Introduction Communion celebrates the relational union made possible by the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Introduction• Fruit is only possible through a true CONNECTION with Christ.• Regular, lasting fruit is an EVIDENCE of true discipleship. (v.8)
Sustained light is the desired result of a connection to a powerful source!
Regular progress is the desired result of a connection to a powerful tool!
Introduction “As our communion with Him becomes more intimate andintense, … the more we realize how the life in us is the life of One who sits on the throne of heaven.” Andrew Murray
More Fruit• Healthy branches produce LOVE fruit (vv.9-10, 12-13, 17) – We have received much sacrificial love from Jesus – To whom much is given, much is expected or required (Lk 12:48) – We are to love one another, abiding in love, just as the Father and Son
More Fruit• Healthy branches produce JOY fruit (v.11) – The fullness of joy comes when we do what we were made for – There is an emotional response to a cognitive choice to live in Christ – It is a relational phrase in 2 Jn 12
“The Christian life is not someshallow, insipid following of a traditional pattern. It is a lifecharacterized by ‘unexhausted (and inexhaustible) power for fresh creation’.” Leon Morris
More Fruit• Healthy branches produce OBEDIENCE fruit (vv.12, 14-15, 17) – These directions are not optional or conditional, they are imperatives – There is a distinction between “slavery” and “friendship” – motive – We are called children of God, and that is what we are, so behave • Cf. 1 John 3:1-10
Conclusion “Obedience in carrying out his purpose would be a guarantee of success, for Jesus never planned failure for His disciples.” Merrill C Tenney
More Fruit• Healthy branches produce COMMUNICATION fruit (v.16) – We want to talk to the one that we love; it brings us great joy; it gives us insight into His desires for us – God delights in answering with good gifts for further growth
Conclusion “Love is the evidence of grace working in our souls.” HA Ironside
ConclusionAre you a true, connecteddisciple of Jesus Christ?Let us examine theevidence…
Conclusion• No fruit = no connection• Little fruit = needs pruning• Much fruit = healthy branch• MORE fruit = growing!• The evidence is in the fruit.
Conclusion“An absolutely fruitless life is prima facia evidence that one is not a believer.” “The proof of discipleship is fruitbearing.” Merrill C Tenney
Conclusion “Discipleship is not static, but agrowing and developing way of life. … The true disciple is becoming more fully a disciple.” Leon Morris
Self-Inspection• S – SINS to confess, reject: – Idolatry connecting to wrong vines – Hypocrisy pretending to be connected – Apathy not even faking a connection or caring about disconnects
Self-Inspection• P – PROMISES to hold on to: – Obedience assures proper connection and brings great joy. – There is answered prayer for those connected to God’s plans.
Self-Inspection• E – EXAMPLE to follow: – Jesus set the example in sacrificial love – Jesus set the example in determined obedience
Self-Inspection• C – COMMAND to obey: – Love one another – Keep these commands
Self-Inspection• T – THANKS to share: – I have a personal relationship with God, through Christ, which produces fruit – I have, by grace, been chosen, cleansed, equipped, and positioned for growth – I have a group of people around me who want to go and grow together