Pastor Greg continues his series about ten times Jesus told us clearly who He is. This week Pastor G digs deep into Jesus’ allegory of the vineyard in John 15:1-8 where Jesus introduces Himself to us this way: “I Am The True Vine.”
Meno (GREEK) ~ To Abide (ENGLISH)
to stay, to remain, to obey, to conform to, to follow
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 it so 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, so 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, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. ~ John 15:1-8
En (GREEK) ~ In (ENGLISH)
in, by, with among, on
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. ~ Matthew 7:16-20
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ ~ Matthew 7:21–23
Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. ~ Matthew 12:31
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. ~ Hebrews 6:4-6
Parapipto (GREEK) ~ To Fall Away (ENGLISH)
To fall away after being close-beside or close behind. To defect. To abandon.
Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. ~ Matthew 24:12-13
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? … ~ Matthew 16:25-26a
THE MAY, DAY BY DAY, CHALLENGE
1) Daily Read, Pray and Meditate on these two passages:
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. ~ John 6:63
2) Pray or Sing/Pray the Prayer “Day By Day”
Day by day. Day by day. Oh Dear Lord, three things I pray.
To see Thee more clearly. To love Thee more dearly.
To follow Thee more nearly. Day by day.
3) Occasionally E-mail Pastor G to share what God is showing you/teaching you throughout the May, Day By Day, challenge.
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: John 15:1-11
1) The word used for “pruning” in this passage can also mean “cleansing.” It is the Greek word that forms the basis of our psychological word, catharsis. Jesus says God the Father, as the Vinedresser, prunes His fruit-bearing branches in order that they may bear more fruit. In what ways have you experienced God’s “pruning” or “cleansing” in your life?
2) Pastor Greg shared about three types of branches referred to by Jesus. He said one type of non fruit bearing branch is the person who is a Christian in name only but has never really begun a relationship with Christ. He said another type of non fruit bearing branch is the person who was a true Christian at one time but who has since “fallen away” and intentionally chose to reject and stop biding in Jesus. Do you agree or disagree? What Scriptures can you point to in order to explain your reasons for your beliefs?
3) Pastor Greg shared that if we are a fruit bearing branch it is only because we are abiding in Jesus and allowing Him to move through to produce the fruit. Do you agree or disagree? What Scriptures can you point to in order to explain your reasons for your beliefs?
4) Jesus said if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, we can ask whatever we wish of Him and He will do it for us. What do you think He means by this? Does He really mean anything? Can we ask Him to change the sky to green and the grass to blue and to make the vog taste like Oreo cookies and He will do it? Or does He mean something else? Explain your answer?
5) What does Jesus mean when He says our bearing fruit proves we are His disciples?
READ: Galatians 5:22-23
1) Pastor Greg shared a few thoughts about what this “good fruit” Jesus wants us to produce. He said he thought it included this list of nine but that Jesus probably intended it to be a more broad idea, including any good work that advanced the Kingdom of God. What do you think? Explain your answer.
2) Can you share some examples of people in your life that you are sure are “fruit-bearing branches?”
READ: Matthew 12:31, Hebrews 6:4-6, Matthew 24:12-13 and 16:25-26
1) Pastor Greg shared his logic for seeing “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”, “Falling Away” and “Love Growing Cold” as synonyms for one spiritual condition. He said these are describing a Christ follower who has chosen to abandon their faith and to reject Jesus, to eject the Holy Spirit from their life. Do you agree or disagree? What Scriptures can you point to in order to explain your reasons for your beliefs?