CENTRAL TRUTH: True Christian community established by abiding in Christ and obeying Christ and obeying his word.
TEXT: John 15: 1-27; 16:13-15
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
- Abide in Christ ( Important of relationship & Bearing fruit)
- Love each Other ( Christ’s love for believers)
OBJECTIVE: To examine the foundation for christian fellowship and appreciate our relationships with other believers
ABIDE IN CHRIST
IMPORTANCCE OF RELATIONSHIP
Christian fellowship is important; it can provide believers with the opportunity to develop close friendships within the body of Christ. These friendships can provide strength and spiritual nurturing during the believer’s Christian walk. But Christian fellowship cannot come without first having a relationship with Christ. Our fellowship with him is the basis for our fellowship with other believers.
QUESTION: Why is Jesus’ use of vine and branches a good illustration of the importance of our relationship with Christ?
The relationship of the vine and branches suggested by Jesus in John 15 indicates that believers must be joined to Him if they are to remain spiritually alive. Jesus is the source of life for all believers. When the branches remain in Christ, life-giving energy flows from Him into them.
Our remaining in the vine is necessary if we are going to be fruitful. The fruit that we will produce will be a result of the vitality of our faith in Christ. Just as the branch must remain attached to the vine to produce fruit, so must we remain attached to Christ. The branch cannot bear fruit without the vine, and we can ‘do nothing’ without Christ.
The verb tenses Jesus used in this passage denote continuous action. Thus, to ‘abide’ means to continue to abide. This places the responsibility of our relationship with Christ upon us. This is not to say that we earn our salvation, but, in order to continue in Christ, we must maintain our relationship with Christ.
The result of not abiding is disastrous (verse 6). The branch that does not remain attached to the vine loses its source of life. It then becomes withered and is no longer good for anything except to be burned. So it is with believers. When we remove ourselves from Christ, we remove ourselves from the source of spiritual life. We will wither spiritually. The burning of the branches indicates the eternal consequences of believers who do not remain in Christ.
Our relationship with the Lord is not something to be taken lightly. When those who have a relationship with Christ begin to forsake God’s house, His Word, and prayer, their spiritual lives are in danger. To continue to neglect spiritual disciplines will bring disastrous results. We must maintain our relationship with Christ by having daily fellowship with Him.
BEARING FRUIT – John 15:7,8
According to John 15:7, one of the ways Jesus dwells in the believer is through His ‘words. In a very practical sense, we remain in Him by obeying His commands, by living within the sphere of His love, and by fellowshipping with other Christians. Because Jesus repeated how essential it is to remain in Him. He underscored its importance. We do not just begin in Him and then go our own separate ways. Cut off from Him, we can do nothing of eternal significance, nothing that will please the Father, nothing that will bear fruit. In fact, we endanger our own eternal souls.
QUESTION: How does a Christian abide or remain in Jesus day by day?
To abide in mares to experience an unbroken fellowship and personal communion with Him through prayer and personal Bible study. Part of the answer comes from the phrase, “if… my words remain in you” (Verse 7). Jesus always connects love for God with obedience. When we obey, His words abide in us. As a result, we want to know more about Jesus and His teachings until they control our desires and His thoughts and purposes become ours.
Just as there are disastrous results because we do not abide in Christ. there are some positive benefits when we do remain in Him. If we remain in Him and His words remain in us, we can “ask what ye will,” and it shall be done unto you’ (verse 7).
Our position in Christ provides us with access to His throne, Hebrews 4:16. As a result, we will find the answers to our prayers. The result of our prayers will be the ‘fruit’ that glorifies God, John 15:8.
QUESTION: What is the fruit that Jesus wants our lives to produce?
LOVE EACH OTHER
CHRIST’S LOVE FOR BELIEVERS
Some languages have over a dozen ways to say, “I love you.” some denote sexual intimacy appropriate only for married couples: other expressions for love are for family members; and still other words express love for friends. But Jesus’ expression of love goes beyond mere human relationships. His love has its source in the Father.
Jesus said to His disciples, “As the father hath loved me, so have I loved you” John 15:9. Jesus expressed His Father’s love through the Atonement. It was a selfless
There could not be a more gracious way for the Lord to ask His servants to obey Him than by saying ‘continue ye verse 9. If believers are to remain my life. in Christ, they are to remain in His love while the followers of other religions are motivated to serve and obey their leaders out of duty or fear. Christians follow Jesus out of love..
QUESTION: What should be our response to Christ’s love for us?
Our response to Christ’s love should be one of faithfulness and obedience, verse 10. In asking us to obey, Jesus is asking that we remain in His love, His desire for us is in His words, “That my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” John 15:11.
The only way that we can truly express love to others is by first. receiving Christ’s love. As we abide in Him, his love abides in us. Many times our failure to love someone is because of our lack of joy. Perhaps we have allowed our relationship with Christ to lose some of its vitality. When we are filled with joy, it is easier to respond to others in love.