Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is It God's Will That We Bear Fruit?

As we have been discussing the will of God, I believe this is a question we must answer. As you consider this, I want to challenge you to consider it through the lens of the Bible. I know you may have different feelings or may have heard different teachings from people you respect. I am not trying to belittle your feelings or the input of other teachers, I am simply challenging you to use your knowledge of scripture; your ability to call on scripture for answers.

Here is the passage we will start with for this discussion:

"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, and I will 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 a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is 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 given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

- John 15:1-8

So, is it God's will that we bear fruit?
What fruit are we supposed to bear?
What does it mean to "Remain in Jesus"? How do we do this? What if we don't? Is it possible not to remain in Him? What happens then?
Does this passage indicate that answers to prayer are conditional to keeping His Word? (If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.)

Does Jesus mean what He says? I think so. What defenses immediately go up when you read these verses? What challenges you? What motivates you? This should be a great discussion!

1 comment:

Sue W. said...

I’ve got this to say about fruitfulness! (Notice that everyone is too busy being fruitful to post a comment on fruitfulness!)
My comment is from Luke 13:6-9: 6And He(Jesus) began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. 7"And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' 8"And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'"
I heard a comment about this passage: Shouldn’t the gardener have been fertilizing it all along? So that must be what it means to remain in Him!! When we have a rhema word from God, we can’t let it sit there, we have to get it integrated into us! So to me, fruitfulness is taking what God has spoken to you, and nurturing it with the Word and with actions done in faith, obedience. Taking the people that God has put around you, and investing in them the way God wants you to. Taking the job we have to do and working as unto the Lord! When we hear the word, it needs to be nurtured; there is too much working against it. There’s lots about that in Matthew 13.
We have a responsibility in Christ. We must actively participate.
SoS 3:4 When I found the one my heart loves I held on to him and would not let him go.
James 1:21b In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Practice and training is part of remaining.) (That totally rhymes.)