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Jesus Christ The Indispensable God - Part Six


Good Morning Beloved Family,

Heavenly Father,

How we long for you presence and peace again,
we're struggling with worry and fear.
We trust that Your power is far greater than the difficulties we're up against today.
We believe that You are mighty
and that you're bigger than this storm.
Thank you
that you promise to be our refuge and strength in times of trouble.
We as Your for a miracle right now and depend on You as never before.

In Jesus' name
Amen

"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 soprove 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."
John 15:1-11

Today's Message: Jesus Christ The Indispensable God - Part Six

As many of you already know, we have been studying John 15:1-11. For those of you just joining us, I'll quickly recap some of that, as to bring you up to date for today. A kind of a Cristian 101.

So we've been looking at the word abide.. abide.
Abide: It's not really a word you hear much today, I know that is kind of an old word and it sort of has spiritual overtones. It’s simply the Greek verb men, used in our text to say don’t walk away from Christ. Stay; remain. Don’t leave. Don’t defect. Don’t become an apostate. 

This is Jesus' word to the 11 remaining disciples, "Continue to believe. Continue to be faithful."
In our text, we can see that Jesus is telling "abide in Me, stay, don't leave." This is actually a call to anyone and everyone who is attached to Christianity and could be in danger of departing from the faith. The word “abide” is used ten times in our text. It's obviously an important word to our Lord, so it had certainly ought to be an important word to all of us, am I right?

Well, the passage starting in verse 4 and going down to verse 11 lists a series of promises for those who don't leave, who remain, those who stay.

Now, I know most everyone is familiar with this verse, its likely the most popular verse in the entire Bible. John 3:16.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Eternal life.

So what is eternal life? First let's address what it’s not. It's something that you’re going to get off in the future somewhere, it doesn't say that you will have it, wait for it, that's because it’s something you possess now. You have been given eternal life, and Scriptures says you "shall have eternal life."  

What is eternal life? Eternal life must be the life of God because it can’t be the life of man or any other created being. So eternal life is the life of God. And if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall have eternal life, you shall have life, you shall live. We know that to be true, because the Bible tells us that it is. He that has the Son has life. John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
And it Jesus goes on to tell us, "no one comes to the Father but through Me." But through Me.
And so from this we know there is but one way to God the Father, and Jesus Christ, is in fact, the only way. Apart from Christ, you cannot get there.

What is then salvation? Salvation, is having the life of God in you, in you, you have the eternal life of God. The eternal life of God is not separate from God, and if you abide in Christ, and if He abides in you, it is not apart from you, it is not separate from you, it in you. And so salvation is stated in that 4th verse using these words,  "Abide in Me, and I in you, and I in you." Or, as it is stated in verse 5, the referencing the abiding branch: "he who abides in Me and I in him." "He who abides in Me and I in him." "I in him." "I in you."

And how do you define a Christian? It's not somebody who believes something only, although its needed to reach spiritual apex, its a necessary part of believing; its not someone who’s simply connected to sound doctrine, although that too is essential also; its not someone who belongs to a physical church, because that certainly is important. However, we are His church. 

And so the best way to define a Christian is that Christ lives in that person, and that he possesses that eternal life which belongs only to God. That the Holy Trinity lives in a believer. The Trinity takes up residence in a believer. 

The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4:11, makes the astonishing, profound statement "For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." That's truly an absolutely amazing, just incredible statement.
 
And then we have in 1 John 4, verse 12: "No one has seen God at anytime. If we love one another, God abides in us." And then verse 13: "He has given us His Spirit." And then verse 15: "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." And then verse 16: "We have come to know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." We see this repeating over and over again.

And we have the same thing in 1 John 5, verse 11: "This is the testimony that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." So in that category of 1 John that I read to you, chapters 4 and 5: God is in us, the Spirit is in us, and Christ is in us. The triune God resides in a true believer. If you have a true faith, if you have been granted by God a true, saving faith, a faith that will endure, that will go all the way, the kind we read in 1 Peter, to glory, to the revelation of Jesus Christ, then you are the dwelling place of the triune God. That is what it means to be a believer in Christ, to be a Christian, and nothing less than that.
 
In itself, the fact that you possess eternal life alone, doesn’t just mean you will live forever, as many have come to believe. The truth is, unbelievers will also live forever, an eternity in hell, so while its eternal life, its a kind of everlasting death. To have the eternal life, we're talking about now, is to have the One Who is eternal life. So when somebody asks you, "What does it mean to be a Christian?" you can tell them it means that "the triune God of the universe, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has taken up residency in me."
Now, you then have the responsibility to convince the person that that’s true by the manifestation of God through your life. The manifestation of God, which is evident to others, and is demonstrated through you life. And that took us to the second thing that we looked at last time, the second promise.
  
The first promise is salvation; God takes up residence in you. The second promise is fruitfulness. Verse 4 again: "As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine," that’s sort of an agricultural illustration, "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." That is you cannot bear fruit by yourself, without Christ. 

The passage, then in verse 4, then starts out with a negative connotation, then in verse 5, it becomes positive, however, it then goes back to being negative at the end of verse 5. The bottom line is however, is simply this: Only as you abide in Him and He abides in you, can you bear much fruit, that's the only way to bear much fruit. This fruit then, according to verse 8, becomes the proof, the evidence. that you’re indeed a disciple. That’s what verse 8 says: "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." Do you see that? So prove to be My disciples! That is the only way we know that we are disciples of Christ, that we are genuine disciples, that we are branches connected to the vine. We bear much fruit.  

Our Lord has said on another occasion, "By their fruit, you will know them. A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. Good tree, good fruit." "By their fruit." "You will know them." So there is our answer, the fruit we produce in our lives, is the proof, the evidence, that we are His disciples. That's how others know and that's how we know. By our fruit. That's how we know.

And wasn't it was John the Baptist, in the 3rd chapter of Matthew who saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming. They wanted a baptism, and he said to them, "You brood of vipers. Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore, bear fruit in keeping with repentance." And then he said, "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore, every tree that doesn’t bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." That is the same language. If you’re a fruitless branch or a fruitless tree, you’re going to be cut down, cut down and burned. Bear fruit that manifests, first of all, then, repentance. So now let’s talk about what fruit is. What the fruit looks like.
 
Firstly, the fruit is genuine repentance, based on Matthew 3:8. Fruit is genuine repentance – a genuine, honest, penitence concerning sin. Sorrow over sin, not sorrow over the consequences of sin. There is that kind of sorrow. But sorrow over the reality of sin. A true and real sorrow over sin – the sorrow of repentance. That, of course, is a very foundational fruit. If the Lord is at work in you, if you are connected to Christ, if His life is flowing through you, there will be an honest repentance.
In 2 Corinthian 7, Paul says, "I now rejoice, not that you are made sorrowful, but that you are made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death." You know, many people who live in this world and they’re sorry about the way their life is going; they're sorry about what's happened to them, because a godless life, that which leads to eternal death. Separated from God, from loved ones who have been save.. though living eternally, to experience the horrors of hell forever. Beloved, that's a devastating reality!

In Closing....

Sorrow typically overwhelms a sinner, but what many fail to realize, is that it’s a sorrow unto death. It's completely exhausting, it will literally drain the life out of everything, it drains out the life; and unfortunately, the result is a life that leads some to commit suicide.. In fact, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death today! Sin, which has become so tolerable, so accepted, and even promoted in today's culture, has also lead to increased suicide. Younger and younger people, are committing suicide. It's unfathomable to me, that in 2017, over 47,000 people committed suicide. In 2017, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 14.46. That's up from 13.15! Let that sink in, adolescent youth, beginning at under the age of 16, have not only contemplated but have actually committed suicide. Sin produces bad, bad consequences. I could likely do an entire message on that.

But a godly sorrow leads to repentance, that leads to salvation; that is life. So when we talk about fruit and we look at our lives and ask, “What is fruit?” first, it is repentance, it is repentance. That’s a good place to start. It is an ongoing repentance. It is a continual sadness, not over the consequence of sin, but over the sin itself. There is a big difference between the two. Most people are sorry about the consequences of sin, but few are sorry about the sin itself. But they are certainly sorry about what it has brought to their lives... they're sorry they got caught in it, which are often devastating circumstances. But rarely are they sorry for the sin itself...

Looks as thought we'll need to begin again next time. I had no idea this message topic would continue beyond a single message, or possible two. Yet, as the Holy Spirit says continue, keep going, so going on I do.. I do pray that it is bringing more understanding, more much needed clarity, much fruit to your lives..

So I'll leave you with this thought; What is the fruit in your life saying about 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 life up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen
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Brian Monzon Ministries

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