Date written: September 19th, 2003
Scripture ref: Numbers 20:22-29
TITLE: The True Vine and Discipleship
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at Jesus teaching regarding discipleship as it relates to his identity. We will notice 1) the root of discipleship, 2) the relation of the disciples, 3) the renewal of discipleship, 4) the response of discipleship, 5) The results of discipleship.
OBJECTIVES:Each person should be able to discuss their relationship to Jesus as His disciple and how to pursue that relationship more effectively.
AIM:I want to encourage all to learn more about Jesus so as to strengthen each as a disciple of Jesus.
1. Read: John 15:1-8
2. About the Text:
1) It is the night before Jesus crucifixion.
2) Jesus has just finished eating the passover with the disciples and instituting the Lord's Supper.
3) He has told them that He is going to go back to the Father.
4) The disciples don't understand what is going to happen.
5) Jesus comforts them by telling them that He is going to prepare a place for them (14:1-3)
6) He is also giving them instruction on how to continue without him.
7) The instructions we find in John 15 are for how they may continue as His disciples.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: To be a disciple of Jesus, we must recognize . . .
I. The Root of Discipleship -- I am the true vine.
1. The figure is one of a vineyard.
2. Here is another of the great "I am" statements that Jesus makes.
1) I am the bread of life.
2) I am the way, the truth, and the life.
3) I am the good shepherd.
4) I am the light of the world.
5) I am the Lord and Master.
6) I am the resurrection.
3. These statements tell us who Jesus is--the Messiah.
4. The root of discipleship lies in knowing this fact. (Matthew 16:16).
5. We must know Jesus to be His disciple.
1) To know Jesus is to know his doctrine. John 7:17 "If any man will to do his will . . . ."
2) To know he is the source for the words of eternal life. John 6:68, 69 "Lord to whom shall we go…."
3) To know that he alone has salvation. Acts 4:12 " Neither is there salvation in any other…."
4) To KNOW HIM. Phil.3:10, 11 "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."
6. Knowing Jesus is the root of discipleship.
II. The Relationship of the Disciple -- Ye are the branches.
1. Branches grow out of the vine.
1) As disciples we must grow! 2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
2) The young in the faith must grow: 1 Peter 2:1, 2 "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
3) The mature Christian must grow: Hebrews 5:12- 14 "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
2. Branches have no life of themselves.
1) Break a branch off a grape vine and it will wither and die.
2) We have no life of our own. We must rely upon the righteousness of Christ.
a. Romans 10:1-3 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
b. Phil.3:9 "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
III. The Renewal of Discipleship -- The Father cleanses/prunes.
1. Dead branches are cast out.
1) Christians can so sin as to lose their salvation.
2) Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
3) Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
2. Live branches are pruned to produce more fruit.
1) Hebrews 12:5-11 (read)
2) Romans 5:3-5 "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
IV. The Response of Discipleship -- Abide in the Vine
1. In order for us to live, we must remain in the vine.
2. Remaining means keeping Christ's words in our life.
1) Notice verse 7. Abiding in Christ means letting Christ's words abide in us.
2) We must let those words LIVE within us. Col.3:16a "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom."
3) 1 John 2:24 "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father."
4) John 831, 32 "If you abide in my words . . . ."
3. Remaining in the Christ means being steadfast under trials.
1) 1 Cor.15:58 "Wherefore . . . ."
2) Col.1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;"
V. The Result of Discipleship -- Bear Fruit
1. As disciples we must bear fruit--these fruits are good works.
2. Notice Galatians 5:22, 23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
3. Luke 8:15 "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
4. Col.1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
5. James 3:17, 18 "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
6. When we do good works in our life, others will see and glorify God. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
1. The True Vine provides everything we need for true discipleship.
1) The root of discipleship.
2) The relationship of the disciple.
3) The renewal of discipleship.
4) The response of discipleship.
5) The result of discipleship.
1) If you are a Christian but have fallen away
a. What happens to those who do not abide in the vine?
b. What happens to those who bear no fruit?
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. You can only be a disciple by putting your complete trust in the vine.
b. Acts 4:12 Salvation is in him and none other.