Digging Deeper | Week of May 1st

Sermon Notes

I AM | Week 6 | "I Am The Vine"
Pastor Greg Carr
John 15:1-5
1. The Christian life is about bearing fruit.
John 15:1-2

2.  God prunes us so that we have the time to mature and to develop the strength, the character, and the perseverance needed to support future fruit.  

3.  In the process of pruning, God will cut back our former successes that we have become dependent upon and force us to step into new areas of productivity and purpose.  

4.  God prunes us out of love because he sees our potential of fruit-bearing.  
John 15:4-5

Scriptures to Meditate On

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." John 15:1-4

Resources

Questions

1. Read John 15:1-3. What does it mean to bear fruit?  
 
2. Jesus is speaking in John 15 and he says that a branch that is bearing fruit will get pruned so that it will bear even more fruit. Can you think of some examples of this pruning in your life?
 
3. The Blue Letter Bible App is an incredible resource. If you don't have it on your phone already, please check it out. In a commentary on John 15 by David Guzik, these 3 points are made:
  • “Left to itself a vine will produce a good deal of unproductive growth. For maximum fruitfulness extensive pruning is essential.” (Morris)
  • “Dead wood is worse than fruitlessness, for dead wood can harbor disease and decay…God removes the dead wood from his church and disciplines the life of the believer so that it is directed into fruitful activity.” (Tenney)
  • “And if it be painful to bleed, it is worse to wither. Better be pruned to grow than cut up to burn.” (Trapp)
After reading these three points, does it give you a greater appreciation for being “pruned?” Discuss each of these points.
 
4. Read John 15:4. Pastor Greg pointed out that Jesus uses the word abide 10 times in this passage. How can we abide in Christ? What does it mean to abide in Christ?
 
5. Read Something to Think About and discuss.

Something to Think About

Jesus says that unless we abide in Him, we cannot bear fruit. John Piper wrote an article entitled “I Chose You to Bear Fruit.” I included it in the resource section this week, and I encourage you all to read it. In this article, Piper explains fruit in this passage as love. Because fruit is the out-pouring of what has passed through the branch from the vine. If we are connected to the vine which is Jesus and abiding in the vine which is Jesus, the fruit of our lives will be love. And this effects everything. If our lives are pouring out love, people will come to know Jesus. If our lives are pouring out love, relationships will be healed. If our lives are pouring out love, we are fulfilling the two greatest commandments Jesus gave and living out the gospel. My prayer for you all and myself this week is that the Holy Spirit will teach us how to abide in Jesus. As we are in prayer and in His Word this week, meditating on John 15, I pray that our lives will begin to overflow with this fruit Jesus talks about. And as he continues to lovingly prune us, our branches will be thick with love.  
Blessings,
Christie Braun
Adult Ministries Pastor
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