Monday, July 18, 2016

Faith: The Vine and the Branches 2 (John 15:1-8)

Our Purpose in Christ (to bear fruit) vv2-6

Jesus carries this illustration further. He has chosen a plant to illustrate our relationship with Him. Plants, like all living things, have a purpose. They exist—in part, a very important part—to reproduce. That is what Jesus is talking about when He says we need to “bear fruit”. Fruit bearing is not good works, not good living, it is a reproductive act.

He goes so far as to say that those in Him that do not bear fruit are tossed away, and those who do are pruned to become more reproductive. We think the Christian life as all about us. Our joy, our happiness, our plans, our well-being. We pray that God will bless us and help us achieve our goals. Instead it is all about Him. It will bring us those other things (as we will see next month) but the goal is not our little kingdom, but rather God’s.

We have this idea about salvation where we invite Christ into our life. We ask Him in and ask Him to empower us to fulfill our plans. We want success. We want blessing. We want our dreams to be fulfilled. Instead, it is God inviting us into His Kingdom. We surrender the crown of our own little pathetic kingdom, and become a subject in His wonderful one. We become who we were created to be. As such, the greatest purposes in our lives become glorifying God and inviting others into that same wonderful glory.

If your experience as a Christian is not literally contagious, if you are truly sterile as a follower of Christ, you need to ask yourself why that is. What is it about your understanding of Christianity that makes that so? Could it be that all you have is a (false, or incomplete) understanding, and you don’t have a relationship?

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