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WHAT DEFINES US?

WHAT DEFINES US?                                                     John 15:1-8

Everyone one is defined by something.

Individuals: Personality     Looks     Intellect    Social Status    Popularity

Career      Clothes       Talent        Money      Habits

Families: Home     House      Name      Reputation      Manners     Politics

Vehicles     Lawns       Trips       Money

Church: Building     Grounds      Attendance      Buses     Size of Ministry

Steeple       Dress         Talent      Budget          Attitude

Unity: Teaching        Preaching         Music           Attitude         MINGLE

Puppets         Personality          Talent          Fellowships             Float

But What Should Define Unity:  Position   Potential   Promise

Jesus is giving some final teaching to His disciples shortly before he is arrested, tried, and crucified. He is admonishing them to stay true to Him, because He is the Vine, and they are all branches in the vine.  That is what defines them.

POSITION  (1-3) I am the true vine: Jesus may have said this as they passed by the great golden vine on the front of the temple. This vine is a familiar Old Testament symbol for Israel.

Look at this vineyard of God.

God owns the vineyard, dresses it, provides for it.

Christ is the vine through which God chose to minister to us.

The Holy Spirit is what carries the nutrients to the branches.

WE are the branches, and are dependent on what the Vine provides.

The important point to remember is we are to be in Christ, the true Vine. We must be rooted in Him, not Israel, not denomination, not ministry if we will bear fruit for God.

Christ comes first, and them the ministry.

Christ cleans us through His Word, and His Word is life-giving.

We are defined by our             POSITION as a branch on the Vine.

 

POTENTIAL (4-7)

All power is given to Christ, and all potential is given to us through Christ.

Abiding is dwelling, not visiting occasionally.

Abiding is staying the course, not staying when convenient

Abiding is the ability to produce fruit, more fruit, much fruit.

Fruit is the result of being connected to the Vine, and willing to use the nutrients provided by the Vine.

Those that do not abide Two possibilities:

(1) Those who were numbered with Christ, but were never really of Christ are cast into Hell.

(2) Those of Christ, but not committed to Him. Superficially saved. Works are burned.

But the key is “abiding.”  It is what we can do when we are utilizing the gifts of the Spirit. We ask rightly, and receive readily.

We ask rightly through prayer.

FRUIT

Fruit are works that are done in loving obedience to the Lord’s will

Fruit can come in many “flavors”:

Giving     Sharing    Loving    Praying     Mending     Sending      Meeting     Greeting   Encouraging   Lifting  Laughing    Weeping    Making     Baking     Teaching      Preaching     Singing      Reading      Listening      Heeding  Showing    Glowing    Growing

 

Fruit can come in many sizes:

“Regular” (fruit)

“Large” (more fruit)

“Super-Sized” (much fruit)

But all fruit from the branch is the Lord’s

We are defined by fulfilling our POTENTIAL fruit through the Vine.

 

We are defined by fulfilling our POTENTIAL through the Vine.

 

PROMISE (8)

When we pray as an abiding branch on the Vine, we are praying in God’s will.

When we pray in God’s will, we are asking for the right things.

When we ask for the right things, God is blessed by our prayers of obedience, and allows our branch to produce MUCH fruit.

 

We are defined by standing on the PROMISE of God.

 

Putting it all together

God desires that we recognize our POSITION as a branch on His vine.

 

Every branch is special to Him, and He wants us to produce to our full POTENTIAL.

 

His PROMISE to us that He will equip, provide, and guide us to produce much fruit.