleans it, and places it where it can get sunlight and rain and grow normally. On a personal level, this indicates that the Lord will enter our lives when we reach a barren and fruitless state in our Christian lives; In an effort to test us and cause us to grow, He will awaken us from our sleep and lift us up. This lifting process consists of three steps. 1.) His curse - Hebrew 12:5 2.) His Punishment - Hebrew 12:5 3.) His slaying - Hebrew 12:6 Sometimes, chastisement is the only way the Lord can accomplish this. He will have us bear fruit for His glory if we respond to His rebuke with repentance. However, according to 1 John 5:16, there is a sin that leads to death if we continue in our sins. In what areas of your life has the Lord been challenging you? If that is the case, do not flee His call. Turn around and run toward God rather than away from Him. After all, His rebuke is always evidence of His love, according to Rev. 3:19, and of your relationship to Him, according to Hebrews. 12:8. 2. “And every branch that bearth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit,” verse 2. This is about purification. When the Gardener observes a branch that is bearing fruit, he removes anything that weakens the branch's vitality and strength from it. Sucker branches, unused buds, misdirected shoots, spots, and discolored leaves, among other things Everything that eats life but doesn't produce fruit must go! The Christian's life is the same way. Our relationship with God can be hampered by a myriad of factors both within and outside of us. We can rest assured that He will purify us through pruning when we begin to bear fruit, allowing us to serve Him more and more. We run the risk of being pruned when we allow things into our lives that hinder our relationship with the Lord. Ill. "Pruning," by its very name, sounds painful. Eliminating junk from our lives isn't always easy, but if we don't, the Lord will definitely! B. Jesus says in verse 2 that this ministry is carried out on "every branch." The hand of the heavenly Vine Dresser touches everyone, and He challenges us and purifies us to bear fruit for Him. When He purges and purifies our lives, it can, without a doubt, be extremely painful. However, keep in mind that when His ministering hand is upon our lives, He is always closer to us! His touch is evidence that you are His and that He cares for you, regardless of how painful it may be at the time! C. According to verse 6, the Gardener's challenging and purifying ministry does not work for every branch. There is a loss of companionship and reward when this occurs. After reading this verse, a lot of people have come to the conclusion that a branch can be cut out of the Vine forever. Jesus is talking about the following: 1. Loss of Friendship, Exclusion, and Abandonment This is a fellowship text, not a salvation text!) Ill. The watch my grandfather wore. I keep it even though it no longer works because it is mine. I won't deny there is a relationship!) (Ill. Unable to break up with. The withered branch still has the same nature as the Vine, but it is no longer connected in the sense of a life-giving community.) 2. Without life, withered, and lacking vitality! Dried up and dead. Many Christians today fall into this category! It wasn't always like this, but where once there was life, there is now nothingness. Where once there was power, there is now weakness. Where once there was abundance, there is now empty space. I would advise you to return and rekindle that friendship that has been lost. Get back to drawing life-giving juice from the Vine and producing fruit for Him once more. 3. Loss of Reward: When this life is over, many people will name Jesus but will not bear fruit. Every reward will be taken away from them, 1 Cor. 3:13-15. Many people believe that getting to Heaven is all that matters, but there should be a desire to receive rewards to offer to Him. Will I say, "Well done?" to you? Only if you are a branch that bears fruit! Conc: Jesus is the authentic twig. By rescuing sinners, living through them, and causing them to bear fruit, He exists to bring honor to His Father, the Vine Dresser. In light of this, allow me to conclude by asking you a few questions: 1. Do you reside "in the Vine"? Have you ever been truly baptized into Jesus Christ? If not, you must be today if you are not already! 2. Are you "supporting the Vine"? Are you relying on Him for strength so that He can bear fruit throughout your life? If you are, you won't probably even be aware of it, but if you aren't, you will absolutely be aware of it. You need to take action right away if you are not relying on Him and, as a result, are not producing as much fruit as you should be. 3. In your life, has the Gardener been carrying out His ministry of pruning and purification? If He has, keep in mind that He has a wonderful plan for your life and loves you. Why don't you go in front of Him right now and express your gratitude to Him for not letting you "run to leaf" and for being concerned enough to reach into your life to touch you and draw you closer to Him? The time to come before Him and address your spiritual needs is now, if you have any. Keep Him in mind!

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