John Lesson 20 Day 2
My Answers to BSF Bible Study Questions on John 15:1-8
I’ve had so much going on this week, I decided to post this without much personal comment. I conducted research and included that.
3. The vine, the branches, and the master gardener.
Jesus’ parable represents spiritual growth.
Jesus is the vine.
His followers are the branches.
Father God is the Master Gardener.
The Gardener carefully tends the branches and cuts away every branch that doesn’t bear fruit and prunes back the grape-bearing branches encouraging even greater fruit production.
Fruit, more fruit, and much fruit
This parable repeats a familiar theme of growth common to many of Jesus’ teachings (see note 1 at Matthew 13:31 and note 2 at Mark 4:31). John 15:2 speaks of “fruit,” then “more fruit,” and finally in John 15:5 and 8, “much fruit.” There is no shortcut to bearing much fruit. We must grow (1 Peter 2:2).
What is this fruit that Jesus was speaking of? Some have taken a very narrow interpretation to say that it is producing another Christian, and therefore any believers who don’t reproduce their faith will be taken away. That cannot be verified by other scriptures. (emphasis added)
This fruit could be referring to many things. Paul spoke of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the fruits of righteousness (Philippians 1:11), new converts as fruit (Romans 1:13), and holiness as a fruit (Romans 6:22). Jesus could have been speaking of any one or any combination of these things. It is most probable that He was simply using the word “fruit” to denote any of the virtues that God’s Word advocates.
Pruning, purging, cleansing
This purging has been interpreted in many ways. The illustration that Jesus was using is one of pruning; therefore, some have said this purging is a very painful process where the Lord cuts and slashes us through things like sickness, death, poverty, and other forms of tragedy so that eventually we will bear more fruit. This teaching promotes problems not only as a good thing but also as a necessity if we want to bear more fruit.
That thinking is not consistent with the rest of God’s Word or even the context of this verse. The Greek word used for “purgeth” in this verse is “KATHAIRO,” and it means “to cleanse” (Strong’s Concordance). In John 15:3, the Greek word translated “clean” is “KATHAROS,” which is akin to KATHAIRO. KATHAROS means to “free from impure admixture” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). The text makes it very clear that the purging Jesus spoke of is done through the word that He has spoken unto us (John 15:3).
Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that God’s Word was given to us for “doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” That is God’s method of pruning us, and He doesn’t need the devil’s help. His Word will make us “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
That is not to say that we cannot learn through tragedy. We can. But God has a better way. If we mistakenly think that God is bringing tragedy into our lives to make us more fruitful, then we’ll not resist the tragedies, and they will not flee from us (James 4:7). All of us will learn by hard knocks, but those who welcome that with their arms open wide will suffer greatly and be far behind those who let God’s Word have its perfect work in them.
Purge” (John 15:2) can be defined as “to cleanse.” Here Jesus told how this purging, or cleansing, will take place. It comes through His Word. God doesn’t purge, or cleanse, us with problems. His Word is given to discipline, correct, and make us thoroughly furnished unto every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
(Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary)
4. “You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.” John 15:3 (NLT)
Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) (MSG)
Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day. (AMP)
(I included verse 25.)
Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. (The Voice)
“Washing” with the Word
This explanation helped me understand this concept.
Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. He set it apart and cleansed it by His Word. The Greek word used here for “word” is “RHEMA,” and means “thing spoken, word” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon). What a wonderful illustration this is of a man setting his wife apart by honoring her with his words. A wife will try to live up to that which her husband speaks over her. If his words are words that edify and build her up, she will want to live up to those words. If his words are words that tear her down, he will discourage her and cause her to be unresponsive in their relationship. (Andrew Wommack)
God’s amazing grace “made me clean”.
For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing. Ephesians 2:8-9 (The Voice)
But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and [cleansing] purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done. 1 John 1:9 (The Voice)
Isaiah was so overcome by what he saw of the glory and holiness of God that he fell on his face and cried out, “Woe is me! For I am undone…for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)
What caused Isaiah to cry out, “Woe is me for I am undone”? It was his sense of sinfulness. He realized that he did not have the righteousness he needed to come into the presence of such a holy and glorious God.
To enjoy fellowship with God we must have a righteousness that is acceptable to Him. Forgiveness is like taking a bath; righteousness is like putting on clean clothes. We take a bath that we might be cleansed from all impurities; we put on proper clothes that we might be suitable dressed to appear before people. (Lesson 10: Made Righteous in Christ) (emphasis added)
5. Remain (abide, live) in Me and I will remain (abide, live) in you. John 15:4
Abide—stay connected in relationship to Jesus, the One who began the good work in me will continue it until it is finally finished. Our loving relationship prompts my desire to trust and obey Him.
Philippians 1:6 (The Voice)
I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you, will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting you until the day Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world.
John 8:31 (AMP)
So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples.
John 10:5 (AMP)
They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.
John 10:26-28 (AMP)
But you do not believe Me [so you do not trust and follow Me] because you are not My sheep. The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand.
2 Peter 1:10 (The Voice)
Therefore, brothers and sisters, work that much harder to confirm that God has called you and claimed you. If you do this, then you will never fall along the way;
Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High
I love His Presence. If I draw near to Him, He draws near to me. The earth’s frustrations seem less important. I aim to turn my affection toward Him when I think of it throughout the day and night. He loves my soul. I am my Beloveds and He is mine.
MY answers — not THE answers — to BSF study questions on John Lesson 20 Day 2 ~ John 15:1-8