Temple Baptist Church - 8-10-2008
A. In John 15, we find the “purging” of the abiding branches of the vine. One of the most important aspects of growing fruit of any kind is that of maintaining the branches. As a norm, when growing grapes, you choose one main trunk or “runner” and grow your produce from it. Then, as the branches grow from the trunk, you have to prune them properly in order to produce much fruit.
PURGE - an act of removing by cleansing
B. I am not an expert in this matter as I normally kill my wife’s roses or, at the least, hamper them greatly by over pruning. Each year as I mention that it is pruning time again, she shudders at the prospect. To cut the branches back too much or at the wrong time can greatly damage the fruit bearing.
C. If you cut the branch back too far, it will only produce personal growth the next year and you will have little or no fruit. Even my fig trees have greatly suffered at the hands of my pruning shears!
D. If you cut the branch back at the wrong time, it will cause the branch to “bleed” and the life giving sap will simply drip to the ground instead of producing fruit. Grape vines are notorious for large amounts of “bleeding” when either pruned or injured during the producing season. There is a season for pruning and maintenance as well as a season for fruit bearing.
E. Here in these verses, we find the progression of fruit bearing as we see: 1) “fruit” in verse two 2) “more fruit” in verse two 3) “much fruit” in verses five and eight. This increase in fruit bearing is a direct result of the “purgeth” in verse two.
f. The word “purgeth” is present in tense (a never ending action for the branch), active in voice (the subject “He” is the doer of the action as purging is an act of the Lord), and indicative in mood (a simple statement of fact as purging has occurred, is occurring, and will occur—it is a never ending process).
G. We find the “purgeth” or pruning of the branch takes place through the Word of God in verse 3. Once again, we find the importance of the Word of God. While men place little importance to God’s Word, He magnified it above His name.
1. God’s Word is imperative in our salvation - 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (You cannot be saved without it!)
2. God’s Word is imperative in our sanctification - Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
3. God’s Word is imperative in our service - John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
1. The Process Of Purging
a. It is a Uniform Process – It is to happen to all if we are to bear fruit.
1) Through Teaching - John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
2) Through Chastening - Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
b. It is an Important Process – Without Christ’s help, which comes only through the purging process, we can do nothing! Vs. 5b
2. The Power Of Purging – Purging takes an abundance of water. A trickle will not do the job!
a. It Takes A Saturation of God’s Word - Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].
b. It Takes A Meditation in God’s Word - Psalms 1:2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
c. It Takes A Dedication To God’s Word - Proverbs 3:1-2 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Proverbs 3:17 Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness, and all her paths [are] peace.
3. The Purpose Of Purging – Fruit bearing that glorifies God.
a. Spiritual Fruit Bearing – 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. (The branches carry the characteristics of the Vine.)
b. Physical Fruit Bearing – 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him]. (The sole purpose of the brance is to bring forth the fruit of the Vine.)
4. The Perpetuality Of Purging – He made the heavens and the earth and all that in them is in just six days but He is still working on each of us believers.
a. It is an Essential Process - 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
b. It is an Enduring Process - 2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (Not found “in Him” for we that are saved are eternally in Christ Jesus but “found of Him!” When Christ returns, will He find me loving and living for Him?)