25th August 2023
Read - Ezekiel 15 and John 15
Message - Alan Burke
First Posted 5th August 2022
We now turn our attention to John’s Gospel for today at least. In Ezekiel’s day, God had rebuked His people for how they were how they were useless, they were a useless vine that did not bear fruit. From His people though God brought the true vine and in John’s Gospel Jesus tells us; “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn 15:5).
Jesus is the vine, but the vine has branches and all those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, who have repented and believed are the branches, we are part of the true Israel of God. We unlike the people in Ezekiel’s day should bear much fruit, our new life comes from the Lord Jesus, and the result of that walk with the Lord Jesus as we abide in Him is that there will be fruitfulness. We contribute nothing to the vine, nothing to our salvation, nothing to the kingdom but from the true vine Jesus Christ we have nourishment and we are fruitful. If we are fruitless, then we are not really abiding in Christ, even your salvation is in question.
How do we show that we are abiding in Christ? Well we show that we are abiding in Christ by bearing fruit, the fruit of the Spirit as we are told in Galatians 5 (22-23) the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Those of us who belong to Christ should have these things, it should be seen in how we love one another, in the joy we have, peace among us, patients with one another, kindness that is seen, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
None of us here produce any fruit unless we abide in Christ, He is the source of our fruitfulness, He supplies the power to make us fruitful. Faithful Israelites loved God and kept His commandments, whereas unfaithful ones did neither, they did not love Him or keep His commands. Faithful Christians love God and keep His commandments and they bear the proper fruit (Gal. 5:22); unfaithful ones bear nothing useful.
Notice though of what happens of the branches that do not bear fruit, if they do not bear fruit, if they do not then God the Father the one who is the Gardner, He will cut off every branch that bears no fruit. They will be pruned! In this pruning here it is with a purpose so that they would bear even more fruit. As we come we know that we are justified by faith alone, but faith that justifies is never alone. It should be seen in our lives, faith without works is dead, it should be seen in our home life, in our work life, in our recreation time in all areas of our life, public and private, those who are part of the true vine there is evidence of it in their lives. This does not mean that the branches that were cut off were not truly saved, for no one can snatch us from His hand (Jn 10:27-30). Are we showing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, at home, in how we love, the joy we have, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, or at work, school, public, private lives?
We are not abiding in Jesus then we are being disobedient to His word, we are only abiding in Him when we are seeking to obey His revealed will, when we keep his commandments as Jesus himself says in verse 10; "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love”.
This is what the Lord requires of his people, this is what was required of those in Ezekiel’s day and it is what is required of us, in Ezekiel day God’s people were unfaithful, unfruitful. While this isn’t the end of the book of Ezekiel it is the end of our series, and this should act as a warning to the church today, to us here, a warning to us as individuals and us as a people, if we are true branches we will grows stronger under pressure, we face trials and temptations we will continue on, there will be fruit in our lives, fruit of the spirit will be seen in and out of the view of others around us, let us be faithful, fruitful people, who abide in Christ Jesus, obeying is word, obeying his commands as the vine of Israel today.
Q27 Wherein did Christ’ s humiliation consist?
Christ’ s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, (Luke 2:7) made under the law, (Gal. 4:4) undergoing the miseries of this life, (Heb. 12:2–3, Isa. 53:2–3) the wrath of God, (Luke 22:44, Matt. 27:46) and the cursed death of the cross:; (Phil. 2:8) in being buried, (1 Cor. 15:3–4) and continuing under the power of death for a time. (Acts 2:24–27,31)