John 15:5-10, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
We know clearly from the words of our Lord that fruit will not come on the branch without the branch abiding in the vine.
No abiding no fruit.
No abiding, no ability to love, no ability to have joy or peace or long suffering or any of the fruit of the Spirit.
And without abiding there is no ability to keep the commandment of Christ to love one another.
Abiding is the key in being able to love as Christ loves.
This is not the world’s way for the world majors on external solutions to personal relationships which are always flesh oriented.
It has its 10 steps to getting along with others, its psychological analyses, its turning over new leafs to improve oneself but this is not God’s way to loving one another.
A Pastor who finds people in his flock at odds with each other has people who are failing in their “abiding in Christ” responsibility.
The world’s approach in solving these problems is the direct approach of counseling, the use of psychology but a Pastor’s approach is to preach the commands of Christ relative to abiding.
For all relationships will be successful only if built upon a personal relationship with Christ.
If you do not love the brethren you need to abide in Christ until you do!
We all need to remember Mary who sat at Jesus feet and was commended by Jesus who said, Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Mary had chosen to abide and because of this she was equipped to love.
By abiding in him we allow his love to flow through us and therefore we can love one another as he loves us.
And that love extends to the giving up of your life for your friends.
So in John 15:14,15 Jesus tells His disciples, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Here He tells us that He is to be counted as a friend, and as a friend shares confidences He too will make known all things He has heard of my Father.
A servant is not given to know all things but the closest of friends is trusted with knowledge.
But even in this relationship that reaches to friendship there is a recognition of the authority of Jesus Christ for he tells his disciples that the status of friends requires obedience to his commands for His commands are always right.
So the friendship of Jesus Christ is dependent upon obedience to his word.
Disobedience to his word servers friendship because disobedience separates from the path of Christ.
The cause of that separation is never Christ because he is always on the path of obedience.
Friendship is always severed by the one who is disobedient to the word of Christ.
He proves his friendship by confiding in his disciples and all who abide in him.
He does not keep his confidence from his disciples but all things he has heard of his Father he has made known unto them and to all who in him abide.
That is a mark of abiding in Christ.
Knowing all that Christ knows of the Father.
God does not keep things from his Son nor does he keep things from those who abide in his Son.
He reveals to them the Father's thoughts and brings them into the intimacies that he has with the Father.
It is the new nature that Christ imparts to those that abide in him that allows this intimacy.
That is what abiding is, an intimacy with Christ and therefore an intimacy with the Father that the natural man cannot and will never know in the natural state.
Ye must be born again in order to abide.
And when you abide Christ reveals things to you that the world does not know.
As Psalm 25:14 tells us, The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.
It is given unto those who abide to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.
And part of that mystery is that God has chosen you which Jesus makes very clear in:
John 15:16, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
This is specific to the disciples but the same principal applies to all believers.
Believers do not chose Christ. Christ chooses believers.
Christ chose the disciples to be his apostles.
He chose their place as ministers in his Church.
He ordained them to be fruitful in fruit that will remain, which means their fruit has eternal value and will not decay.
If you are a believer, Christ chose you and has ordained you to a particular purpose.
That purpose if followed will result in vine supplied fruit which will remain in eternal life.
You can take it with you when you pass from this life if it is the fruit of the vine for the fruit of the vine will remain.
Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. By C.T Studd
Notice again the order here, fruit and then asking.
go and bring forth fruit, and whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Get the fruit of the Spirit in which to serve and then ask for those things necessary to serving.
It is obvious that God provisions his children with that which is necessary to serve.
That is the order of things. Serve with the fruit of the Spirit!
How much so called serving is done apart from the fruit of the Spirit?
What kind of serving is this? It is serving in the flesh.
We are to draw upon the bank of God with the fruit of the Spirit.
We are to ask what we will in order to serve but we are to serve in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
This is God’s equipage for service.
Is not this how Jesus Christ served the Father?
Are we not to be conformed to the image of the Son that we may serve according to God’s way?
Service apart from the fruit of the Spirit is not acceptable service to the Father because it does not emulate Christ!
It is simply service in the flesh and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit.
And again Jesus emphasizes in John 15:17, These things I command you, that ye love one another.
One of the requirements for acceptable service for God is loving the brethren.
And we love one another by obeying the commands of Jesus Christ.
With the Christian it all starts and all ends with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is all sufficient in all things.
He and he alone is the source of any love we are to have for the brethren.
God does not command us unless he endows us with the ability to obey his command.
Christian's have all they need to love one another because all they need is Christ!
If you find yourself not loving your brother in Christ all you need to do is move closer to Christ for the problem is in your abiding.
But Jesus adds a warning to this instruction and the warning is that once you take on Christ, and evidence the fruit of the Spirit and walk as Christ walked the world will react as it reacted to Christ.
When you abide in Christ and you take on the image of Christ, Jesus addresses in John 15:18,19 what will take place in your life for what took place while He walked the roads of Israel will also take place in those who abide.
John 15:18,19, If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Now in this Jesus is talking to abiders.
He is not talking to the casual Christian, the “whatever” Christian, the Christian who does not take the walk of Christ seriously.
He is talking to disciples, who by abiding have become different than the world for they display the fruit of the Spirit.
They are the ones chosen out of the world and therefore are not like the world.
They are those who love not the world neither love the things of the world and because of this the world will hate them for it.
Jesus Christ is different than the world and the world hates him because he does not conform to the world.
Those of the world operate by their senses, they live for the present, and are ruled by the opinions and customs of men.
Disciples are not to live that way.
Disciples are to not live by sight but by faith.
The world does not understand that and will hate you for it if you live by faith.
The world cannot stand differences that point out its error.
The world loves darkness and cannot countenance light.
Jesus Christ was sinless, he made no mistakes, and he never failed.
He always spoke truth for he is truth.
He refused to compromise with moral evil, doctrinal error, and hypocrisy.
He exposed the corruption of the established religious order.
I am to remember that any hatred that comes my way because of my testimony for Christ comes my way not because of me but because of Christ.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
We are to remember Christ is perfect in all things and yet the world hated him.
Are we to expect any better treatment by the world that hates light?
If I abide in Christ the world must hate me, it has no other option.
It cannot love me because if I abide in Christ I reflect his light and the world loves darkness and hates light, therefore the world must hate me
Light will ultimately destroy the world system and anything that will destroy the world system the world will hate.
But God makes the wrath of men to praise him and even the hatred of the world will work for him.
The world's hatred works the work of God because it will strengthen the bond between Christ and his child.
The world's hatred will drive the child to abide in Christ and the union will be stronger for it because of the hatred of the world.
So Jesus Christ continues His instruction to His disciples in:
John 15:20, Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Jesus Christ spoke similar words in John 13:16: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
We all know that our Lord was persecuted.
And here in this passage the Lord Jesus Christ tells his disciples to also expect persecution.
The servant is not greater than his Lord and therefore should not expect to receive any better than his Lord.
He is the head and we are members of his body.
If the head is injured do not the members also suffer?
Is this to be a surprise that Christians suffer persecution?
Are we not to have the same enemies as our Lord?
Will not the world hate us and persecute us if we have the mind of Christ?
Will not the world hate me if I preach and live the doctrine of Christ?
Should not the true disciple share the same experiences of his Master?
Is this not a mark of a true and loyal disciple, an abiding disciple?
They of the world have persecuted our Lord and those who abide in the Lord, those who are out and out for the Lord will suffer as he suffered.
If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
And 2000 years has brought no change in the world as far as this is concerned.
The world hates light because light testifies of it, that the works of the world are evil.
If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Jesus Christ is telling us from whom we will receive persecution and from whom we will not.
Those that do not keep his sayings will be the persecutors.
Those who will keep his sayings will not be the persecutors.
Those who keep his sayings will keep the sayings of the true disciple of Christ also.
Those who are of the world are no friend to grace.
We are to love one another.
We are to find love in Christ and in the brethren.
We are not to look to the world for love because the world hates every true disciple of Christ.
The world cannot love the true disciple of Christ because the true disciple of Christ testifies that the works of the world are evil.