#895. I am the true vine (11/9/23)
Over the next 3-weeks, we will be using Jesus’s words on His being the vine from John 15:1-8 as inspiration for our vision series and our daily devotionals. I hope you find this refreshing and I’m confident if we listen and come to Jesus as our ‘true vine’, He’ll lead us into the fruitfulness that He wants for us as we learn to remain in Him.
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also 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 you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.’ (John 15:1-8)
Lesson: Jesus, in calling Himself the true vine, means that we must be joined to Him in order to receive spiritual life and to be a part of God’s people.
Let me begin by reminding you of our vision at CCP and this summarises the kind of church that we aspire to be. At CCP our vision is,
‘Bringing people to Jesus: myself, one-another and our community.’
I’m sure that we can see that by remaining in Jesus, the true vine, this is sure to happen.
What does it mean for Jesus to be ‘the true vine’?
This is the last of what are called the Seven ‘I Am’ Statements of Jesus through which Jesus equates Himself with God and seeks to reveal important aspects about Himself:
John 6:35 (The bread of life)
John 8:12) (The light of the world)
John 10:9-10 (The door of the sheep)
John 10:11-14 (The good shepherd)
John 11:25-26) (The resurrection and the life)
John 14:6-7) (The way, the truth, and the life)
John 15:1-4) (The true vine)
Jesus used this simple agrarian illustration to reveal vital truths about how we are to relate to Him:
Firstly, Jesus being ‘the true vine’ means that He is telling the truth and that He is the unique person who can connect us to true spiritual life. He is not one of many vines or ways, He’s is the true vine!
Secondly, as a vine gives life-giving sap to its branches, Jesus, the true vine, is the one who gives the Holy Spirit, leading to new birth (regeneration) and the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Thirdly, as the branches, connected to a vine constitute a single plant, so, those who are in Christ are God’s people. In the Old Testament, to be a part of God’s people, one had to belong to the tribes of Israel, referred to as a vine (See Psalm 80:8); however, now, it’s being joined to Christ through faith and the Spirit that makes us a part of God’s people.
Jesus, in calling Himself the true vine means that we must be joined to Him in order to receive spiritual life and to be a part of God’s people. I hope we can see that this analogy is a radical view of what it means to be a Christian; a Christian is joined to the work of the Spirit and joined to one another in Jesus.
Together in September
In September, we are having two Together Evenings, on Wednesday the 6th and Wednesday the 13th from 7p.m. (When there will be a light meal provided).
We will be using this time to come together for worship, teaching and prayer with a view to re-launching community groups afterwards.
Please put these dates in your diary, we would love to see as many people there as possible.