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, 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.
You know we see many people today that are searching for such things as joy, peace, love, forgiveness, self-control. These are important elements in our lives. Aren't they?
Did you know that a living connection with the Lord Jesus will cause these elements to flow naturally into your heart?
There is only one place that these blessings flow, and that is in the true vine, our Lord Jesus.
That is why it is so important to maintain a constant living connection with him.
Prayer is that connection.
Genesis 19:27. Abraham got up early in the morning to a place where he stood before the Lord.
Every day fellowship in the vine will cause us to walk in love, to walk in forgiveness. It is how we keep our flesh under subjection.
What flows in the vine, flows in the branch that is connected.
My friend, if you are trying to do these things on your own, trying to be good enough, trying to build up your own righteousness, you are not going to make it spiritually.
Let me try to show you something, and don't get mad until you hear the whole thing.
Paul called the Galatians foolish in Galatians 3:3, because they tried to finish in the flesh what was begun in the Spirit. They had put together a set of regulations, rules, and laws to follow in order to perfect the flesh. Then they would try to make or force their mind and emotions to obey these rules.
Any one who has tried that will tell you it won't work.
Now don't jump up about what I am about to say to you. At least let me explain it.
You were not born again to live by a set of rules and laws.
You were born again so you could live in a continual flow of the truth that flows from the vine.
We were born again so we could walk in the Spirit.
According to Galatians 5:16, if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Rules won't keep you from sinning, but what is flowing in the vine will.
You can have scriptural knowledge.
You can have the 10 commandments memorized.
You can have understanding about walking by faith.
But if you don't have this connection with the vine, you won't be able to act on that knowledge.
It will be head knowledge only.
Our text in John 15 tells us that only by this constant connection are we able to bear spiritual fruit.
Dave, what are you talking about, a constant connection?
Let me give you an example.
My wife and I maintain a constant relationship. We speak to each other every day. We exchange thoughts and emotions every day. I know my wife's voice and she knows mine. We abide together. If I am outside working and she calls, I answer. If she is busy working or cooking or whatever her day involves and I call her name, she answers.
That is the constant relationship that Jesus is talking about.
As we commune with God in the same manner, the Spirit becomes stronger and more dominant over our flesh. We begin to listen to our heart more than our head.
When we are led by the Spirit we aren't so easily pushed around by the world.
This kind of fellowship with the Lord won't happen to you accidentally. You won't just fall into it. You and I will have to make a choice, a decision to spend time with God.
The Holy Ghost is a gentleman. He is not going to blow up your TV so you will talk to him.
He won't grab the remote from your hand and say, "Hey, I want to tell you something!"
No! If we don't voluntarily take some time away from the business of life to spend time in fellowship with our Lord, we probably won't hear much from him.
I am going to close by looking at 2 Scriptures.
One is a blueprint for success and the other is a condition of failure.
Let's go back to our text of John 15:6-7.
John 15:6 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.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
The man not abiding is cast forth and withered. The abider has what he asks of the Father.
How is your connection?
There is help and healing flowing in the vine.
ABIDE IN ME -
YOU CAN DO NOTHING