Sunday, 19th December 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
John 15:1-10, ‘I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.’
No matter how old we are, in God’s eyes, we are always His beloved children. He wants to bless us and lead us to a life of blessings. When we believe in Jesus, we are a new creation; we will receive a new life and a blessed life. When Jesus shared the message in John 15, He was talking to those who followed Him, His disciples, and He was talking about being the true vine.
1. To Be Cleansed
Jesus is the true vine, and is growing from the hands of the Father. When we see the glorious lives of people, but we don’t see behind their back, there are others supporting them to success. Do we understand how to abide in Jesus and in the Father? When Jesus went out to preach the Good News, a lot of people rejected Him, even His own cousin, John the Baptist, doubted Him at one point. But Jesus did not give up because He knew His Father was behind Him. When we follow Jesus, we must also see the Father; it’s just like when we read the New Testament of the Bible, we also need to read about the Old Testament, to know our God from every perspective and to receive His Word holistically.
Jesus wants to set up a good example for us, so that we can also live a life abiding in the love of the Father. But when we abide in God but not bear fruits, then we will be cut off. Jesus loves us, He gives us grace and opportunity to return. But when we choose not to grow in Jesus, we will not bear fruits and the farmer will cut us off. The Father is like the farmer, He will provide fertilizers and nutrition for us. Fertilizers are often made of animal wastes, they don’t smell good and don’t look good. But they are good for the plants. There are problems everywhere in this world, God did not create the problems, but He allows these problems to come to our lives so we can grow and improve ourselves.
God wants us to be fruitful, but we must be willing to receive the nutrition also also be pruned. The Word of God can cleanse us, it can direct us to the right way, but we must examine our lives, let the Word of God change our lives. The Word of God is not just knowledge, we should never let the Word of God become just the knowledge. Jesus lived out the Word of God, He was a carpenter, but He was able to teach out life, because of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not lift up Himself, instead, He lift up the Father and Holy Spirit. Only through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, then we can be cleansed.
2. To Abide
Jesus did not say that we only need to know Him and to come to church on Sundays, but to abide in Him, to always be with Him, to have fellowship with Him. We often come to church with an attitude of coming to a concert, we only come to enjoy the show, and go home to our old lifestyle. The church is the body of Christ, we cannot be an outsider, if we believe Jesus and choose to follow Him, then we must live in the church community, to have commitment, to have fellowship, and to abide. We are all part of this body of Christ, and we are all important in the eyes of the Father. When we abide in Jesus, He will abide in us.
We are all branches of the true vine, and we must stay connected to Jesus. Because if we are not connected to Jesus, the true vine, then we will soon withered and become useless. Jesus does not want us to be in a ‘doing’ mode, to only think about ministries and works, but not to bear fruits. Do not take Jesus’ grace for granted, if we do not abide in Jesus, we will soon withered, we will just be a branch, which will be picked up and thrown into fire.
God wants to reveal His mystery to us, when we receive the Word of God, it’s not because of how much knowledge we have, but because God allows us to understand His Word. We cannot twist the Word of God, or to make it sound likeable to people.
3. To Keep
Jesus never forces us to do anything, but He tells us the truth, how much He loves us and how much He wants to save us. He wants us to keep the commands of God, not to control us but to let us stay in His love. What is our attitude towards the commandments given to us?