Nothing without him and everything with him
Synopsis of Sermon 01/11/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Text: John 15: 1-7 (focus 5-7), 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:1-8 (KJV)
One reason Jesus came to the earth was to save us from our sins. Thank God that he came, because while we were yet sinners, Christ died. As Christians, we still get excited about being saved. We thank God our life is complete and joy is sweet. We also thank God for the relationship we have with Jesus Christ because we understand how powerful it is to be in relationship with one who is as faithful as God is. The truth is, God has demonstrated his love to us because the word of God says: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV). What a demonstration this is of the love of God. So when we enter into relationship with God, he enables us through the relationship to do what we otherwise could not do. That’s why scriptures like; now unto him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless… or or scriptures like I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me or Scriptures like nigh in all things, we are more than conquerors through him really help to put things in perspective for us. It really doesn’t take long for a Christian to learn that without God, we can do nothing and with him all things are possible. The reality is God will allow you to go series of experiences in order that you might come to the place where you recognize your deficiency and realize the need for his sufficiency. In fact when Paul had a thorn in his flesh in 2 Cor 12, Paul talked about God’s grace or his strength being made perfect in our weakness. The good news is it really doesn’t matter what I don’t have because when I have God, I have everything that I need.
So it is important to see when God opens up John 15 by giving us this powerful affirmation about who he is in the life of a believer. He uses this metaphorical language by suggesting that he is the vine and we are the branches and he deals with this as it relates to the importance of us being connected to him in proper relationship.
Why is this important? It is because this is the season where many people have begun to evaluate relationships in their life. The truth is, the way you have come to realize the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ has been because you have been let down and disappointed by so many people in the past. You have been expecting people to do things just to find out later that they can’t do what you expected them to do. Now you’re going to find out what it really means to cast your cares on him, because you know that he cares for you. Somebody can be a witness that God is a faithful and you can’t measure his faithfulness based on the unfaithfulness of the folk you have been around. The truth is that it is important for people to realize your connection to God means more now than ever before, because there is so much that God wants to do in your life, but it is all hinged on you being connected to the vine. It doesn’t matter who has spoken negatively over your life and it doesn’t matter what context you are going through. We have come to tell you today that when you turn life over to him and you say “Lord my life, my destiny, my career, my education, my children, my wife, or husband is in your hands” then you have come to realize that you are in the best hands that you can be in. In him you live and in him you have your being.
We know that you like to work things out yourself, but today we want you to understand the importance of understanding being connected to the vine. The first thing we want you to know is the power of:
I. Authentic Relationship
1. In order to appreciate God or the truth, you had to pass through some counterfeits. We thank God because we know now that he is the real deal. When we understand him as the vine, we have to get in position. No matter what we accomplished in life, we have to realize we are just a branch. God is the vine and we are the branch. We have to understand the order of God. We have to realize proper positioning. One reason we wrestle with proper positioning is:
a. Carnality. Carnality is of the flesh. When we walk in the flesh we can’t see spiritual principles. This makes us not want to give up control. We have to learn to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
b. Control. You got to realize God is in control. We have to realize that if God knew what he was doing when we were being created; he certainly knows what he is doing after we have been created. If you don’t bear fruit, the bible tells us that God will cut us off of the vine, because we are bad advertisement for the kingdom.
2. Just because you bear fruit, doesn’t make you totally good. If you are not bearing good fruit, God will purge you. Just when you get to where you think you ought to be, God will come along and purge you. You must realize that God is not purging you for your right-now; he is purging you for where he is taking you. He has to get all the negative influences out of your life. You have to learn to trust what God is doing. If during your purging process, God cuts people away from you, you must come to realize that maybe they were not able to handle where he is taking you. We thank God for this! God doesn’t want people around you that are not true to him. People can’t be true to you if they are not true to God.
3. In this season, God is about to put you in relationships with people that have a passion for Jesus Christ. You need people that are sold out for Jesus around you. We need people in our lives that have a fire and passion for God.
4. God will put you in relationships with:
• People who love God.
• People who are in purpose. These are people that no matter what happens you can realize that they are there to bless you.
• People who are progressive. God is going to unit you with people that won’t be intimidated by your success. We must know however that we want people in our lives that will challenge us. We want people in our life that are trying to go where we are trying to go.
5. John 15:1 reminds us that we have to get into our proper position for the will of God to come over our life. 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:1-2 (KJV)
II. Access to revelation
John 15: 4-6.poses the question who is Jesus? John said Jesus is the word. This means you must abide in the word. Logos is the Greek word which is translated to “word”. Jesus was a reincarnation of the logos or in other words, he was the word in the earth realm. Proof of this is found in John 1:1. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (KJV).
Logos is also the root form of our word logic (John 1:1). When God sent Jesus to earth realm, it didn’t make since to man. When Jesus (the word) came into the earth realm, only the spiritual people knew who he was. When you are living spiritually, logic has to go out the window. Ex- It wasn’t logical for Jesus to try and to feed 5000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Ex2- It wasn’t logical when Lazarus died and Jesus told him to come forth. Ex3-It doesn’t seem logical for us to try and to come to church after all the things we have done in the past.
God’s words are:
• Logical- Gods word is logical spiritually, because it accomplishes what it is sent to do.
• Living word-God’s word is living, because it is a now word. We say his word is living, because whatever he speaks, happens. 1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 2 God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. Heb 11:1-3 (NLT). Hebrews points out the power of God’s words and what it can accomplish. What we have to get from this scripture is that what God’s word accomplished then can still be accomplished now. If Gods word delivered the Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace year ago, then the same word can deliver us today.
• Leveraged word. God’s word is collateral for us. His word can back us up so to speak when we are in trouble. When we declare his word during our bad situation, we begin to see how his word can back us up. When we have God’s word in us, it is impossible not be productive. The world looks at things differently than we do as Christians. Our motivation has to come from within. With God’s leveraged word, we are able to bear much fruit.
You can be close to the vine and not connected. 6 Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. John 15:6 (NLT). When you are that close to the vine and not bearing fruit, God will cut you away. To be in the proper relationship with God, you must be attached to the vine in a proper relationship.
There is a correlation in getting the word of God and living in the vine. The devil fights you to keep you from getting that word that God wants you to have that is instrumental in you producing fruit. There are people that drive long distances to get to Mt. Zion and other churches. Why do they do this? They are trying to get:
1. The right word. It is not just important to get the word, but you got to get the right word. The right word it the word that is going to help you stay connected to the vine.
2. A relevant word. You have to go somewhere where God has placed a relevant word in the mouth of your Pastor. A word that doesn’t help you get through today’s times and struggles doesn’t do you any good.
3. Rema word- God tries to speak to where you are. This is access to revelation. If you connected to the vine properly, then you are in a right relationship with God. Some people expect others to be able to do what only the vine (God) can do. We can tell if our relationship on the vine is not right. Evidence of this is revealed when we are sitting in church yawning instead of sitting on the edge of our seat.
III. Audacity to request what we want.
Verse 7 says if we abide in the word and God’s word abide in us, we can ask for what we want and God will give it to us. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:7-8 (KJV). When you look at what you went thru in your past, you don’t have time to play. We must ask God for what we want in prayer. Prayer is a communication with God, whereby the power of God is released according to what the believers’ faith is. We must be willing to pray the type of prayers that are audacious. When we do this, we are willing to ask God for things others don’t think we should ask God for. We believe God can change things in our favor, because it is in his word.
If God’s word abides in us, and we live in that word, we won’t ask for something that is not in his word, but we have the right to ask for what is in his word. You don’t have to come to God timid. We can open up our mouths and decree a thing and expect that it will happen. For example, “Lord you said you supply my needs according to your riches in glory.” We believe it is about to happen right now! God says what he is about to do is silence all our haters. That thing that seems illogical, God says he will release it to you. It is already done When you go on your knees you have to believe you can ask for what is in his word!
The bible says: 20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life is in the power of the tongue. Prov 18:20 (KJV) This simply means power is in your tongue.
The bible also says: 8 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. Job 22:28 (KJV). . God says if what you need is not where you are, God will go where it is and bring it where you are! God also says, if what you need does not exist, God will create it for you when you open up your mouth and speak it in the atmosphere!
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