Wednesday, October 15, 2014

John Chapter 15

"Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 ESV.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.  Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you:  'A servant is not greater than his master.'  If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  Whoever hates me hates my Father also.  If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.  But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: 'They hated me without a cause.'

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.  And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning."  John 15, ESV.

Explanation for John 15:1-17;  15:7-10;  15:13;  15:18-19;  15:22-24;  15:26-27 from The MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, pages 1573-1574.

"15:1-17  Through this extended metaphor of the vine and branches, Jesus set forth the basis of Christian living.  Jesus used the imagery of agricultural life at the time; i.e., vines and vine crops (see also Matt. 20:1-16; 21:23-41; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 13:6-9; 20:9-16).  In the OT, the vine is used commonly as a symbol for Israel (Ps. 80:9-16; Isa. 5:1-7; 27:2-6; Jer. 2:21; 12:10; Ezek. 15:1-8; 17:1-21; 19:10-14; Hos. 10:1-2).  He specifically indentified himself as the "true vine" and the Father as the "vinedresser" or caretaker of the vine.  The vine has two types of branches: 1) branches that bear fruit (John 15:2,8), and 2) branches that do not (vv. 2, 6).  The branches that bear fruit are genuine believers.  Though in immediate context the focus is upon the 11 faithful disciples, the imagery also encompasses all believers down through the ages.  The branches that do not bear fruit are those who profess to believe, but their lack of fruit indicates genuine salvation has never taken place and they have no life from the vine.  Especially in the immediate context, Judas was in view, but the imagery extends from him to all those who make a profession of faith in Christ but do not actually possess salvation.  The image of non-fruit bearing branches being burned pictures eschatological judgment and eternal rejection (see Ezek. 15:6-8)."

"15:7-10  True believers obey the Lord's commands, submitting to his word (14:21, 23).  Because of their commitment to God's word, they are devoted to his will, thus their prayers are fruitful (14:13-14), which puts God's glory on display as he answers."

"15:13  This is a reference to the supreme evidence of expression of Jesus' love (v. 12), his sacrifical death upon the cross.  Christians are called to exemplify the same kind of sacrifical giving toward one another, even if such sacrifice involves the laying down of one's own life in imitation of Christ's example (cf. 1 John 3:16)."

"15:18-19  Since Satan is the one who dominates the evil world system in rebellion against God (14:30), the result is that the world hates not only Jesus, but those who follow him (2 Tim. 3:12).  Hatred toward Jesus means also hatred toward the Father who sent him (John 15:23)."

"15:22-24  they would not have been guilty of sin.  Jesus did not mean that if he had not come, they would have been sinless.  But his coming incited the severest and most deadly sin, that of rejecting and rebelling against God and his truth.  It was the decisive sin of rejection, the deliberate and fatal choice of darkness over light and death over life of which he spoke.  He had done so many miracles and spoken innumerable words to prove he was Messiah and Son of God, but they were beligerent in their love of sin and rejection of the Savior.  See Heb. 4:2-5; 6:4-6; 10:29-31."

"15:26-27  when the helper comes.  Again, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit (7:39; 14:16, 17, 26;  16:7, 13-14).  This time he emphasized the Spirit's help for witnessing--proclaiming the gospel.  See note on 16:7."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  We thank You and glorify Your name above all.  Thank You for Your sacrifical gift of salvation.  I pray that You would protect Your people from plagues and all that is happening around the world.  I say these things in Jesus' name.  Amen.