Fruit-bearing Faith

Gospel of John #40: an exposition of John 15:1-8. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 9, 2011.

Something is wrong.  I don’t believer there is any question about it.  Things simply do not add up.  Claims are made that just cannot be substantiated.  Many claim a “born-again” experience but their lives produce no evidence of such an experience.  There are those who say they believe the Bible to be the Word of God, it is God’s revelation, but turn right around and dismiss what the Bible clearly teaches.  Something is wrong.  How can we explain the inconsistencies?  We start by acknowledging that there a both genuine and false professions of faith within the church.  Jesus spoke of wheat and tares growing together in the same field.  He also stated that there would be those who would be surprised at the judgement, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”  On the night our Lord was betrayed, He shocked the 12 by announcing there was a traitor in their midst.  How could one of them turn on Him?  How could they not know one of them was a false disciple?  What separates the true from the false?  What is the difference between the genuine article and the phony?

Webster defines genuine as, “Actually having the reputed qualities or character of the original; that which is free from hypocrisy or pretense.”  As we explore the opening verses of John 15 we are going to consider the marks of genuine faith.

Text: John 15:1-8

We are on the threshold of the holy place.
It is the night of betrayal and our Lord is instructing His disciples.
He is preparing them for what is to come.
Their faith is about to be tested.
Their world is about to be turned upside-down.
In love and grace He is getting them ready.
He wants them to have a “settled heart” in the midst of the chaos.
“Let not your heart be troubled, don’t even let it fear.”
That’s easier said than done!
But He did not leave them without means.

He made them promises, He assured them of provision, He secured a “Helper.”

This is a very familiar passage.
As we work our way through it we discover that…

Thesis: All genuine believers bear the fruit of a relationship with Christ.

There can be no question this passage is focused on fruit-bearing.
It is equally clear that this is not just true for the “elite” or the “extraordinary” but every believer.
Note the language in 15:2 – “every” (2); 15:5 “whoever” (1).

There are three (3) things I want to point out along the way.

  1. The genuine believer recognizes the absolute necessity of being united with Christ.  (15:1, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  2. The genuine believer humbly yields to the pruning of the Lord.  (15:2b, 4)
  3. The genuine believer lovingly abides in the presence of Christ.  (15:4-7)
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