The Gospel of John VII - Lesson 1

                  Basic Principles for the Fruit-bearer                                 John 15:1-27

  1. HIS RELATIONSHIP TO THE TRUE VINE (John 15:1-11)
    1. Seven Individuals in the Parable (John 15:1-7)
      1. The Son (John 15:1) – as the true vine
        1. Israel is the vine (Psalm 80:8-9, 14-16; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 2:21; Hosea 10:1).
        2. Jesus is the true vine, not that all other vines are false, but in the sense that He is the chief and perfect vine.
          1. Jesus is the “true Light” (John 1:9), though John the Baptist was “a burning and a shining light” (John 5:35).
          2. Jesus is the “true bread” (John 6:32), though God gave manna as “bread from heaven to eat” (John 6:31).
          3. Jesus is the minister of the “true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:2), though the earthly tabernacle served as “the example and shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5).
      2. The Father (John 15:1) – as the husbandman
        1. The husbandman is the tiller of the soil, the cultivator of the crop, the manager and owner of the farm.
          1. Noah (Genesis 9:20)
          2. Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:9-10)
          3. Parable of the husbandman (Matthew 21:33-34)
          4. The coming Lord (James 5:7)
        2. The work of the Father (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
      3. The lost (John 15:6) – who abide not in Christ
        1. All who are saved are in Christ.
          1. Salvation places us in Christ (Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:13).
          2. Even carnal believers are in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1).
        2. The man in this verse is not saved.
          1. He does not abide in Christ.
          2. He is “as a branch” – that is, he appears to be a branch, but is not. He is a hypocrite.
          3. He receives the reward of a lost man.
            1. He is cast forth and withered (Matthew 15:13).
            2. He is gathered and cast into the fire.
            3. He is burned (Matthew 3:10-12; Hebrews 6:7-8).
      4. The fruitless Christian (John 15:2)
        1. He is a branch (Proverbs 11:28; Isaiah 60:21).
          1. The branch must be connected to the vine.
          2. The branch receives all nourishment and health from the vine (John 15:4-5).
          3. The branch is the conduit through which the vine bears fruit (Genesis 40:10).
        2. He is in Christ – that is, he is saved.
        3. He does not bear fruit (Mark 4:7, 18-19; Luke 8:14; Luke 13:6-9; Titus 3:14; 2 Peter 1:8).
        4. He is taken away (1 Corinthians 11:27-30; 1 John 5:16).
      5. The Christian with some fruit (John 15:2-3)
        1. He is a branch in Christ.
        2. He bears some fruit.
        3. He needs to bear more fruit.
        4. To this end he is purged.
          1. To purge is to cleanse from impurity (Psalm 51:7; Psalm 79:9).
          2. Purging can be accomplished by removing the dead (Matthew 3:12; 1 Corinthians 5:7), the impure (Isaiah 1:25; 2 Timothy 2:21), the unneeded growth (Ezekiel 34:2).
          3. The dead branches and the unneeded growth are pruned so that the branch might bear more fruit (Hebrews 12:5-11).
        5. He needs the cleansing of the word.
          1. The initial cleansing of salvation (John 13:10; James 1:18, 21; 1 Peter 1:23-25)
          2. The continual cleansing of sanctification (Psalm 119:9, 11; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26)
          3. The necessity of the word for the bearing of fruit (Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:15; Psalm 1:1-3)
      6. The Christian with more fruit (John 15:2); as a result of purging
      7. The Christian with much fruit (John 15:4-5)
        1. His twofold connection with Christ (John 15:4) – “Abide in me, and I in you.”
          1. He must abide in Christ.
            1. This is the believer positionally placed in Christ.
            2. This is the lot of all true saints of God (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:6).
          2. Christ must abide in him.
            1. This is the life of Christ actively operating in the believer (Colossians 1:27).
            2. This is the life of Christ operating through the believer (Colossians 3:4).
        2. His essential union with Christ (John 15:5) – “I am the vine, ye are the branches.”
          1. The branch has no life apart from the vine.
          2. The branch bears no fruit apart from the vine.
            1. Cannot bear fruit of itself (John 15:4)
            2. Can without Christ do nothing (John 15:5)
          3. What this union is not
            1. It is not just salvation, though salvation is required.
            2. It is not sinlessness.
            3. It is not eradication; that is, the old nature is not destroyed.
            4. It is not imitation; it is not us trying to be like Christ in the strength of our flesh (1 Corinthians 11:1 is often perverted in modern versions to say imitators).
          4. What this union is
            1. It is our identification with Christ in His crucifixion (Romans 6:3; Galatians 2:20).
            2. It is our identification with Christ in His resurrection (Romans 6:4-5; Galatians 2:20).
            3. It is the life of Christ lived through us by faith (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:16-17; Galatians 4:19).
          5. The twofold life illustrated in scripture
            1. The purpose of Christ’s coming – John 10:10
              1. Life
              2. Life more abundantly
            2. Water of the Spirit
              1. John 4:14 – “the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” – this is salvation.
              2. John 7:38-39 – “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” – this is the sanctification of the Spirit.
            3. Our relationship to Christ
              1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “if any man be in Christ” – this is salvation.
              2. Galatians 4:19 – “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” – this is sanctification through the union of the believer with Christ.
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 19:24

A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.