From Your Pastor, July 30

From Your Pastor, July 30

Abiding Fruit; Rooted in the Father’s Love

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” (John 15:7-9a)

In our study of John 15, we have been exploring our union with Christ. Jesus depicts our relationship to him as a branch united to a vine. If we abide in the Jesus-Vine, we bear fruit.

This morning, I’d like to remind you of 3 simple ideas from John 15:7-9.

First, what kind of fruit are you bearing? Our Lord said, make no mistake, we will bear fruit. Recently in our worship service, we read together the fruit of the spirit. As you begin your day, ask: Is my union with Christ producing “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”? Galatians 5:23 tells us that there is no law against those such things.

However, just prior to the fruit of the Spirit are the works of the flesh. Are you producing those, listed in Galatians 5:19-21?

Either way, as Jesus said earlier: “By their fruit you will know them” (Mt. 7:16). True, our families, co-workers, and friends see the fruit we produce. Jesus said, “My Father is glorified that you bear much fruit.” If you’re not satisfied with yesterday’s harvest, why not go back and focus more on abiding in Christ, one day at a time—starting this morning.

Second, in John 15:7, Jesus notes that if we abide in him, his words abide in us. The union with Christ is also Christ dwelling in us. How do we abide in Christ? If we take Jesus’ words to heart, it is tied to his Word dwelling in us. Habits of abiding in Christ are always related to hearing our shepherd’s voice, to resting on Christ alone for salvation, and to drinking often from the well of his Words. Are you abiding in Jesus’ Word—taking every opportunity to feed on it, availing yourself as a parched soul for the waters of eternal life, and walking with Jesus as a Friend (John 15:14), with frequent conversations—not only speaking but also listening to God?

Is Christ’s Word dwelling richly in you (Col. 3:16), and are you treasuring his precepts, statutes, and commands (Ps. 119) or do other voices clog up your mental processor? Are the voices echoing the fruit of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit? Our minds and hearts need daily waterings and fertilizings. If we abide in Jesus, his Words fill us, saturate us, and then bear fruit in our activities.

Third, note the nourishing root of our union with Christ. We are united to him and bear good fruit because we receive—wait for it!—the love from the Father that Jesus received. Listen to these words in v. 9: “As the Father has loved me, so I love you.” That is the pearl of great price, isn’t it!? Jesus loves us as the Father loved him!?! Amazing love, how can it be!

Bishop Ryle, as always, is helpful in explaining: “This remarkable statement seems intended to show the depth and magnitude of our Lord’s love to His people. We can form no adequate idea of the love of the Father towards the Son. The feeling of one eternal Person in the Trinity to another Person is a high thing into which we cannot enter. Yet even such is the love of Christ towards those who believe in Him—a vast, wide, deep, unmeasurable love that passeth knowledge, and can never be fully comprehended by man.”

What blessings and fuel the Lord gives us for a new day. Let us continue clinging to Christ’s Words, storing them up in our souls, and receiving the Love from the Father that he also had for the Son.

That will bear fruit—fruit that lasts!

—David Hall