Change Comes through Abiding

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Change Comes through Abiding
Text: John 15:1-11
Occasion: General
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Unity, Relationship
Author: Edwin Weaver


Direction

Jesus is inviting us to join with Him, union with God in life and work.

How to Get There

  • God created the world and everything else and then sin got into it. From them on, it's about God trying to woo people back to Him.
  • God covenanted with Abraham that God would bless Abraham so that he and his people would be a blessing to the rest of the Earth.
  • God uses a group to bring blessing and hope to the rest of the world.
  • Jesus uses a vine analogy to talk about being united with himself. It pulls up images not only of plants and pruning, but as Israel being the vine (Isaiah 5 1-7). This is a picture of God's entire plan for creation. Israel was not living up to what God wanted from them, and so Jesus came.
  • Not only are we connected to each other and Jesus, but we are connected to God's story at the very beginning.
  • All of creation is to come to God through Jesus, in Jesus.
  • One of Paul's most frequent refrains is that we are “in Christ.” We have access to the father “in Christ,” we receive strength “in Christ” and are a new creation “in Christ.”
  • God is willing to prune us, and is interested in us succeeding, in us changing and changing the world. We are part of God's plan for all of creation.
  • The fruit here is every demonstration of our faith in Christ given by loving others around us and bringing new life into the vine.
  • And sometimes pruning is not just about taking away the negative things, but also about some of the good things getting removed so that we can get even more fruit.
  • By being in the vine we are uniting with God's plan for the world and plan for us.
  • Jesus calls us to abide in Him. There were serious gaps in when God was with the people and not, when people heard from God or not. Not any more, we are connected and can have constant contact.
  • This is about joining with Jesus in the work here on Earth. Jesus will remain in union with us.

Things to Watch For

Some knowledge of pruning is probably needed for this to work. Not only are bad parts of a tree cut off to help save the rest, but often good branches are cut off at regular time periods so that the tree's energy is not wasted growing new leaves but produces fruit. The good is sacrificed for the best.

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