Friday, May 11, 2012

One With Christ

A series on Jesus final teachings before his betrayal.


New Grapes
John 15:1-8  "I am the true grapevine, and My Father is the gardener.  2  He cuts off every branch of Mine that doesn't produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.  3  You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.  4  Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me."

5  "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.  6  Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.  7  But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!  8  When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father."

In yesterday's post we talked about the old vine that God planted and how the weeds took over and the fruit was sour, God planted a new vine that he wants us to be a part of, that is Jesus.

When I became a child of God, I became a branch on the vine that brings life and nourishment to every branch, there is an equal opportunity for all of the branches to be prosperous. I cannot say that another branch has better potential for fruit production, each branch has an intimate connection with the vine, we are all responsible for our personal relationship with the Lord and our mission to go and bear fruit.

Sin slows down the production of quality fruit, just like the Jews did back in the Old Testament, we will produce fruit that is unpleasing to God. Nobody likes to be pruned but the Master Gardener needs to work on our branch, there are things in our life that he wants to get rid of so that we will produce the right kind of fruit and it will be of the highest quality. (Galatians 5:22-23)

John 17:21-23 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

We should find a common spirit on the vine. Jesus prayer for his disciples was for us to all be one with each other and with Jesus and with God. Our union with the vine should cause us to share common desires and interest and our opinion of sin should change as a result of abiding in Christ and growing more like him. After being on the vine for a while, we should look a lot like Jesus, it is a shame that so many that claim to be on the vine really are not.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

It is a disgrace that the world can say that about God's people. We forget that we have been raised to live a new live and that our thoughts and our ways should not look like the world's ways. (Colossians 3:1-3)  We need to remember that our life depends on staying on the vine and gaining the care and proper nutrients that the vine is eager to share with us.