Support and Resources For Pastors and
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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Fifth Sunday After Easter
Option #1: "The Gardener, The Grapevine (John 1:17;
and the Branches:
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.
III. The fruit brings glory to the Gardener--text, v8, Matt 13:43; Lk 8:15; Heb 6:7
Godly fruit exists basically in two dimensions: attitude and action. The fruit of the Holy Spirit in a believers life is manifested internally in his attitudes of "love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal 5:22-23). As far as godly actions are concerned, Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and My Father is the Gardener. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit" (John 15:1-2). The writer of Hebrews speaks of "the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name" (Heb 13:15), and Paul prayed that Philippian believers would be prepared for the day of Christ by being "filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God" (Phil 1:11). (John MacArthur)
Thus faith is a divine work in us, that changes us and regenerates us of God, and puts to death the old Adam, makes us entirely different people in heart, spirit, mind, and all powers, and confers the Holy Spirit. Oh, it is a living, busy, active, powerful thing that we have in faith, so that it is impossible for it not to do good without ceasing. Nor does it ask whether good works are to be done; but before the question is asked, it is already doing them, and is always engaged in doing them...so that it is impossible to separate works from faith, yea, just as impossible as it is for heat and light to be separated from fire. (Martin Luther in Preface to Romans)
Objects needed: an obviously dead branch, a branch just severed from a tree, and a butane fire starter.
You just heard the Lord Jesus tell us that He is like a grapevine and that we are like the branches attached to the vine. We dont have many grapevines around here, so I brought along branches from two different trees.
Grapes were a very important crop in Jesus time. So it was very important to get as much fruit as possible out of the grape vine. It was easy to tell the difference as to which branch was fruitful and which branch was a waste of time. The difference? It had to be attached to the vine!
Jesus says that its the same with us. He wants fruit from us. He died on the cross for our sins, He bought us with His own blood. Now He wants to see some fruit, just as a man who purchased a vineyard would want nice big, ripe grapes.
(Hold up branches) What would you say about this branch (the dead one)? Does it look like it will ever bear fruit? Not a chance! What about this one (the one with buds and blossoms)? What do you think of this branch? If this branch were from an apple tree, you can be pretty sure that these pretty blossoms will be replaced by apples at the end of summer. How about some apple pie?
We need to be attached to Jesus. If we are, then we will do good things for Him and for our neighbors, because its just natural that grapes will grow on a grapevine or apples on an apple tree.
Jesus said: Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If anyone remains in Me and I in him, they will bear much fruit.
Option #2: "Clinging to Christ, The Vine"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.
1. To the Master Gardener through the True Vine, Jesus Christ, the Word become flesh
2. Dependent upon the True Vine/Word both for life and for fruit-bearing
B. Branching Out
1. Knowing what to ask of the Father and, accordingly, glorifying Him
2. Bearing more and more fruit for Him by more and more becoming His disciples
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM