So far we have looked at walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh; we have taken a look at the “characteristics” of walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh, and we have also looked at how walking in the Spirit happens…IN CHRIST and THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US.
In the first 16 verses of John chapter 15 Jesus uses the phrase “bear fruit” 6 times! In one instance He says “more fruit” and in another He says “much fruit”. Just as the branch of an apple tree only has to be connected with the main vine of an apple tree for apples to grow; we need only to be abiding in Christ to produce fruit for Him.
There are 2 things that we must look at to bear fruit for God; trust and repentance. We all (Christians or not) bear fruit in our life; some bear good fruit, some bear bad fruit; but to bear fruit of eternal value we must trust in God and turn away from sin and fix our eyes on Christ. As we will see, God is very serious about turning away from sin. We cannot confuse the issue, God will not be mocked and to deliberately continue in sin is just that.
John 15:1-14 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 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.
What does God do with branches that do not bear fruit? ___________________________________
What does God do with branches that do bear fruit and why? ______________________________
3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 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.
Clearly Jesus is talking about bearing fruit of eternal value because a person can bear bad fruit on their own; can we bear good fruit on our own? _________
What do we need to do to bear good fruit? ________________
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
How much fruit do those who abide in Christ bear? ____________
What can we do apart from Christ? __________________
6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
What does God do with those that do not abide in Christ? ___________________________________
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
How is God glorified? _________________________________________________________________
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
Jesus instructs us to “abide in His love”, how does He say to do that in verse 10?
Isaiah 45:8 “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.
What two things does God pour down from Heaven like water to bear fruit? _______________________
Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
In the 4 verses from Jeremiah 17 above, one man is cursed and one man is blessed. What does each man trust in that determines whether he is cursed or blessed?
Cursed man trusts in _______________________________________________________
Blessed man trusts in ______________________________________________________
Matthew 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
Luke 6:43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,
Luke 8:15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Romans 7:4-5 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
For those that do not trust in Christ, do not repent; but instead live to satisfy our sinful desires, what are they bearing fruit for? ________________