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The True Disciples

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In John 15 Jesus speaks to the matter of His true disciples and the text is “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 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. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 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.

So everything we are is found in who Jesus is because we receive everything we are as a branch, from Him, the true vine.  And God is the gardener.  He is constantly either doing away with non-bearing branches or pruning others who do bear fruit so they will bear more fruit.  The theme of “remaining in Jesus” is central to all of this fruit bearing.  In verse 5 Jesus bears down on the fact that we can do nothing apart from Him.  Here is the verse “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.  Good old American Christianity believing people will say “Now hold on here.  What am I supposed to do?”  Jesus says “remain in me.”  What this does is take all the glory away from us thinking we are such good people who do good things and please God and put it back on Christ as our all in all.  Here is what Jesus thinks about our goodness. Luke 18: 18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good.  The verses prior to this great revelation about goodness speak to the wisdom Jesus speaks to the disciples about being like children when receiving.  Jesus even says “I tell you the truth.”  It must be childlike faith.

So everything we are is found in everything Jesus is and we are branches attached to Jesus, the vine.  And we are taken care of by God the eternal gardener.  The Apostle Paul speaks about the fruit that branches bear in Galatians 5 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Now you may notice that goodness is mentioned as one of the fruits and Jesus told the rich man “no one is good, but God.”  Now the thinking about who we are has changed and those attached to the vine now know and show goodness that is Spiritual and Godly.  These fruits come from being attached to Jesus and the Holy Spirit causes them to come alive in our life when we surrender to the fact that we are nothing and Jesus is everything.  The result of all of this is a life of action and faith and those “works” are true and Godly and not man-centered.  Any works without this order are dead works and totally useless.  But  American Christianity says “But what about me doing good things and the honor I should receive from that? Scripture speaks to that too.  Matthew 6 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Jesus is our only hope for salvation and for living our lives and He deserves the honor and glory for all because without Him we are nothing, nothing, NOTHING!! . Here is the precise truth from the Word of God.  If you are a true disciple you will bear fruit and if you are not, you won’t.  Which are you and what are you going to do about it?

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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