Quits Sabio
Elder at Sovereign Mercy Evangelical Church Inc. and President of Reformed Exegetes Society
User since 2013
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The first Christmas happened in order to establish God's kingdom through His Son Jesus Christ.
Haggai 2:20-23
When He who is clean, namely the Lord Jesus Christ, touched us, we are made clean
Haggai 2:10-19
For all of his bigness, our God has a remarkable love for the small. - Scott Hubbard
Haggai 2:1-9
We should align our priorities with God's priorities, because only when we do so we can be truly satisfied.
Haggai 1:1-15
Where there is hope, there is life (and faith and love) - J. Scott Duvall
Colossians 1:4-5
To walk worthy of our calling is not to call attention to our own worth but to show the worth of our calling
Ephesians 4:1-6
How does a soul magnify the Lord?
Luke 1:39-56
The Death that Delivers From Fear of Death
Hebrews 2:5-15
How can God make much of us and still be for Himself?
Ephesians 1:3-14
Elect Exiles According To The Foreknowledge Of The Father, In The Sanctification Of The Spirit, For Blood Bought Obedience To Jesus
1 Peter 1:1-2
Christian Hospitality Covers a Multitude  of Sin
1 Peter 4
No one can take away your joy from you - Jesus
John 16:16-22
True knowledge about God will result in true love for others.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
In sin we were dead but in Chirst we were made alive.
Ephesians 2:1-10
To be under the Mosaic law again is not only childish, but also devilish and damning.
Galatians 4:8-11
Beware of working for God! Instead, gladly obey God as our Father and not as our taskmaster.
Galatians 4:1-7
The law serves the promise until the coming of the seed
Galatians 3:19-22
The Law cannot nullify the Promise
Galatians 3:15-18
Law demands a life of perfect obedience, but Faith demands a life of faith in Christ's act of redemption alone
Galatians 3:9-14
Faith is the spiritual DNA by which our familial relationship to Abraham can be proven.
Galatians 3:6-9
We can't start with the Spirit and then end with the flesh
Galatians 3:1-5
What is dying to the law and living to God?
Galatians 2:15-21
Lead others to the truth of the gospel not just with propositions but also with our actions.
Galatians 2:11-14
How important that there is only one gospel?
Galatians 2:1-10
What are you hoping for?
Psalm 42:11
No other gospel that brings glory to God than the gospel of grace that transforms its messenger
Galatians 1:18-24
If you want to please God, seek what pleases Him, namely the preaching of Christ
Galatians 1:11-17
Want some peace of mind? So Pray!
Philippians 4:6-7
What brings understanding, our thinking or God's granting?
2 Timothy 2:7
What it means to be a slave of Christ?
Galatians 1:10
To desert from the Gospel is to desert away from God
Galatians 1:6-9
Seek God's approval and not the approval of men
Galatians 1:1-5
God gets more glory when more people rely on Him for contentment in times of need.
Philippians 4:10-20
Standing Firm in the Lord demonstrates itself in unity, peacekeeping, rejoicing in the Lord always and forbearance toward one another
Philippians 4:1-9
Resurrection is a means to lay hold of the prize who is Christ Jesus so strive to attain it since He already laid hold of you
Philippians 3:12-21
Jesus came into the world to exegete the Father
John 1:1-18
God is more glorified in us when we enjoy him than when we fear him
Luke 2:8-20
The supremacy of the worth of Christ outweighs all things, and that includes all human boastings!
Philippians 3:1-11
Risking for Jesus will yield greater returns
Philippians 2:25-30
Seeking the interest of Christ is seeking the interest of others above one's own
Philippians 2:19-24
What is the secret to a grumble free life and happy pastors?
Philippians 2:14-16
God is not wasting our suffering,  we shouldn't also
Philippians 1:12-18
How to work out your own Salvation?
Philippians 2:12-18
Motivations for Obedience
Philippians 2:12-13
Christ Emptied himself by Adding
Philippians 2:6-7
Christian unity delights itself in the interest of others
Philippians 2:1-5
To Know Christ is to have the will of the Father
John 7:17-18
Find your Joy in God in the joy of your leaders and the flock
Hebrews 13:17
The Church Abides to Chirst so should Wives to their Husbands. Christ never forsake His Church, so should Husbands to their Wives
Ephesians 5:22-33
Herald the word even if your life is at stake
2 Timothy 4:2
Any talk of gender roles and equality must be grounded on creation.
1 Corinthians 11:7-12
There is Joy in praying for the sanctification of our brethren!
Philippians 1:3-11
Since God is righteous, God must elect according to his own freedom
Romans 9:14-18
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Pruned by the Word
John 15:1-7
What is a fruitful life?
Published December 9th, 2020; Updated October 27th, 2021
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Abide in Christ by abiding in His word because that is God's way of pruning and cleansing us so that we might yield more fruit.
John 15:1-7
“I am the true vine,
“ a I am the true vine,
“I am the true vine 1
“I am the r true vine,
Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινὴ
and My Father is the vinedresser.
and My Father is the b vinedresser.
and my Father is the gardener. 2
and my Father is s the vinedresser.
καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He cuts off;
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away;
He takes away 3 every branch that does not bear 4 fruit in me.
t Every branch in me that does not bear fruit u he takes away,
πᾶν κλῆμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ φέρον καρπὸν αἴρει αὐτό,
and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes
and every branch that bears fruit, He 1 prunes it
He 5 prunes 6 every branch that bears 7 fruit
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes,
καὶ πᾶν τὸ καρπὸν φέρον καθαίρει
in order that it may bear more fruit.
so that it may bear more fruit.
so that it will bear more fruit.
v that it may bear more fruit.
αὐτὸ ἵνα καρπὸν πλείονα φέρῃ.
[In that] you are already clean
a You are already 1 clean
You are clean already 8
Already w you are clean
ἤδη ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε
because of the word which I have spoken to you.
because of the word which I have spoken to you.
because of the word that I have spoken to you.
x because of the word that I have spoken to you.
διὰ τὸν λόγον ὃν λελάληκα ὑμῖν•
[Therefore] abide in me,
a Abide in Me,
Remain 9 in me,
y Abide z in me,
μείνατε ἐν ἐμοί,
and [as a result] I [will] abide in you.
and I in you.
and I will remain in you. 10
and I in you.
κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν.
[Because] just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
As the branch cannot bear fruit 1 of itself
Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, 11
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
καθὼς τὸ κλῆμα οὐ δύναται καρπὸν φέρειν ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ
unless it abides in the vine,
unless it abides in the vine,
unless it remains 12 in 13 the vine,
unless it abides in the vine,
ἐὰν μὴ μένῃ ἐν τῇ ἀμπέλῳ,
so neither can you
so neither can you
so neither can you
neither can you,
οὕτως οὐδὲ ὑμεῖς
unless you abide in me.
unless you abide in Me.
unless you remain 14 in me.
unless you abide in me.
ἐὰν μὴ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένητε.
[That is], I am the vine,
I am the vine,
“I am the vine;
I am the vine;
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος,
you are the branches;
you are the branches;
you are the branches.
a you are the branches.
ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα.
he who abides in me
he who abides in Me
The one who remains 15 in me -
Whoever abides in me
ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ
and I in him,
and I in him,
and I in him -
and I in him,
κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ
it is he who bears much fruit,
he a bears much fruit,
bears 16 much fruit, 17
he it is that b bears much fruit,
οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν,
because apart from me you can do nothing.
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
because apart from me you can accomplish 18 nothing.
for apart from me you can do nothing.
ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν.
[Therefore] if anyone does not abide in Me.
If anyone does not abide in Me,
If anyone does not remain 19 in me,
If anyone does not abide in me
ἐὰν μή τις μένῃ ἐν ἐμοί,
he is thrown away
he is a thrown away
he is thrown out
c he is thrown away
ἐβλήθη ἔξω
like a branch
as a branch
like a branch,
like a branch
ὡς τὸ κλῆμα
and dries up;
and dries up;
and dries up;
and withers;
καὶ ἐξηράνθη
and they gather them,
and they gather them,
and such branches are gathered up
d and the branches are gathered,
καὶ συνάγουσιν αὐτὰ
and cast them into the fire
and cast them into the fire
and thrown into the fire, 20
thrown into the fire,
καὶ εἰς τὸ πῦρ βάλλουσιν
and they are burned.
and they are burned.
and are burned up. 21
and burned.
καὶ καίεται.
[But] if you abide in Me,
If you abide in Me,
If you remain 22 in me
If e you abide in me,
ἐὰν μείνητε ἐν ἐμοὶ
and [by] my words abiding in you,
and My words abide in you,
and my words remain 23 in you,
and my words abide in you,
καὶ τὰ ῥήματά μου ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ,
ask whatever you wish,
a ask whatever you wish,
ask whatever you want,
f ask whatever you wish,
ὃ ἐὰν θέλητε αἰτήσασθε,
and it will be done for you.
and it will be done for you.
and it will be done for you. 24
and it will be done for you.
καὶ γενήσεται ὑμῖν.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He cuts off; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes in order that it may bear more fruit. [In that] you are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. [Therefore] abide in me, and [as a result] I [will] abide in you. [Because] just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. [That is], I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, it is he who bears much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. [Therefore] if anyone does not abide in Me. he is thrown away like a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. [But] if you abide in Me, and [by] my words abiding in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
We are told that an abundant and successful life is a fruitful life. But what would pass today as a fruitful life is that you have a big house, a nice new car, healthy living, and a booming business. If you can help the poor from the excess of your wealth, much better. If you have not step on other people, even better. But this fruitful life is not what the Scripture calls us to have. I'm not saying that all the things I mentioned above are necessarily evil. But if you say to me that it is the meaning of a fruitful life, then I will tell you this, those fruits does not require you to abide in Christ in order for you to have them. Yet that is what the so called evangelical churches today preach about. Now, Jesus, during the nearing time of his death and departure, warned the disciples that life won't be easy for them. Nevertheless, they can still be fruitful if they are to abide in him. For Jesus, fruitfulness has nothing to do with temporal health, wealth and prosperity. It is bearing the fruit of a life transformed by the Holy Spirit through the word of Christ. This is what we will see in John 15:1-7. And in this sermon we will try to answer how to have such a life. What does it look like? What is God's primary means of tending his vineyard.
The True Vine(vv. 1) As Jesus was about to face certain death, he gave what theologians called "The Farewell Discourse". The discourse begins in John 14. This section answers Jesus’ departure by giving the disciples assurance of his second coming, and that he would not leave his disciples as orphans(14:18). Now, in chapter 15, Jesus' theme is no longer about "coming" but "remaining". Here, Christ recalls a very popular imagery used in the Old Testament, the picture of a vine. T he vine was used as a metaphor for the nation Israel in the Old Testament times. God called the Israel His vine, and He expected it to bear fruit to all nations(see Ps. 80 ; Isa. 5 ; Jer. 2:21 ). However, time and time again they failed to produce fruits for the Lord, and the gospels tell us that they were cut off from the vine. Now, Christ is claiming to be the "True Vine" of the Lord. The fulfillment of all that was required of and promised to Israel. We can say then that Jesus is the true Israel of God, and all people who remain united or attached to Him. Bear Fruit or be Cut-off(vv. 2) Now, Jesus in verse 2 tells us that there are two kinds of branches. One branch that will be taken away because it yields no fruit, and another will be pruned in order for it to bear more. There's a play on word here that is very hard to capture in our English translations. The underlying word in the original language for "taken away" or "to cut-off" is αἴρω and for "to prune" is καθαίρω. It is remarkable that these are both acts of God the Vinedresser, which are almost the same but they have different purpose and result. The unfruitful branch will be cut-off so that it will no longer get its nourishment from the vine and the soil, not so with those whom God prunes. The purpose of pruning is so that they may bear more fruit. However, this verse does not tell us the how of God's cutting and pruning. Instead, we will find the answer in verse 3. Pruned by the Word(vv. 3) Jesus says in verse 3 that "Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you." The word used for the adjective "clean" is καθαρος, that has the same root as the verb "to prune" (" καθαίρω"). So again Jesus was employing a play on words to explain how God prunes the branches. Jesus says that they are already "clean", or we can say "pruned", because of His word. In other words the means by which God the Father prunes the fruit yielding branch is through Christ's words, and the means by which the fruitless branches were cut off is also by their relationship to the words of Christ or the lack of it. Remain in Jesus(vv. 4-5) So the only natural conclusion from the preceeding verses is to remain in Jesus. Now, the connection between our remaining in Christ and His remaining in us is not that clear. Do we remain in Him because He first remain in us, or the result of our remaining is that he will remain in us? My tendency is to affirm the former, but it seems to me that the emphasis here is our responsibility to remain in Him and that our decisions will really have an effect as to whether Christ will remain on us or not. This is not to undermine John's teaching on eternal security and perseverance of the saints, instead it establishes secondary causes. That is, God works through means and at times through human means. Jesus then grounds his command to remain in Him by expounding the metaphor of vine and branches. He says in verses 4-5: "Just as branches don't bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in Him, he it is that bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." Christ is the source of fruit yielding sustenance. Notice that fruit is equated with our "doing". Fruits then are all of the things that proceed from our union with Christ. It may refer both to the fruit of the Spirit(Galatians 5:20-21), and to good works(Colossians 1:10), but apart from Christ we can't produce these fruits. Remain in Christ's Word (vv. 6-7) So in verses 6-7 Christ concludes by contrasting those who abide in him and those who aren't. First he describes what will happen to those who does not abide in him. They will be thrown away like a branch and withers, they will be gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. The progression of thought is unmistakable. This has to do with eternal destiny. It is not about Christ's Bema Judgement where every good works done by genuine believers will be tried through the fire. The idea here is that these branches will wither because they are cut off from Christ. True believers will not wither. They may have seasons of being unfruitful but they will not remain that way. They will be pruned by God so that they might yield more fruit in their season. Therefore this is not a picture of a genuine Christian who is abiding in Christ that occasionally fails in bearing fruit. This is an image of a professing Christian that in one sense is connected to Christ but not in a saving, fruit bearing way. They have access to Christ's sustaining means of grace, they are inside the church, and very active in the ministry but they are consistently without fruit because they are but dead branches. But those who abide in Christ will have a different destiny. Verse 7 tells us again how this abiding in Christ happens. Similar to how God prunes the branches, it is by abiding in his word. Many today are saying that all they need is Christ and what matters is that they are in him. However, they are at the same time indifferent to Christ's word. But here, Jesus is telling us that abiding in him and abiding in his word is virtually the same. We are connected to Christ in no other way but through Scriptures. We are pruned, cleansed, and sanctified in and through God's word alone. But what does it mean to abide in Christ word? First, John 5:38 tells us that we do not have his word abiding in us if it will be shown that we don't believe him. So abiding in Christ is an ever increasing faith in him. And the Scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. Second, the word of Jesus is abiding in us means that his words find a home in us. In John 8:37, Jesus says, “I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.” That’s the opposite of the word “abiding” in us. When the word abides in us, it finds a place, a home. It’s not foreign. It belongs. In other words, we cherish it, we welcome it. We are willing to change much of the stuffs in the rooms of our being in order for it to rest in us. Lastly in 1 John 2:4, John tells us that those who say they know God but does not keep God's commandments are liars and the truth is not in them. That's the same way of saying that the word of Jesus is not abiding in them. Now, there's a promise given to us when we abide in Christ and his word. We are told that if we indeed abide in Jesus, we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us(vv. 7). Many have interpreted this to mean that we can make a genie out of Jesus. But that is to miss the point of abiding in Christ, which means we are no longer trying to find satisfaction and sustenance from the world. So even the things we will be asking from the Lord are no longer the same. A true abiding branch will ask in accordance to God's will. This is what John says in 1 John 5:14. If we ask anything according to his will, he will hear us. So let's ask ourselves why is it that at times we're not seeing any fruit in us? Perhaps we are just dead branches that seem to be attached to Christ but in reality we have not yet received Christ's fruit yielding life. The word of God is still foreign to us. It is not yet welcome in our lives. Or perhaps we fail to make use of God's primary means of pruning and cleansing, that is, God's word, and as a result we're not yielding more fruits. Don't expect to be fruitful if God's word is not being mined for all its life sustaining minerals. So brethren abide in Christ by abiding in his word!
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.