Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Evidences Of Abiding In Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 7-20-2008

John 15:1-16


A. A couple of weeks ago, I began a miniseries on “Abiding In Christ.” Once saved, always saved; therefore, we must abide in Christ as we reside in Christ. Many do not abide in Christ because:

1. They were never born of the Vine in the first place. You cannot abide in or bear fruit for the Vine unless you are attached and the sap flows.

2.They choose to live a life of sinful disobedience which causes the branch to:

a) Dry up and fall off. This is not normal unless there is a problem with either the branch or the Vine itself. It is not a Vine problem!

b) Be broken off during the storms of life. If the branch is not strong and vibrant with life, it may well be found lying on the ground after a storm.

c) Or, Be pruned away by the Husbandman

B. One of the problems associated with the Laodicean Church Age in which we live is that of unfaithfulness. I am not speaking of unsaved church members, but of saved people who choose to live inconsistent, disobedient lives. Our Lord asked this question of His disciples, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” We know that He will find saved but will He find faithful? The farther we go the less we find professing believers who remain loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ.

C. It is the will of the Husbandman that each branch be healthy and prosper in fruit bearing! He prunes and purges it so that it can produce to its maximum potential.

D. I want to look at some of the evidences found in these verses of a healthy branch that abides in the Vine. There should be evidences in our lives showing our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as we walk in obedience to Him. Healthy branches bear both the characteristics and fruit of the Vine.

1. The Evidence Of Fruit Bearing – vs. 2-8 (I believe that all of God’s children bear fruit though the amounts may vary. How can you be in Christ and never show any evidence of the imparting of a new nature? Every child born bears some resemblance to father, mother, or both.)

a. Verse 2 – “beareth fruit”
b. Verse 2b – “more fruit”
c. Verse 5 – “much fruit”

2. The Evidence Of Answered Prayer – vs. 7

a. Answered prayer is evidence of a relationship. I could ask my earthly father and get an answer. It was not always what I either wanted or expected because I sometimes asked for the wrong things.

Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

b. Answered Prayer is an evidence of abiding. Receiving what we asked for is a result of desiring God’s will and asking within the realm of it.

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

3. The Evidence Of Consistency – vs. 9

a. There are those believers who never stabilize! They lack spiritual growth, discernment, and faithfulness. We love them but never come to expect anything of them!

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

b. There are those believers who can always be depended upon to get the job done. They are the same, year after year. They love the Lord and that love is manifested in their lives for others of see.

Colossians 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. The Evidence Of Obedience To Christ – vs. 10

a. Obedience unforced - Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

b. Obedience born out of love - 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

5. The Evidence Of Christian Joy – vs. 11

a. Christian contingent - Psalms 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

b. Christian Joy is contagious - Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Everyone loves to be around a joyful Christian!)

6. The Evidence Of Spiritual Blessing – vs. 15-16

a. The Blessing Of Being A Friend Of God - James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

b. The Blessing Of Being Filled With God – vs. 16 “your fruit should remain” - Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Conclusion: Fruit bearing takes both a “birthing” and an “abiding!”

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