Sunday – 7.21.13

This week we concluded our series studying the great “I Am” statements made by Jesus in the book of John.

In John 15 Jesus makes the statement, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” It’s easy to jump straight to “abiding” when looking at this passage, and abiding in Christ is very important, but at the core this message is not about abiding; it’s about bearing fruit. One of the easiest ways to think about the fruit that we should be producing as believers is by looking at the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5 – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of these things should be evident in the life of a person who is abiding in Christ.

God, the vinedresser is going to “prune” the branches. Branches that don’t produce fruit are cut away and removes. Branches that do produce fruit are going to be pruned so that they produce even more fruit. One of our first reactions to this passage might be to think that we need to work harder to produce more fruit. But that’s not the way that “fruit” happens. It’s not helpful to say, “I have to be more loving!” and then try to love people more. It doesn’t bring peace in a hectic world to stress out about making yourself more peaceful.

The thing to see here is that fruit does not grow on its own. There is a process to bearing fruit and one of the first things we need to realize is that WE do not produce fruit. We are just branches on the vine that is grounded in the soil that actually produces the fruit IN the branches. If we are to produce the fruit that God wants us to produce then we must stay grounded in him. It will never come about through any effort of our own. In the same way that a farmer trying to grow more and better corn will focus almost exclusively on the soil, so we should focus on cultivating the soil of our relationship with Jesus and abiding in him. He is the one who will make the fruit grow.

 

Band for the week was:

  • Ben Davis – guitar + vox
  • Amaree Davis – violin
  • Katie Pritchett – vox
  • Brent Francese – drums
  • John Enzor – bass
  • Patrick Downing – guitar + vox

Setlist for the week was:

  • Rising Sun
  • Spring of Life
  • I Surrender
  • Jesus Only Jesus
  • Open Up Our Eyes
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