CENTRAL TRUTH: True Christian fellowship established by abiding in Christ and obeying His Word.
MEMORY VERSE: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
i. Love each Other, Love one another
ii. Depend on the Spirit (For spiritual strength & To learn of Christ)
OBJECTIVE: To examine the foundation for Christian fellowship and appreciate our relationships with other believers
- LOVE EACH OTHER
- LOVE ONE ANOTHER – John 15:12-17
Christian love and joy are not mystical concepts. Our love for Jesus is demonstrated in our obedience to God’s commands. Our love towards one another is also demonstrated in our obedience to Jesus.
To love others mean one thing: sacrifice. We are to love other as Jesus loved us (John 15:12).
Jesus also defined what love by love is sacrifice (verse 13).
When we love someone, our time energy, money, goals, security. and comfort become a sacrifice of love. Doing for others implies laying down one’s life Of course, this verse indicates Jesus’ death on the cross, but we cannot forget that He also gave His life’s work to others. In addition to sacrifice, love involves friendship. Jesus told His followers that they would be His friends, verse 14. One aspect of the relationship between friends is that of sharing with one another, verse 15. Friends share with friends things they would not share with others Because of our relationship with Christ. He has shared with us the mystery of His kingdom.
Christ has chosen us. verse 16. But it is to be more than just friends. He chose us to go and bring forth fruit. Because we have been sent forth, this fruit is probably those we win to the Lord.
As we go forth in Christ’s mission, we have the assurance that He will bear and answer our prayers God will always meet the needs of those who are doing His will in His way.
In verse 17, Jesus returned to the thought of loving each other. Again, this love is to be the sacrificial love mentioned earlier. This is a command, not an option Much of the sharing we do with other believers is superficial We talk about trivial matters rather than the real burdens with which we are wrestling We are afraid to risk anything of real depth. Perhaps we tell of someone else’s burden instead of revealing our burden When someone does share a deep need, we respond by saying that we will pray for them But all too often when we are praying, we fail to mention that person or the need. Sacrificial love will be willing to become involved in someone’s life, even if it costs time and money. It is the kind of love that leads people to Christ and nurtures them in their relationship with Him. This kind of love- the sacrificial love of a true friend will show that we do indeed abide in Him.
DEPEND ON THE SPIRIT
FOR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH- John 15: 26, 27
Believers are living in a world that does not honour Christ Jesus warned this disciples that the world would hate them because the world hated Him But Jesus was not going to leave His disciples without some help in this world He promised to send ‘Comforter (John 15:26) This word can also be translated Counselor”
QUESTION: How is the Holy Spirit a Comforter to believers? The word Comforter means someone called alongside to help. Jesus said the Spirit of Truth’ will testify of me. While the world is ridiculing Christ. the Holy Spirit will help us to see the truth about Christ. He will give us true ‘counsel’ concerning the reality of Christ’s ministry He will help us understand that Christ is the only way of salvation And knowing the truth about Christ will help us boldly proclaim Him to a lost world. Jesus promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to give the disciples power for proclaiming the gospel The Spirit would even confirm the testimony of their relationship with Christ to the unsaved The fulfillment of this promise came on the Day of Pentecost. Acts 21-4.
As a community of believers, the Early Church had to depend on the Holy Spirit as their Guide Each individual needed the power and help of the Holy Spirit But as a group, they also needed to learn how to work together The love of the disciples for one another was a witness concerning the power of the gospel, and the Holy Spirit was their Helper.
As believers in today’s world. we also need to depend upon the Holy Spirit if we are going to proclaim Christ to our generation We cannot accomplish this task without the strength of the Spirit And as He works in our lives, we will become powerful witnesses of Christ’s love.
To Learn Of Christ (John 16:13-15)
Undoubtedly, the disciples were overwhelmed with what they had already heard Jesus explain Compassionately, Jesus reserved more instruction and teaching to a later point in time Then He would send an able Teacher in His place the Holy Spirit This divine teacher would guide the disciples into ‘all truth’, John 16:13.
QUESTION: How does the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth John 16:13-15 refers to the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit as He leads believers into all truth These verses state that the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus because the teaching of the spirit would come from Jesus and ultimately, the Father. The truth that the Holy Spirit would teach would be concerning Jesus The spirit would not testify about himself, but he would teach that which “she shall hear.” He would also show them “things to come.” (It should be noted that the Holy Spirit does not add to Jesus’ revelation, but He illuminates the meaning of God’s Word to us).
Jesus said that it was important for the disciples for Him to leave them because only then could He send the Holy Spirit How much more important is it for us to receive the Holy Spirit so we can experience the same abiding presence that Christ knew was so important to the ministry of His disciples.