1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

Fruit Bearing For God, Part III, John 15:1-10


We have witnessed in our two previous lessons our Lord Jesus describing a union between himself and his disciples.


And he describes that union by likening himself to a vine and his disciples to branches that are attached to the vine. 


He describes a husbandman who takes great care to see to it that fruit is produced by that union.


That care including the lifting up of unfruitful branches that they may bear fruit, the care of washing of other branches that they may bear more fruit and the continual connection to the vine that is necessary in order to bear much fruit.


And that continual connection of the vine to the branch in order to bear fruit is emphasized in:


John 15:5 where He says, 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.


This statement from the lips of Jesus Christ puts all effort of man in perspective. 


Jesus Christ boldly says “Without me you can do nothing.” 


In saying this He is saying all that is done without him is vain and he counts it as nothing. 


So therefore, effort done by a branch that is not receiving nutrients from the vine is incapable of producing fruit that satisfies the husbandman. 


This shows once and for all the complete dependence of the believer upon Christ, for all fruit bearing that will satisfy the husbandman must come from the sustenance of the vine. 


There are no resources in the branch by which to bear fruit that pleases the husbandman.   


The branch simply bears the fruit that the vine produces.


Religion has a fruit that it displays and most think it is the fruit of the vine but as far as Christ is concerned it is nothing.


That is not a difficult concept to understand but it is a concept that opposes everything our sinful nature proclaims. 


The world approves self-made men but God only approves Christ made men.


For God created man in His image, but that image is now distorted by sin. 


So God has purposed to bring in a harvest of men conformed to the image of his Son and he speaks that all fruit made outside of Christ is nothing.


For that kind of fruit does not conform to Christ for only those conformed to Christ will enter into the presence of God.


Now men may purpose to love, may purpose to have joy, may purpose to have peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.


And they may go about and display this self-made fruit as best they can.


But a disciple of Christ, a Christian, is to wait on the vine to produce this fruit. 


For a branch does not have within it the ability to produce this fruit.  


Whatever comes from branch produced fruit is not the fruit of the Spirit. 


It is false fruit, it is pretend fruit, it is not real fruit.


The message of this verse is to wait on the vine, abide in the vine and let the vine produce fruit in you. 

Only then will the husbandman be satisfied with the fruit. 


This is what Paul meant when he said:  Christ liveth in me.  


Abide means to let Christ live in me and do his work. 


For me to live is Christ.  Let Christ produce fruit in me by me abiding in him. 


I am to abide in his word, I am to be connected to his word. 


I am to let the nutrients of his word flow through me so that the Spirit of Christ can produce fruit in me. 


I am to be a channel and a channel simply abides so flow can take place. 


A channel is simply there to allow water to flow. 


It abides and does not hinder the flow by its actions.


This truth is expressed in the Hymn “Channels Only” we often sing:

Channels Only


How I praise Thee, precious Savior, That Thy love laid hold of me; Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me That I might Thy channel be.


Channels only, blessed Master- But with all thy wondrous power, Flowing thru us, Thou canst use us  Every day and every hour


Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me, A clean vessel in Thy hand, With no power but as Thou givest Graciously with each comand,


The message then is for the believer to be a branch that does not put self in the way of the work of the vine.


For self hinders the work of the vine and fruit bearing is decreased or non-existent when the self fills the channel.


Self enters the picture and it is connected to a life that does not abide in Christ, a life Christ speaks of in:


John 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.


Many see this man who abides not, as one who was a false branch, one who presented himself as a branch but was never connected to the vine.


Perhaps one like Judas who presented himself to the world as a disciple of Christ but soon revealed himself for what he was, a false professor. 


Many see this man as one who appears for a time to be among believers but soon he reveals himself without the fruit of a believer. 


The picture is that these men reveal themselves as withering, fit only to be separated from true believers, fit only to be like branches severed from the vine, fit only to be thrown into the fire.


But a case can be made that Jesus is still speaking of believers here, remembering that he began his discourse by saying “every branch in me”. 


So this may be only about those who choose to not abide in him. 


He told Peter if I wash not your feet you will have no part in me. 


We also know that some who misused the communion and took it unworthily now were referred to as sleeping.


They certainly had been separated physically. 


We know that those, when judged by Christ whose works are burned up in the fire as wood, hay and stubble get into heaven as if by fire. 


In this we know that there are all degrees to abiding from not abiding to greatly abiding.


It is sometimes easy to think of the non-abider as a false believer but perhaps this just gives believers who are not abiding in Christ an excuse to continue on in their non-abiding ways.


But I think Christ is warning his disciples that abiding is a must if fruit bearing is to occur and only those who bear fruit will be used of Christ.


So let us follow this discourse with the idea that the Lord continues to talk about his own. 


This is about believers who continue out of fellowship with the Lord. 


He is talking about the salt that has lost its savor,


He is talking about the servant that hid his talent under a tree.


He is talking about the one in Luke 8:18 who had not, and from him was taken even that which he seemeth to have.


He is talking about our pilgrimage here in this world and the purpose that God has for us to bring forth fruit. 


The man not in fellowship, not abiding, not allowing the word of God to do its work will be withered and will not bear fruit. 


He fails to avail himself of the living word of God which brings forth fruit satisfactory to the husbandman, instead using his life to produce self-made fruit.


What is the warning here? 


Self made fruit is not honored by the husbandman. 


He is not interested in self made fruit, only vine made fruit. 


Vine made fruit is the result of continuous fellowship with Christ. 


Vine made fruit will result in glory to the Father. 


This is a solemn warning for God is in the fruit production business. 


He expects fruit from every branch of the vine on which He works to bring forth fruit. 


All have the same opportunity to abide and he commands every branch to abide in the vine so that fruit bearing will occur.


Paul was concerned about this very thing when in:


1 Cor. 9:27, he said:   But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.


The word castaway does not indicate a loss of his salvation but it means unapproved and by implication without worth. 


He knew that fruit bearing meant abiding in Christ and that not abiding in Christ was the same as being cast forth as a branch that is withered.


So on the contrary the one who abides and bears fruit is one whom God favors and uses in His vineyard for he says in:


John 15:7: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

This is very logical and reasonable. 


Abiding in Christ brings the same mind as Christ. 


Paul admonishes in Phil 2:5:  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:


Peter tells us in 1st Peter:  arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:


Won't the mind of Christ ask according to the will of the Father?


Does not one who is armed with the same mind as Christ ask what he will?


You see, his will is the same as God's will if he has the mind of Christ!


Whatever he asks shall be done because he will only ask what the mind of Christ would ask. 


He asks right, he asks true, he asks the same as Christ asks because he abides in Christ.

His heart is occupied with Christ.  His life is regulated by the Words of Christ. 


It is him living on the daily bread of the word of God!


It is him bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:5)


You see how important it is to your prayer life to abide in Christ!


You can understand how Christ can say in:


John 15:8, Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.


Self-made fruit does not glorify the Father. 


Only fruit from the vine glorifies the Father. 


Only Christ produced fruit in you glorifies the Father. 


Glorifying the Father was ever present in Christ. 


That is what he was always about and one who abides in the vine will also glorify the Father because in him Christ will produce much fruit.


The Father is glorified when his children bear much fruit because the fruit reveals conformance to the image of his Son.


And that is what the Father has predestined for his children.


If you want to know where you are headed as a Christian you look at Christ for to Him you are being conformed. 


The love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance is the same fruit revealed in his son and all of the Father's sons and daughters are to be alike in this fruit.


If there be any love in you, it is Christ's love.

If there be any joy in you, it is Christ's joy.

If there be any peace, it is Christ's peace.

If there be any longsuffering, it is Christ's longsuffering.

If there be gentleness, it is Christ's gentleness.

If there be any goodness, it is Christ's goodness.

If there be any faith, it is Christ's faith.

If there be any meekness, it is Christ's meekness.

If there be any temperance, it is Christ's temperance.


As a child of God, for me to live is Christ. 


As a child of God, I do not live apart from Christ.


For Phil 4:13 tells us, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 


Conversely I can do nothing without Christ for everything I do apart from Christ He counts as nothing!


Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.


Bearing much fruit then is evidence of discipleship. 


You are not a disciple of Christ by being a disciplined person. 


Being in control of your body is not evidence of discipleship. 


You cannot take a discipleship course and call yourself a disciple of Christ.


Being a soul winner is not evidence of discipleship. 


Doing good works is not evidence of discipleship.


Being a member of the group that calls itself the Disciples of Christ does not make you a disciple of Christ.


Jesus said in:  John 8:31,  .... If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.


What is the mark of discipleship? 


Continuance in Jesus Christ.  Continuance in His Word. 


Abiding in Christ. 


Abiding in Christ results in fruit bearing and much fruit in the life reveals the disciple of Christ. 


God makes you a disciple of Christ when he makes you into a fruit bearing branch of the vine. 


Your responsibility is simply to abide in the vine. 


Be a faithful branch and let the vine and the husbandman do the work in producing the fruit of the Spirit:


love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.


Are you a disciple of Christ? 


Simply examine your fruit for only by your fruit you can know.