John 15:1-11 (Abide!)


John Ch.13-17 Chronicle the final night in the life of our Lord – prior to the cross

A)Jesus spends his final night the same way that we might if we knew we were going to die the next day.


B)He spends His time with those whom He loved- He spends His time pouring into them.

1) Sharing the most important things on His heart !

2)  Famous last words: Holy of Holies of the NT


Ch.13-14 take place in the upper room – Passover feast – Washing feet – talks about love / leaving

A)The end of Ch. 14 – Shift in the locale – Arise and let us go from here


B) Now they are on the move – heading to the garden of Gethsemane

1) Traveled from the upper room – up across the temple mount – east side of Jerusalem – thru Kidron Valley


C) Along the way: It seems that they walked by a Vineyard – Jesus seizes the opportunity –

1) Teaching – Visual picture. { I am so glad the Lord is into pictures { Learn that way.


D) Parents follow Jesus example – Look for opportunities to teach Kids – Nature / situations

John 15:1-5 "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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 


There is a question that plagues more Christians perhaps than any other and it is this:

A)What is involved in having a vital relationship with Jesus Christ?


B) We talk about knowing Christ, being in Christ, walking with Christ, and loving Him.

1)But what does that union really involve? 


2) How can we describe the union that a believer experiences between himself and Christ?


C)Here in John 15, Jesus uses an allegory to teach His disciples about a believer's relationship with Him and the Father.


D) A Vine and the Branches


Now the picture of God’s people as a Vineyard was common to OT

A)Isaiah 5:7 / Psalm 80:8-19 / Jeremiah 2:21 Here the Lord Defines the picture to make it more clear

B)Key Terms:
Jesus/True(genuine)Vine [orig. “I am the vine, the True one!”]{He is the genuine & only source of life – all other vines are imitations};

C) Father/vinedresser(Gardner; who works w/the branches doing all the cultivating, spading, & pruning,


D) Believers/fruit bearing branches;

1) 4-kinds of branches: Those that…do not bear fruit(2a); bear fruit(2b); more fruit(2c); much fruit(5,8)


So Jesus is the vine and we are the branches connected to Him – In Him receive life

A)Resources / Nutrients – Everything needed for life and godliness comes thru – Him


B) The Fathers role is that of the Vinedresser – the Gardener who works the Vineyard

1) Branches that don’t bear fruit – He takes away


C) Branches that do – He prunes – Cut back

1) Grew up with a Grape Vine in back yard –

Time for grapes – Huge – Wild


D) My Dad would Prune it – First time – I thought man He killed it – Nothing left

1) Began to grow again – Harvest time came – sure enough: More Fruit { Denise tree in Oregon

That is what the Father does as well – He seeks to prune our lives { Cut back – V.3 already clean/ saved

A)Sometimes the Father cuts back things from my life that are lawful for me.


B) In other words there is nothing – black and white in the word – says – don’t do this

1) It is lawful – it is permitted – but for me at that time it is no useful – not right for calling

2) Not right for what He is seeking to accomplish in my life at that time.    So He says – needs to go


C) Sometimes that can be frustrating: I look at someone else think – Lord why do they get to do that

1) Why is it ok for them and not for me? –

2) He responds “It just isn’t right now – are you going to trust me ? Let me work in your life.”   Yes


 Now in V.4 Jesus tells us the Key to this whole process – Word ABIDE – used 10 times v.4-10

4 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. 

5 "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


Now Jesus reveals the Key to fruit bearing – Abide: Stay connected – Remain

A)Attitude of Dependency – Believing my very source of life – comes from Him


B) Now the allegory breaks down a bit – Because in a real vine - the branch doesn’t have a choice –

1) It is connected whether it wants to be or not. There is no will involved.


C) But if it had a choice – if it could speak the Vine would realize: My life support comes from this Vine

1) As long as I am connected – all the life and nutrients of the Vine are being pumped into me


The difference with us is that we do have a choice

We do have a will! –

A)And there is a lot that we can do apart from Christ

I can work / surf / cook / Love /


B) But what I can’t do – this is what we must understand – I can’t bear fruit

1) I can’t produce anything apart from JESUS that has any eternal redeeming value.


C) I have tried to many times: Oh I have had seasons trying to serve in the flesh – my energy

1) Result: Fruit isn’t real / doesn’t last / I wear out

D) I don’t always believe what Jesus says here in v.5 apart from me you can do nothing!

1) Sure I can – I have tried – love my wife / parent my kids – do ministry – frustrating


E) Flip side: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me !”


So the heart of Abiding is one that realizes – and believes – This is my life support

A)Opposite of being SUPERFICIAL –


Aa)Stay connected to Jesus – attached to Jesus

Receiving nutrients from Jesus


B) To not do so – is my doom – my end !

1) Longer we walk with the Lord – more we are involved in service – More we realize this


C) Get married: Serve sacrifice – Help

1) Kids Parents – more serving and sacrificing – I need more of Jesus


V.6 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.

A)Now who is this talking about – who is the anyone who does not abide! Judas ? not a true follower { ulterior motives ?

B) Talking about someone who pretends to follow Jesus but really isn’t saved?

1) Is it talking about someone who is saved leaving their salvation.


C) What is the fire? – Is it hell – is it a lot trials – saved but thru fire? –

1) Some suggest – Parables are not meant to build theology but simply illustrate a pt.


D) So what is this talking about? – Many opinions – too be honest – I am not sure!


But I don’t lose any sleep over v.6 because I am not interested in finding out what this means personally

A)I plan to abide- I don’t want to live my life in the grey area


B) Because whatever this is talking about it doesn’t sound pretty.


C) Now as we come to v.7-10 Jesus gives us some insight into what is involved abiding & what are the results


#1 Abiding means continuing in the Word. V.7

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 


A)Abiding means continuing in the word. – The most settled Christians – are those whom the word has a deep and influential place in their lives

B) I encourage you to make this year where God’s word has a Premier place in your life

1) Make it the most influential thing – More than TV magazines / news shows – the word


C) The results: Effective prayer life!

1) You will ask …… done for you.


Why does abiding in the word affect your prayer life?

A)Because when you are abiding in the word – you are hearing the heart of Jesus


B) Your heart becomes even more connected to his heart –

1) Like good friends – are in a good marriage { start to think alike!


C) You start to think like Jesus – the things that He would pray for you – you are praying for yourself

1) You are asking according to His heart / His nature

As it is revealed to you in the word.


 It results in Abundant life – V.8 Jesus said You will bear much fruit and in this the father is glorified

A)Chief motive of the Christian – the glory of God.


B) Lord in all of this – that is my desire – I want to glorify you.

1) So abiding in the word – giving it premier place – affects my prayers / produces fruit { No straining !

Result: Proof of being disciple. V.8 ; so you will be My disciples. 

A)Jesus said – You will know them by their fruit!


B) What is the fruit that is produced – put simply it is Christ likeness!


C) Gal 5 Fruit of the Spirit

Love is: When we become transparent, & Jesus shows through very Apparent!

Joy is: An attitude cultivated when the heart smiles!

Peace is: Enjoyment of Godliness & Contentment!

Patience is: The discipline to stop & pray before any decision. Not feeling the worlds pressure to hurry through life.


Kindness: What is shown even to those who bend us the wrong way!

Goodness is:  So general a term it spans every area of our life, in which we strive for the highest Good in all things.

Faithfulness is: Trustworthy in words spoken & deeds promised.

Gentleness is: Not weak but meek; like a strong father picking up his new-born for the1st time.

Self-Control is: learning to say no to me!

#2 Abiding means : Staying in His love! V.9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

A)Now this is an amazing verse – Jesus says as the father loves me – I have loved you.


B) As the father Loved Jesus: This is my beloved son …. Well pleased – JC heart toward us.

1) Pure love / flawless

2) Perfect love – no limitations

3) Rich love – abundant


C) Love that knows no bounds

1) Paul prayed for Ephesians – Know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge


D) That is our ever growing need as Christians to grow in our understanding of that love.

1) The more we discover it – the more we want to just bask in it


E) More DETERMINED we are to abide in it!

1) Not going anywhere else – staying right here


To Abide in Jesus is to abide in His love.

A)Important because – His Love becomes the chief motivator for living / serving / worship etc


B) Basking in the Love of God !

1) Means Confidence – Kids who know they are loved

Kids who get affirmed – touched – { do better in life

2) Same thing is true of the believer


V.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. 

A) #3 Abiding means keeping the commandments!

B) All the commandments summed up in these two

1) Love the Lord w/ all ……..

2) Love each other!


C) This is really the by product of the first two – as I abide in His love and grow in my understanding of it

1) Becomes richer for me –


D) Result is I want to continue in the word – I want to keep the commandments –



V.11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

A)I love this – God’s heart for the Christian: He wants us to be full of Joy!


B) Christian life is a Joyful life – not a Drudgery !

1) Fun / exciting – possibilities are endless


C) My Join in you! – Neh – Mourning over the law


The Joy of the Lord is your strength –

The Lord’s rejoicing over you is your source of strength.


D) Car laws – Gas / key ignition / oil –

1) God laws – You want to live a life full of Joy

Abide in me / My word / My love / Keep commands



Next Defines Love!

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.  14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.


1. Explained Jesus said in verse 12, "Love one another, as I loved you."


A)Now, you can't love to the point of redeeming the whole world, but you can love with a sacrificial kind of love that gives.


B)God isn't expecting you to love with a dimension of love equal to Christ's.

1) He is expecting your love to have a sacrificial nature like Christ did.


2. Exercised

a)Sacrificial love is important to our testimony. Jesus told His disciples, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).


We show the world who we are by reaching into the heart and soul of someone and giving of our time, wealth, encouragement, & empathy--whatever the needs may be.


The fullest kind of love is described in verse 13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

1 Jn.3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

“The cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that illuminates all the world…The flame is love.”


3) Exhorted v.14 We are his friends if we do what He commanded!


Now this is why what we were talking about on Sunday is so important { HS

A)See in each one of these Chapters Jesus is saying some difficult things


B) But He follows each one of these teachings up by talking about the HS


C) Why? Not leave you orphans – realizes we need Help! – Sends the Helper – the HS who will abide with us forever.


D) Jesus is telling His disciples just as I have been with you – now the HS shall be in you.

1) provide Help to you.


John 15:15-16

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 

A slave(servant) in Greek law was defined as a “living tool”!

“Because He is Lord & Master He should call us slaves, but it’s because He is Lord & Master He can call us Friend

If you visit Nashville, Tennessee, you will likely visit the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson. He is remembered as "Old Hickory," a rough, tough, hard-fighting man. When you visit his tomb, you'll see a different side to the man. Buried right next to him is his valet. That humble servant was married in the great mansion of the Hermitage. In his will Jackson gave him a lifetime position. All his life he lived next to Jackson and is buried beside him. When you consider the social inequities of that time, you know there was an amazing bond between master and servant, between a president and his valet.

(Barclay, backed by Kittles) This phrase “I have called you friends” is lit up by a custom which was obtained at the courts of the Roman Emperors & the Eastern kings.

At these courts there was a very select group of men who were called “The friends of the king, or the friends of the Emperor.” - At all times they had access to the king. They even had the right to come into his bedchamber at the beginning of the day. - The friends of the king were those who had the closest & the most intimate connection w/him, & who had the right to come to him at any time.

This sheds light on when the Jews said to Pilate “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend.”[which was a threat of Impeachment by the people]; or when Jesus said to Judas "Friend, why have you come?"

Not an acquaintance but a friend!

Acquaintances are people who know us on the outside, on the surface.

Friends are people who know us on the inside, our joys, hurts, failures, the secret plans of our lives.

Look how Jesus let these 11 into His life. Sharing his future secrets w/them. Sharing His own struggles, pains, & emotion w/them.

Jesus says – You are my friends{ In the OT that title was reserved for Abraham

A)In the NT it is given to each of us!


John 15:16-17

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.


Sometimes people will say: I found the Lord – Well he has never been lost – We were lost – He found us

A)All drafted – no one enlisted


B) Gayle Irwin the only thing I don’t understand about God – is why He chose me !


C) Paul spent his life trying to understand that one

Why for what reason – apprehended me

1)    Love that phrase – being apprehended by God


D) Pursuing heart of God! – Not a policeman to bust us but a father to bless us.


One of the blessings is He allows us to be used by Him

Chose us to bear fruit –

A)Ephesians 2:10 His workmanship …… good works


B) V.17 Jesus comes right back to the subject of Love


 17 These things I command you, that you love one another. 


C) 11 times in 3 Chapters – think He is trying to tell us something


Now this is very enlightening in light of what He says next- Starts talking about how the World hates us


"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 


So on the heels of talking about loving one another – He starts talking about how the world is going to Hate us – Don’t be surprised by that

A)Connection between this and the exhortation to love


B) The world is out to get the Christian – The world is against us – so all we have is each other.


C) Now here in America this doesn’t mean as much to us as it should – don’t really suffer persecution

1) So Here in the USA we have all our little petty divisions


D) But you go somewhere like the Sudan where you can lose your life for the gospel

1) Suddenly it really doesn’t matter if you are Pre/ Post trib / Calvinist of Armenian


E) All these petty little things we divide over – She hurt my feelings – not talking to her

1) He gets on my nerves – avoiding him


F) All that gets thrown out the winding in the face of Persecution ‘

1) No enemies in a fox whole.


G) Countries have Pentecostals burying Baptist –

1) Not really concerned about Stocks / Chargers / Padres – { Trying to stay alive


The world dislikes those who are different! (example) Almost 2 centuries ago, a man invented the 1st umbrella & tried it out on a walk through the streets of London. He soon ran into the hostility of people who didn’t want some oddball walking their streets w/his own personal roof on a stick! - They pelted him w/stones & rotten vegetables & chased him off the street!

It is said that if a hen w/a different marking is put into a hen run where all the hens are the same, the other hens will peck her to death.


Jesus says – Hated me / hate you - 

A)John 3 Darkness hates the light – exposes their evil deeds


B) I do think this is going to grow here in the U.S.

1) Harder –to be a Christian – but more defined


C) Last days – Europe growing -


John 15:20-25

20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.{ We should expect it }

 If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.


However there will be some who believe – not all are going to be hostile


 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

The reason for their hostility – they don’t know God they have rejected God – Running from God


22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 

The world is without excuse – no one will be able to say – I didn’t know -


23 He who hates Me hates My Father also.  24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.  25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.' 


Quoting from Psalm 35 where the Psalmist is writing about being wrongfully accused

A)Enemies who wink with one eye pretending to be a friend – planning your demise behind your back


B) Expect persecution –


Make a Stand for Christ –expect ridicule


"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.  27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.