Good Morning Beloved!
Its such a blessing to join in worship of our Lord
with you today! Thank you for joining us today..
hear my prayer for every person lost in darkness,
for every believer, especially those who think higher
of themselves than they ought and
for those who think they can never be truly forgiven
for their sins of the past
Lord, I pray that You would show them
that you can open their heart;
open their eyes to the value of repentance
and open their ears, to You message today
In Your precious name
the name above all names
The name of Jesus
Today's Message: Jesus Christ The Indispensable God
"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 it so 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, so 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, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also 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. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
First, let's look at the word "Indispensable." It is an adjective.
By definition, it means:
Absolutely necessary; essential
Not to be disregarded or escaped
We also know, there are a number of indispensable things in this life such as;
But far more than any of those listed above is the fact that we humans have an absolute indispensable Creator, One Who also happens to be our Lord and Savior. And our relationship with Him, is indispensable.
It is a pretty popular concept today, to refer to one’s relationship to Jesus as a personal relationship. That seems to be kind of a contemporary, common, evangelical vernacular term. In fact, for some, it may be how you view the distinction between some kind of nominal Christian and a true genuine Christian.
In fact, it's a pretty typical approach for Christians to ask someone, "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?" It's common language really, but that is not a biblical term. And it won't be found in Scripture
But how many understand its meaning?
Allow me, if I may, to bring a bit of clarity to that statement. Every human being, that has ever been born, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! I know, I know, some of you are thinking to yourselves pastor, "Then why are so many unsaved if every person has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? That just doesn't make any sense. Some may go to church, but how does that translate into having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? "
I've been asked that very question more than once. Every person, that has ever lived, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Every person... Jesus knows every human being personally and intimately. And, I'd have to say, for many of them, its really not a good relationship.
Every person that has ever been born, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, it's a relationship between one who is judged and the Judge. Every thought, every word and every deed, Jesus knows, every detail. He knows every relationship, every person has engaged in, and their motives. All of that, every detail, is recorded in heaven, for each and every person who has ever lived. And on the basis of that, every person, will come to eternal judgement because apart from believing in Him, accepting that Jesus, paid for in full the required payment for their sin, the record of their thoughts and motives and words and deeds and relationships only relegates them to hell. Eternal hell.
And on that basis, I'd say that every person, who has ever lived, in one way or another, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, very personal. Every person will be judged on a personal, individual basis by the Judge, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whether or not they are aware of their relationship with Jesus Christ, is inconsequential. It doesn't, in any way, alter the fact, they do indeed have a personal relationship with Him.
That said, perhaps the better way to ask the intended question, would be, "Since every person has a relationship with Jesus Christ, what is the nature of your relationship with Him?" The true nature... of that relationship and how we understand the spiritual reality of that relationship, is indeed, very very critical. However, neither of those phrases are biblical phrasing and cannot be found in Scripture.
Scripture, most generally refers to the relationship between a believer and the Lord as the relationship of a sheep to a shepherd. And it also refers to that relationship as one between a child and a father, between a subject and a king, a slave and a master. It even refers to that relationship as the relationship between a body and its head. And Scripture delineates these things for us, in detail.
The New Testament most often cogitates the body metaphor, but all the others appear both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. And, in some way, they all impart some aspect of our relationship to the Lord: a shared life, shared characteristics, sovereign power, control, direction, obedience, provision, protection, feeding. Every aspect of our relationship with Jesus Christ, in some way is bound within the metaphors in the Bible.
Our text today, found in the book of John, chapter 15, is one of those very instructive chapters, to help us define and further clarify our relationship with Jesus in biblical terminology. The metaphor used here is the relationship between the branch and the vine. And because, I want it to be fresh in your mind, as we discuss these verses and because I believe it's context to be rich, it bears repeating.
Now we’re talking about what it is to abide in Christ, "to abide in Christ". I'm certain that’s a pretty familiar term to most people who have been Christians for a while. It’s a term that has been used quite frequently in Scripture. In fact, beginning at verse 4, I believe its ten times in our text today. It has been given a great many spiritual connotations, so we’re going to unpack this text and find out precisely what it is our Lord intends to say by this.
In the first three verses, there are four identities found here. There is a vine, and there’s no mystery about who is the vine. Our Lord Jesus says, "I am the true vine," Then there is a vinedresser, there’s no question about who is the vinedresser, the One who cares for the vine and its branches "My Father is the vinedresser." And lastly, there are two kinds of branches. There are branches that abide and produce fruit, and there are branches that do not abide, do not produce fruit, are cut off, dried up, and burned. The Lord said, "You are the branches." Again, fairly straightforward, He was talking, essentially, to his apostles.
"Who are the fruitless branches, one that is thrown away, dried up, gathered, cast into the fire and burned? Who are the fruitless branches," a question that I have heard more than a few times. Though I believe the context is a very simple, there is a number of people who have trouble with this one. So,
let's spend a little time on this one.
It's important to recreate the scene in the text here. We know that it’s Thursday night, this isn’t our Lord among many people. The Lord is speaking to the twelve in the Upper Room, celebrating the Passover with His disciples the night before He is to be crucified. In fact, in particular at this point, He’s directing His words at the eleven remaining, Judas having been dismissed. And, it is on that night, beginning in chapter 13, and continues through chapter 16, He gives many promises to His disciples. Then, we find in chapter 17, the Lord praying a prayer to the Father. Here, He is praying, that the Father will fulfill all the promises He’s made in those previous chapters. This is a significant, really an unparalleled, incomparable, section of Scripture. There's really nothing like it anywhere in the Bible because it’s filled with promises, promises to our Lord’s people. All His people...that means us.
Judas has been exposed. Satan has entered Judas, that is exactly what the text says. And we know at this point, Judas has left, he's been dismissed by the Lord. He has gone to set the details in place for the betrayal of Jesus, the arrest of Jesus in the middle of the night, which leads to the execution of Jesus on the cross the next day. So, only the eleven disciples are now left. One has been exposed, and he defected. It is quite a massive defection. So, we can deduce here, that Judas is the branch that doesn’t stay. Judas is the branch that doesn’t remain. He is the branch that doesn’t abide.
In fact, it was Judas all along. But from the superficial viewpoint even of the other eleven, they all said when this was announced, "Is it I? Is it I? Is it I?" There was nothing about Judas that manifested the fact that he was fruitless and soon headed for hell. But it was Judas.
However, if you had to speculate, "Who would it be?" And you were just looking at the particular behaviors of the Twelve, you might assume it could be possibly Peter. Why Peter? Because Peter seemed to stumble more than the rest of the twelve, at least there’s more revelation about his stumbling than any of the twelve, so we know more about his stumbling than anybody else. We know that it is Peter, who seems to have a kind of dominating self-confidence that makes him tell the Lord, the Lord is not going to do things that the Lord says He’s going to do. Peter overstates his affection, overstates his strength, overstates his commitment. Could it be that Peter is the one who is the fruitless branch? My point here is, you wouldn’t have necessarily picked out Judas, or any of the others, for that fact. All of their behavior, was pretty inconspicuous, except Peter.
However, we know that is was Judas. That’s how it is with some branches because they perceivably are attached, but there is however, no life, no fruit bearing taking place. This was the case with Judas. Judas was attached visibly to Jesus. It was a superficial attachment. It was an attachment with no life, and that became obvious when he no longer was abiding in Christ.
We'll pick it up from there, next time.
I know, that there are a great many pastors, who teach that all you have to do to be saved is to follow a simple sinner’s prayer of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior! He accepts you where you are, you don't need to do anything, essentially, stay the way you are. Just keep on sinning, going to the club, joining your friends for Happy Hour. It's ok, your saved now! Right?
But before we go our own way, this morning, I want you to ponder on this question.
My question is, about that type of salvation, where is the gospel in that? Where's the relationship? What are the death, burial, and resurrection in the sinner’s prayer?
The Gospel has two aspects:
One is the work God has done FOR us!
Which is the one, most every pastor likes to talk about...Jesus died for you.
But, there is more to the equation than that.
There's more to it..
Scripture clearly says God does a work IN us!
Yes, He does accept us just as we are, a mess, He takes us knowing we are broken, sinners.
But He does not intend for us to remain that way.. that's why He does a work IN us!
YES! It is all true, you can bury your past, your sins, shame, embarrassment, or unhappiness by repenting of it to God, and washing it all away in baptism in Jesus' name but you cannot stay the way He found you!!
Isn't Jesus Christ really saying to all of us today,
"Sinner, I'll meet you where you are, but you must follow Me to where I'm taking you.."
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries