'Abiding Through Our Actions'

John l5: l-8...'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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and, they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.'

So, this scripture states that it is absolutely the will of the Father and His will that 'everyone' not only bear fruit but bear 'much' fruit. And, even if you are bearing just a little fruit, the Father is going to work on you and prune you, get stuff out of your life that is holding you back from

being very fruitful so you become very, very fruitful. And, Jesus said, 'By this, My Father is glorified that you bear much fruit. So, fruitless people don't give glory to God. Barren people don't give glory to God. God wants you to be fruitful. God wants you to bear fruit...and it comes down to largely and not completely getting your prayers answered. For the Lord said that 'if you abide in Me and I abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.' Jesus wants us to come to a place where our prayers are coming to pass.

How many of you want to get to that place? And, so, this is what we are working on here. Jesus is bringing us to this place where vs. 7 is happening in our lives so that vs. 8 happens to bring glory to God. Abundant fruit equals prayers getting answered. If your prayers are not being answered, well, then, you are not bearing an abundant amount of fruit.

Somebody might say that, “I'm not even praying'!” Well, certainly, you are not bearing an abundant amount of fruit.

Seven times throughout these scriptures, the Lord uses the word 'abide'...in Greek 'meno' and there is a double abiding. He says in vs. 4...'Abide in Me, and I in you...'. He says in vs. 5...'He who abides in Me, and I in him...'. And, then in vs 7..'If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.' Jesus abides in us through His Word; but, also, how we abide in Him by our words. If your words are different then His words, you and Jesus are out of alignment. Isn't that right? Say, if we are going to work for the same company, we need to speak the same thing. You can't be a salesman in our company and sell something that we don't provide. That's not going to work. We all have to be on the same page. We all have to be speaking the same things.

So, part of 'abiding in Jesus' is us speaking in alignment with Him, speaking in alignment with His Word...and His character. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And, so, we abide in Him through words. Jesus said in John 8:26..'and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.' In other words, Jesus was saying that 'I abide in the Father and the Father abides in me'. And, one of the ways was what He spoke to the world was what the Father spoke to Him. Well, if Jesus speaks what He heard from the Father, we are to be speaking what we've heard from Jesus. Isn't that right?

Now...let's move on now...We don't just abide in Jesus through words...We abide in Jesus through actions. Because you can speak the right word but not 'do' it. Jesus talked about people that draw near to Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. They are quacking like they are with Him. They love Him. But, their 'actions' don't back that up. So, that is what we are talking about today. We are not just abiding in Jesus through our words but also through our actions.

Here's something interesting...Let's now read the verse just before chapter l5 because it's all red letters and remember the Bible was not written in chapter and verse. That was added later.

In John, chapter l4:3l says, 'But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do...'. He went on right into Chapter l5 where He spoke of 'abiding in the vine.'

And, Him being the true vine. But, notice, He says, the very last thing He said in Chapter l4 was, 'As the Father gave me commandments, so I do it.' In other words, Jesus is saying, “Hey, listen...even though I am the Son of God, I'm not down here doing just whatever I want to do. I'm doing what the Father tells me to do.” Isn't that right? So, if Jesus in His fruit bearing life and ministry can't do just whatever He wants to do. Guess what? You can't do whatever you want to do. We can't just live anyway we want to. Your actions, therefore, have so much to do whether you will bear fruit. And, so, Jesus, in this context of talking about abiding in the vine and bearing much fruit, He is giving Himself as an example saying, “Listen, I have to say the things the Father says and I have to do what He tells me to do. And, there was no one more fruitful than Jesus.

In John 5:l9...'Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.'

So, was it important to Jesus that He just not convey His love to the Father with words but that He actually did the will of the Father? Was it? It was wasn't it? Jesus, in fact, took it to the extreme and He said, “Whatever the Father does that's what I do. I don't do anything unless I see the Father do it.

And, that is why He was so effective. He and the Father were in alignment. The Kingdom of God was in alignment. So, the will of God in Heaven was happening here on earth. Isn't that right?

Is there anybody sick in Heaven? So, when Jesus was here and His words and His actions were in alignment with the Father, He was taking people that were sick on earth and getting them healed. Isn't that right? Your will on earth as it is in Heaven. And, so, He is bringing the blessing and the answers to life on earth that are already happening in Heaven.

Anybody depressed in Heaven? No. Is there anybody in Heaven who has disabilities? No.

Anybody handicapped? No. So, Jesus was just taking what the Father's will is and speaking in alignment with that will and acting in alignment with that will and allowing Father God to bring the Kingdom desire, the Kingdom blessing down here on earth. And that's what God wants to do with you.

So, as we align our words and our actions, the Kingdom of God and His power will flow through us

and all of our surroundings will begin to line up and come up to that 'level'.

God's a good God...Isn't He?

Now, sometimes, you just need to know what to do. We all 'think' we know what to do but like somebody said, “Hind sight is 20/20.” In other words, once you did what you thought then you look back and say, “That wasn't the right thing.” Only God knows what to do. And, the Lord is trying to say..”Listen, if you will follow Me and listen to Me and do what I tell you to do, I've already planned out fruitfulness for your life. But, if you try to do it in your own mind, you are going to be in trouble.

Remember Proverb 3:5-6? 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, ask Him...and what will happen? He will direct your paths.

So many believers today are not asking Him. They are just going by their own understanding what to do. But, God is saying, “Ask Me!” I 'always' know what to do. And, He does.

Now, let's look at Acts l:l (NIV) starts out like this...'In my former book, Theophillus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach. (FYI...the former book was the Gospel of Luke). Notice, 'He began to 'do'.' Well, Jesus started to obey the Father and carry out the will of the Father. Now, He has passed the baton to us. And, so, now, we need to take the baton and do exactly what Jesus did and follow the Father so that we can bring about the Kingdom of God and God's purposes on the earth. And, here's what sobering...Doing the will of God in your life is the 'evidence' that you're saved.

Matthew 7:2l says, 'Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.' So, Jesus says not everyone who says the sinner's prayer, not everybody who claims to be a Christian, not everybody who calls me, 'Lord' or has a fish on the back of their car, not everybody who attends church will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But, rather, those 'who 'do' the will of My Father.'

He is not saying here that we have to 'measure up' by doing all these 'good works'. Absolutely not.

The Bible is so crystal clear. Salvation is 'by grace'. It's a free gift...not of yourself...not of works lest anyone should boast. You can never measure up to God. You can never measure up to salvation. And, God's not expecting you to. You are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, washed in the blood when you commit your life to Jesus...if, indeed, you did commit your life to Jesus. And, if you have received the grace of God, then, that grace is not just to forgive you and save you, and make up the difference between where you are and where you need to be with God; but, that grace is also to help you 'now' to be obedient to God. So, you didn't used to be obedient to God but now you have received the grace of God to forgive you and to help you be obedient to God.

You know some people think that they have received the grace so they can keep sinning. No! You have received the grace so you don't have to keep sinning. Did you hear that? See...this is so important because if you think that the grace of the Lord is to empower, is to allow and condone a sinful lifestyle, you have misunderstood the gospel. The very first word of the Bible is 'Repent!'...for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Isn't that what Jesus preached? Isn't that what Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost? They said, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:38...He said, 'Repent!..and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sin, and you shall be filled with the Holy Spirit. You shall receive the gift.

So, we have to understand that the grace of God is not to enable us to continue to live in sin. The grace of God is to forgive us, wash us, make us the righteousness of God so we are born again but also to help us now to walk as a righteous person. And, so, if you are condoning a life of sin, not confronting it, not repenting of it, not confessing that sin and calling out to the Lord to strengthen you to not walk in that sin anymore, then, you've misunderstood the gospel. It isn't that Jesus did it all and He just forgives all the sin and we just live our lives and do whatever we want to do. No! No! And No!

You have to not read the Bible. Somebody has to help you to believe that. Because, when you just read through the Bible, oh..it refutes that clearly. Note this passage again...'Matthew 7:2l...Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.' vs. 22...'Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name.' Some people are just going to say that they did this, this, and this. In other words, they want to give God a short list of what they did...but notice how Jesus responds...'we cast out demons in Your name, and did many wonders in Your name?' Matthew 7:23...'And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Wait one minute...We prophesied. We cast out demons. We even worked miracles in your Name. And, He said, “You practiced lawlessness.” What does that mean? It means you lived as if there were no rules! You lived like God didn't have any right way of doing things. Lawlessness...You acted like there are no laws. You can do whatever way you want to. 'Depart from me all you who practice


Matthew 7:24..'Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them (There's the key.), I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And, the rains descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.'

'But everyone who hears theses sayings of Mine (vs. 26), and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell. And great was it's fall.'

Well, let me ask you, if this man's house or his life is falling under the collapse of the storms of life

because he didn't do the will of the Father, would you call that a fruitful life? No! So, Jesus is saying in this context that a lot of people that 'think' they are saved because they've said the sinner's prayer. But, when they walk out of church, something changes. They don't talk the same outside as they do inside.

They don't act the same out there as they do in there. He is saying, 'I hear them talking and saying Lord

and acting like that; but, when they go out there, their attitude is completely different. They don't ask me what to do. In fact, they willfully violate what I've asked them to do and act like it's no big deal.

And, He said that those kind of people will not enter the kingdom of heaven. They are practicing 'lawlessness'. These are sobering words. Let me tell you that it is absolutely true. I don't know about you, but I want to know it now. I don't want to find out about this in the end. I want to know it now, don't you?

Somebody is looking at this and saying, “ I don't want to know about this.” Well, you can go somewhere where they don't tell you this, but you're going to find out eventually. Amen? Well, I want to hear this now.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10..(This isn't the only passage. You can find this all over.)...'Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.' That's pretty clear, isn't it? See..it's not just one passage of the Bible so well I'm not sure if you're interpreting that right.

The Bible is not confused. People are confused today.

Listen in Revelation 21:8...But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars. You know...a lot of people lie, just covering themselves, telling lies all the time. And, they think it's o.k. If they don't get caught. 'and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.' And, the second death is forever and ever.

Well, I don't know. I don't want that to happen to anybody. Would you?

May the Lord bless you and keep you in His will. Amen.

*Jerry Dirmann...Portion from series, ' An Abundantly Fruitful Life'...by permission.

* Scriptures NIV.