Perry Duggar |

Jesus used a grapevine to explain that our PURPOSE is to produce the fruit of Christian character and good works.

  1. Introduction (Psalm 80:8-15; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 2:21; Matthew 21:33-41)
  2. Today we will conclude our series titled, “Who is Jesus?”
  3. Jesus used seven different metaphors to describe Himself in the book of John.
  4. Each word picture began with the sacred personal name of God, translated from the Hebrew YHWH, as I Am, which identified Jesus as divine, equal with God.
  5. The first six images were: the bread of life; light of the world; the gate; the good shepherd; the resurrection and the life; and the way, the truth and the life.
  6. Each image or word picture revealed a different aspect of the nature, character and role of Jesus on earth.
  7. Today, we turn to the final image: John 15:1 (NLT)—“I am the true vine...”
  8. This statement was made by Jesus in the upper room during Passover week following the Last Supper that He shared with His disciples.
  9. Later that night Jesus would be arrested, falsely tried, wrongfully convicted and cruelly crucified.
  10. Let’s reflect on Jesus final self-description.


  1. The True Vine
  2. Vines were familiar to everyone in first century Israel, since they grew throughout the land and people participated in cultivation and wine-making.
  3. In addition, a great golden vine with large clusters of grapes decorated the temple.
  4. The vine or vineyard appears as a symbol for Israel in the Old Testament (Psalm 80, Isaiah 5, Jeremiah 2, Hosea 10) and the New Testament (Matthew 21), though those references stress Israel’s unfaithfulness and resulting judgment.
  5. Jesus claimed to be the “true vine,” whose branches would fulfill their purpose of producing fruit if they remained attached to Him.


  1. Remaining in Jesus…
  • Remain = meno; to stay—abide, continue, dwell, endure.


  1. #1 - Produces fruit. (John 15:1–4; C/R: Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:9-10; Hebrews 12:7-11)
  2. John 15:1–2 (NLT)—1“I am the true grapevine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of Mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”
  3. The gardener (vinedresser in some translations) does two things to improve fruit production: He cuts off dead branches which could harbor disease and decay and prunes, or trims, living ones to improve their potential for fruit-bearing.
  4. Untrimmed vines will utilize nourishment to grow long rambling branches and suckers that sprout near the ground along with large quantities of leaves which will reduces the production of fruit, so these leafy shoots and suckers are cut off.
  5. God, the gardener, “prunes” our lives to encourage our fruit-bearing.
  6. He cuts away sinful attitudes and destructive habits that are sapping our spiritual strength and limiting our spiritual growth.
  7. The Gardner might prune a person from your life who is influencing you away from God and toward an unfaithful lifestyle.
  8. The target of this trimming are fruit-bearing branches, which means true Christians, non-fruit-bearing branches, representing unbelievers, are cut off.
  9. John 15:3 (NLT)—“You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.” [Meaning you have been born again, forgiven of your sins through the Word of God, the Good News.]
  10. Trimming typically takes the form of discipline—which is proof that we belong to God because He is shaping the character of His children. [Hebrews 12:10-11]
  11. Disciplinary pruning occurs through trials and troubles we encounter which deepen our faith and strengthen our trust in God. (Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-4)
  12. Spiritual pruning also occurs when the Spirit convicts us of sin and confirms truth within us so that it transforms our thinking. (John 8:32;16:13; Romans 12:2)
  13. Fruit-bearing is not the result of human effort; it is the natural result of remaining in relationship with Christ, of being led by His Spirit.
  14. John 15:4 (NLT)—Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine [It shrivels up and dies.], and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.”
  15. How do we remain in continual contact with Christ?
  16. We must be born again and possess the Holy Spirit within; then we must be led by the Spirit by becoming sensitive to His voice within through prayer, Bible reading, fasting, and fellowship with other believers, which does require effort.
  17. What is this fruit? It includes works of service and generosity, but they flow, not out of human effort, but from our Spirit-produced, Christ-like character.
  18. [Screen] Galatians 5:22–23 (NLT)—22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
  19. APP.: Are you bearing Spirit-produced fruit in increasing measure?


Remaining in Jesus…

  1. #2 - Proves salvation. (John 15:5-6; C/R: Matthew 7:17-23; John 6:37, 61-71;

      1 John 2:19)  

  1. John 15:5–6 (NLT)—“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. [repeated from v.4] Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.” [The non-fruit-producing branches mentioned in v.2]
  2. A grapevine is only good for bearing clusters of fruit.
  3. The wood of the vine is too soft and too crooked and twisted to use for constructing buildings or crafting furniture; sometimes vines are used for decorations, but not for construction.
  4. The person who does not remain in Christ is thrown away like a useless, withered branch and burned, but not to provide heat, because it burns too quickly.
  5. Who does this useless, non-remaining, branch represent? Not a believer (Christian) because the Holy Spirit produces fruit merely through regeneration.
  6. The person who doesn’t remain—and therefore produces no fruit—represents an unbeliever who appears for a while to be connected to Christ, but they bear no fruit, meaning they have no lasting change in character, few good works prompted by the Spirit and limited generosity toward eternal causes.
  7. James 2:26 (NLT) warns, faith is dead without good works, which doesn’t mean that good works equate to faith, but rather, that good works are evidence of faith.
  8. Do you wonder why Jesus is making this point? Remember that He has just told the disciples that one of the men who had been engaged in ministry with them for the past three years would betray Him (John 13:21)—and He had told them this betrayal would happen a year earlier (John 6:63-71)!
  9. Jesus was explaining that someone could look like a follower, but the lack of fruit showed that the person did not truly belong to Christ, was not born again. (Parable of the soils: Matthew 13:3-9,18-23; wheat and the weeds (tares): Matthew 13:24-30; also Matthew 7:17-23; John 6:63-71)
  10. This does not mean a person can be saved and then lost, because as Jesus said at

[Screen] John 6:37 (NLT)—“However, those the Father has given Me will come to Me, and I will never reject them.”

  1. Once you have been born again, the Holy Spirit has given you eternal life (you are changed) and all of your sins—past, present and even future—are forgiven.
  2. Judas appeared saved to the other disciples; they were unclear who the betrayer could be that night in the upper room, even after Jesus indicated his identity by giving him a piece of bread. (John 13:22-28)
  3. Many, in fact most, people in the South, profess to be Christians—and many attend church occasionally and even give a little money, but their lives and priorities indicate otherwise. (1 John 2:19)
  4. APP.: Are you bearing fruit which proves your salvation?


Remaining in Jesus…

  1. Promises answered prayer. (John 15:7-8; C/R: John 14:13-14; 16:23-24; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 John 5:14-15)
  2. John 15:7–8 (NLT)—“But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father.”
  3. Does this verse really mean that I can make any request I want and I will get whatever I ask for?
  4. Yes, it does, but there is are conditions: remaining in [Jesus] and [His] words remaining in you.
  5. If we stay, abide, continue and endure in Jesus and His words dwell in us, the Holy Spirit changes us so that our desires become conformed to Christ’s will.
  6. [Screen] Romans 12:2 (NLT)—Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  7. Then, we will want what He wants and will ask for things that He desires to give.
  8. When we pray Spirit-led prayers that are consistent with the character and purpose of Christ, that’s asking in Jesus’ name (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24), the answer is always “yes!”
  9. When we pray according to the will of Jesus, He will always grant our requests.
  10. [Screen] 1 John 5:14–15 (NLT)—14 And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. 15 And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.
  11. APP.: Are your prayers being answered? If not, what are you asking for?


Remaining in Jesus…

  1. Promotes joy. (John 15:9-11; C/R: Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 61:10; Romans 14:17;

      1 Peter 1:8)

  1. John 15:9–11 (NLT)—“I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love.”
  2. Jesus loves you with the same love that the Father loves Him.
  3. John 15:10 (NLT)—“When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.”
  4. We can experience His love continually by obeying His commandments.
  5. We disrupt our intimacy when we deliberately disobey what we know He wants from us, which interrupts our intimacy with Him.
  6. John 15:11 (NLT)—“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
  7. Joy is different from happiness, which is depends on what is happening in my life.
  8. When we remain in intimate communion with Him the result is the joy that results from knowing the love of Christ always—even in the midst of disappointments, difficulties and even disasters. [James 1:2-5]
  9. We can have joy even when suffering because we know God is working even our problems for our good. [Romans 8:28]
  10. APP.: Am I experiencing joy? Am I obeying Christ’s commands and experiencing His love?
  • Counselors
  • Adventure Week Sunday, June 9th!
  • Memory verse:“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NLT)
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