The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 15-2] (John 15:1-10) The Lord Is the True Vine, And We Are the Branches

(John 15:1-10)
“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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
 
 
We just read John 15:1-10 for today’s Scripture passage. Here the Lord said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” He then went on to say that the branches must abide in the vine, and that He will cut out any branch that does not bear fruit, while cleanse every branch that bears fruit so that it may bear more fruit.
Let’s contemplate on this passage carefully today. The Lord spoke of Himself by drawing an analogy to the vine, and this parable means that although those who abide in the Lord bear fruit, those who don’t will perish spiritually like a withering branch. In other words, today’s Scripture passage teaches us what kind of faith we must have to lead a proper life of faith.
 
 
Why Did the Lord Tell Us to Abide in the Vine?
 
On numerous occasions, our Lord put a particular emphasis on the importance of abiding in Him, and we can see this in today’s Scripture passage also, as it’s written here: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:7-8). As the passage says, for the Lord’s Word to abide in us, we must know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit first. This gospel proclaims that Jesus has saved His believers from all their sins by coming to this earth incarnated in the flesh, bearing the sins of the human race by being baptized by John the Baptist, shedding His blood to death on the Cross, and rising from the dead again. Were it not for this gospel of the Lord, we could have never been blessed anywhere to be saved from our sins and become God’s children. You must realize here that you can abide in the Lord and His Word wholly only if you have faith in this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Let me ask you again: What spiritual knowledge must you have for your heart to have complete faith in the righteousness of God? You need the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. The Lord already bore all your sins and mine when He was baptized by John the Baptist, and He was also crucified for these sins in our place. And having risen from the dead again, He has become the true Savior God for all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is what Jesus Christ has done for us. Therefore, for those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, His Father is our Father, and God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all our God. The Lord has saved us from the sins of the world out of His love for us, and He has made all this Truth known to us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, unless this Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit abides in our hearts, we can never lead a genuine life of faith. Therefore, it’s absolutely indispensable for your heart and mine to always have the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has saved you and me from all our sins, and He loves us forever. This faith is always in our hearts, as we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We must believe in the Lord who has given us the gift of salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we must always abide in this Truth by faith, just as the Lord said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). In fact, when it comes to the life of faith, we can neither reach true salvation nor receive true love unless we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. That’s because our everything will be inevitably rendered in vain if we center our hearts and live for something else other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Without the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our existence in this world is worthless. It is our Lord who made us, and it is He who has blotted out our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist to deliver us from the sins of the world. For our sins He was crucified to death in our place, and rising from the dead again, He has become our perfect Savior. Unless we believe in this Lord, our faith means nothing, and without the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by this Lord, our faith cannot be made whole. So I ask each and every one of you to believe unwaveringly with all your heart that the Lord has blotted out all your sins by being baptized, and that we have been saved by our faith in this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
If we have indeed been saved from all sins by the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then from now on we must seek the will of God in our lives. And we must realize that this will of God is for all of us to preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone else. The only way for us to love others and help them enjoy everlasting life in peace is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. Had we not had the Lord’s love and the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts, it would have been simply impossible for us to love the people of this world. It’s because of the Lord’s love and His salvation that we could be born again into righteous people and love others in our lives.
My fellow believers, we have received the true remission of sins on account of our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. As such, we must always think of this love of the Lord and ruminate on His gospel of the water and the Spirit all the time. And we must grow spiritually by this faith at all times. Regardless of how long we might have led our lives of faith, it’s absolutely indispensable for all of us to always think about the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and brought salvation to our hearts. In other words, we must always be mindful of the perfect of work of salvation the Lord has done for us, remembering that He was baptized in our place, crucified to death for our sins, and resurrected back from the dead. The Lord is the Creator who brought us unto this earth and made this infinitive universe by the power of His Word. Therefore, it is our natural duty as the people of faith to always think about the Lord Almighty and ruminate on His Word with our hearts. Only then can our faith be made perfect. If we live our lives based on the Word of God like this, we are bound to be interested even more deeply in the hope for Heaven and everlasting life. Our lives will then naturally become more generous and kinder rather than selfish, to live a righteous life that can show empathy to others rather than asking for it.
Take a moment here and ponder carefully on the true love and true salvation our Lord has given us. It’s all because the Lord gave us true salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we could become His perfect people. This salvation that the Lord has bestowed on us is unveiled in our hearts as God’s profound love, making us love others even more, understand them even more, and thus preach God’s salvation to them even more. All this is because of the Lord’s love and salvation. We offer the Lord’s love to others not because you and I are somehow innately good people, but only because the Lord loved us first and we have faith in this love.
Every human being has fleshly weaknesses, and therefore no one can help but be selfish. However, because of the merciful love the Lord has shown to us, it’s been possible for us to also love others even if it’s not perfect. Moreover, we have also become righteous people to practice God’s righteousness. In other words, it’s all because the Lord has indeed bestowed us with His true love of salvation, and because He has saved us from all the sins of the world, that our hearts are also emulating this love of the Lord. Therefore, the Lord is inexorably the Master of our lives, our love, and our everything. This Lord of the gospel of the water and the Spirit is absolutely indispensable to us.
Even though we may sometimes go astray out of our weaknesses, the Lord is still our Master who loves us all. When we think about this love of the Lord, we can actually carry out His work, follow Him, and obey His Word. Put differently, we can all overcome this evil world by our unwavering faith. It’s more than possible for all of us to live such a life, for we are walking with the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are the Lord’s disciples freed from the sins of this world by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. From the very moment we were saved by believing in this true gospel, we had been delivered from all sins and become righteous people to receive the Lord’s love and blessings.
As you will likely admit it yourself, we are now living in a chaotic world. Every day, we are struggling in our spiritual battle against all the temptations of the world and all its sins. However, you and I have been delivered by our Lord. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, we have simultaneously received both the remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit of God into our hearts. As the Holy Spirit has come into us the born-again, what He desires is always different from what our flesh desires, and therefore it’s inevitable for us to fight a spiritual battle. If we follow the Holy Spirit in this battle, we can resist the futile desires of the flesh and ultimately overcome them. All of us must therefore follow the desires of the Holy Spirit the Lord has given us.
At the very moment we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we received the remission of sins, and at the same time the Holy Spirit came into our hearts for us to live a spiritual life. And He is now holding steadfast all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Accordingly, then, we ought to place our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and think of it every day, and live in obedience to the Holy Spirit, for only then can we avoid falling into spiritual confusion. You must grasp here that this is the forever-lasting truth, an indispensable lesson that is very much applicable to your everyday life.
 
 
The Righteousness of the Lord Is Absolutely Indispensable to All of Us
 
Because we have already received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, we can continue to live a spiritual life. For such people like us, what is absolutely indispensable is the Lord and His gospel of the water and the Spirit. Some people may think, “Now that I’ve received the remission of sins, the gospel of the water and the Spirit is no longer needed.” But this is nothing more than a foolish conjecture. Everything does not end once you receive the remission of sins. Far from it, we must always think of the Lord and ruminate on His gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts all the time, just as the Lord said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). Because the Lord is always alive in your heart and mine as we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He reminds us of the righteousness of God every day.
By being baptized by John the Baptist on this earth, the Lord accepted all the sins of this world onto His own body once and for all. Moreover, because He thus shouldered all the sins of the world, He could be crucified and shed His blood to death for our sins in our place. And having risen from the dead again in three days, He has become the everlasting Savior of all of us His believers. Whoever believes in this Truth is compelled to walk toward the Lord in every aspect of life, for this would be his purpose in life. That’s because our Lord said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8). The Lord is our Teacher, our God, and our Savior who has delivered us from all sins. Even though we have already received the remission of sins, we must ruminate on the Lord’s Word ceaselessly and always follow His righteousness in our lives.
It is in our human nature to forget everything once our concern is addressed, no matter what it is. However, our Lord, whose love is infinite, never forgets us. Although He has completely finished His work of saving us from sin with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He will never abandon us. As fleshly weaknesses are still with us, we must abide with the Lord at all times in our lives, in our thoughts, in our hearts, and in our plans as well. We need the Lord and His love all the time because we are such weak beings. This Good Shepherd is absolutely indispensable to us, for we are a flock of sheep that can’t find our way by ourselves. The Lord guides us in the right direction and teaches us by what kind of faith we should live. In short, the Lord living inside us gives the strength to actually do everything that’s within our reach. Like this, Jesus Christ is everything to all of us who want to live by faith.
God the Father said that He is the Vinedresser. This means that God gives true fertilizer to those who believe in and follow the Lord. Jesus also likened Himself to the vine, and He said that we are its branches. If the branches hang onto the vine, they will bear much fruit, but if they fall apart from the vine, they will wither away right away. Like this, we must abide in the Lord and think of Him always, just like the branches that abide in the vine. Even if we forget everything else, we should never forget the love of our Lord. We must ruminate on this love all the time to receive new strength from God the Father every day, so that we may always carry out His righteous work.
Does your heart have a firm foundation to live out your faith? Are you living by faith in the righteousness of God? By any chance, aren’t you instead guiding yourself on your own? Just as the Lord said, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), we must abide in the Lord absolutely if we want to bear abundant spiritual fruit. Just as the branches that abide in the vine bear much fruit, it’s someone who abides completely in the Lord that bears abundant fruit of righteousness. That is how one glorifies the Father and becomes a true disciple of Jesus, by bearing much fruit of righteousness.
The Lord said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). The commandments here instruct us to love the Lord our Savior and ensure that He is in our hearts unambiguously. And the Lord says here that when we keep and practice such commandments, we will come to love the Lord and love fellow human beings as well.
My fellow believers, do not try to do anything on your own. Whatever you do, if you do it without the Lord, then your limits will be soon exposed. We are such that we can’t do anything without Jesus. At all times, whether we are strong or weak, we must always go forth and fight our spiritual battle by faith, and to do so, we must always rely on the Lord with all our hearts. The Lord will then strengthen us if we are weak, and empower us if we are powerless. Moreover, even when we face seemingly impossible tasks, our Lord will work with us to ensure that we are able to carry them out.
The Lord will provide for all our needs. Even though we have no authority to bless anyone, the Lord will bless us all, for He is the fountain of all blessings. What we cannot do with our strength, our Lord will fulfill it for us as well. This Lord will abide with us until the end of the world and make it possible for us to bear abundant spiritual fruit. All this is entirely up to the Lord. Therefore, we must always have the Lord in our minds, rely on Him at all times, and trust in His righteousness constantly.
 
 
I Ask You to Live out Your Faith Sincerely Rather than Halfheartedly
 
Is the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit in your heart? Who has actually saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Who is the Savior that actually came to this earth and saved us according to God the Father’s plan to be sealed by the Holy Spirit? It’s none other than Jesus Christ. Is Jesus then a mere human being and a creature? No, of course not! He is the Creator who made the entire universe and every living creature that our eyes see, from the mountains to the seas, the birds and the fish, and every man and woman. Yet this Almighty God and our Lord personally came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man to save us from sins, and by being baptized and shedding His own blood, He has become our true Savior. That is why His name is Jesus Christ. The name ‘Jesus” means He who will save His people from their sins, just as the Bible says, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Even though Christ came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of lowly man as our Savior, this does not change the fact that He is God. He is our Savior and God Himself, our Messiah. That is why we’ve come to call Him Jesus Christ our Lord Savior. We must believe unwaveringly that Jesus is the Almighty God and our Savior, and we must accept Him into our hearts. It’s when you are saved by believing in this Jesus that you begin to lead the upright life of faith.
Everything is not accomplished just because we exert our own strength. When you run out of your strength and you are completely exhausted, think of Jesus your Savior and rely on Him. Once you think of Jesus Christ who has come to us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, your strength will be renewed in both body and spirit, and your heart will also turn tranquil, humble, and kind. That’s why we have no other choice but to think of Jesus all the time. Do not try to do God’s work with just what you have. Instead, always renew your strength by trusting in Jesus, and by this strength carry out God’s work. All of us must live by the strength Jesus gives us. Since we have no strength of our own, we should ask the Lord to help us in our prayers and put our trust in Him. Whenever we ask God for His help, our Lord will surely answer us without exception. If we think of Jesus and pray to Him, God the Father will give us everything we need.
God the Father is the Vinedresser that rules over this earth. Therefore, praying to the Father is the same as praying to Jesus. But let us not forget Jesus in our lives. Has He not come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and saved you? It’s Jesus who has saved you; did God the Father come down to the world and save us by being baptized and crucified? That’s why we must think of Jesus. We must always meet with God the Father through Jesus our Savior.
Everything in the world is disposable, but Jesus is not disposable. He is everlasting. Jesus is indispensable to us forever. So let us all have Jesus abiding in our hearts and live out our faith truthfully until the day He returns.