Sunday Service: I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches

Berlin Immanuel Church gathered on Sunday, 18 March, continuing in the studies on the events of the cross with John 15. Lord emphasizes to his disciples the importance of bearing fruit. We were created to be fruitful (Gen 1:28) and we were saved to bear fruit (Jn 15:8). It is when we bear much fruit that we testify with our life that we were truly saved, that we are the disciples of Christ, that we live a life that glorifies our Creator and Savior. Jesus is the true vine – the one who brought the true fruit of righteousness; he is the face of God that came to shine upon us and through his fruit we are saved (Psalm80). And we were called, being handpicked by him (Jn 15:15) and separated from the world (vs 19) to display the glory of God through obedience to his will and our love for one another. If we truly know the love of Christ, we will obey his commands (vs 10) – love is not something hidden and vague.
The agape love (vs 13) is not an abstract thing of emotions and thoughts, but it is manifested through our sacrificial service to one another. It’s the kind of love, that when seeing a brother with dirty feet, takes off its clothes and gets on its knees to wash them. It’s the kind of love that is not ashamed to eat with prostitutes and tax-collectors; it doesn’t stay away from the sick and demon-possessed, but with compassion acts for their good, willing to sacrifice itself. It is impossible to love this way, unless we remain in Christ (vs 5) and every attempt to do so apart from him would be foolish. Therefore our main work as a Christian is to remain in him, for it is when we remain in him that the power of Father’s love flows in us and overflows into lives of others.
If we remain in him, the amount of fruit – and his will for us is to bear much (vs 5,8) – is only dependent on our closeness and unity with him, not on our strengths or weaknesses, for it is not us, but the Spirit working in us (vs 26) who fills us whenever we are lacking (vs 16), and humbles us whenever we think we can do something on our own (vs 4). The opposite of remaining in him is to reject him despite his love for us being made clearly evident (vs 22), which is the original sin (vs 24). And even though the world will hate our testimony, just as it hated the testimony of Christ, because the world rejected him, we must go and testify the great love of God, for it is in the bearing of the fruit through sacrifice that our joy in him becomes complete (vs 11) and the fruit of our life will be a lasting one (vs 16).