(Outline for Sunday’s sermon, 2.3.13)
Text: John 15:1-11
The “Big Idea”: Jesus is after your joy, and relentless to achieve it.
I. The joy of Jesus begins in God
God is the vinedresser (gardener), Jesus is the vine, and the branches are his disciples.
He is the one who first plants the vine, knows the vines and branches, plants it in the right place at the right time, knows the right nourishment for the branches, he has to provide a trellis, a structure that gives support for the growth of the branches, he prunes it so that it could bear more fruit.
Everything in the background of my life here, now, what was before – God is there, the great vinedresser, planter, designer, caller. The great gardener is at work for our joy too.
II. The joy of Jesus flows through abiding
Verse 4 “Abide in me and I in you.” To abide (or remain) in Jesus is to live in a daily personal relationship with Jesus that is filled with trusting, prayerfully dependent, sacrificial obedience to his word. In short – obedience.
“Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3 ESV, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you…” v 7, v 10 “if you keep my commandments you abide in my love.”
Vs 5 – “apart from me you can do nothing” – This captures the disciples life – ALL nourishment and life-flow will come from JESUS. Just like a plant or tree, or a flower, or blood in our veins – it comes from Christ who is the Word.
We are not saved by our obedience, it is by grace through faith in Christ. Yet, Jesus tells us that our abiding is obeying. True disciples obey Jesus.
III. The joy of Jesus is purchased by Jesus
Jesus invites us into His joy, joy that he secured for us at the Cross – this is what he is pointing to when he says, “so I have loved you.” Verses 9-10. Heb. 12:2 – “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…”
Jesus was aware of the Father’s eternal love for him, and out of this gracious love from His Father, Jesus’ abiding, trusting, remaining, and obedience was not a burden, but a joy, and purchased/achieved for us that joy.
Our pleasure and our duty,
Though opposite before;
Since we have seen his beauty,
Are joined to part no more.
– John Newton