Review from last week’s notes: 3 things that describe our relationship with Christ
- We’re connected to Christ.
- We’re cared for by the Father.
- We are consistent over time.
Today: 3 Demonstrations of Growth:
- We will be fruitful in life.
- We will be powerful in prayer.
- We will be joyful in spirit.
Since all of these deal with spiritual growth….spiritual growth should happen.
- Babies are expected to grow up to become adults.
- In like manner Christians need to grow to become mature believers.
3 Observations about spiritual growth:
- Spiritual growth should happen.
- Spiritual growth has nothing to do with physical age.
- In spiritual growth you can grow as much you want to.
2 Peter 1:3 “God has given unto us all thing that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.” Chapter 5:6 “And to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge self control…..”
Last week we looked at how our relationship with Christ is described. This week….we examine how the relationship is to be demonstrated.
1. First demonstration: You will have fruitfulness in life.
- Vs. 1-11 Fruit, more fruit….much fruit.
- Observations about fruit:
1. Fruit is noticeable.
- As in a tree or vine….one can see what kind of fruit is being produced; so in our spiritual walk, it should also be seen.
- What is the fruit of which Jesus is speaking that would be noticed?
- Galatians 5:22
- Romans 1:13
- Romans 6:22
- Romans 15:25-28
- Romans 13:15
- A spiritual person will be known more by a spiritual fruit than be a spiritual gift.
- Corinthians were operating in spiritual gifts (chapter 1), but not in exhibiting spiritual fruit.
2. Fruit is natural.
- A fruit tree does not need to work hard to produce a fruit.. It is a natural unfolding of life. ( A product of conection: root, trunk…branches.)
- What does a branch need to to do produce fruit? Hang in there.
- What do you need to do to produce fruit? Hang in there. Abide in Christ.
3. Fruit is nourishing.
- Grapes don’t eat grapes. Apples don’t eat apples. But they nourish others.
- If the life of God is flowing in you, then the life of God will flow from you ….to others.
- Real excitement come when we see what Christ is producing in us….as it blesses others….nourishing many.
- Genesis 49:22 Jacob’s remarks about Joseph. “You are a fruitful vine with its branches climbing over the wall.” (When your branches go over the wall…….you are nourishing others.)
- John 7:37,38 Jesus being the spring of living waters. Those who believe in Him will have rivers of living water flowing from them.
2. Second Demonstration: Vs. 7 We will be powerful in prayer.
- With a promise like this it is a wonder that more Christians don’t pray.
- Conditions connected to this promise:
- Vs. 7 “if you abide in Me” (One must have a permanent connection and union with Christ…..that’s abiding in Christ.)
- Vs. 4 “abide in Me as I in you” ( Do you let Him into your daily activities?)
- Vs. 7 “if you abide in Me and My words abide in you” (What are His words? All the things He has said and the very Word of God itself.)
3. Third Demonstration: Vs. 9-11 Joyful in Spirit
- From last week we see Jesus promised them peace. This week we see He promises joy.
- Those the very two things for which the world craves. (People will say that they want inner peace and true joy.)
- Last week we concluded that we must be connected to Christ; cared for by the Father; and consistent over time.
- This produces a person who is fruitful in life, powerful in prayer and joyful in the spirit.
- These realities could revolutionize the church if we were to actualize them and put them to practice.