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18. THE TRUE VINE (John 15:1-11)

BACKGROUND: Israel had previously been the Lord’s vine. He had, however, become disappointed with it, because it hadn’t borne fruit for him (Is.5:1-7). Jesus claims in our text that he is the true vine, one which God can be satisfied with. A vine is pruned every winter by cutting superfluous branches. The more one prunes a vine, the stronger the stalk becomes.
  1. Try to think of as many similarities between a vine and Jesus as possible.
    • What is common to both Christians and the branches of vine?
  2. In your opinion, what is the Christian who bears much fruit actually like?
    • Consider the process of bearing fruit in the light of the first four verses. What are the responsibilities of the branches (us), the vine stalk (Jesus) and the gardener (God) in this process?
  3. The leaves are the most conspicuous and beautiful part of a vine, and yet they must be cut off. What were some things you had wanted to "grow" in your own life, which God yet pruned away? (You can answer in your own heart.)
  4. Think of various reasons why a branch might fall from a vine. (For example, what might hinder sap from flowing into branches?)
    • For what reasons might a Christian fall away from Jesus?
    • What especially puts you in danger of falling away? (You can answer in your own heart.)
  5. What happens to those people who give up their faith? What does verse 6 mean in this regard?
  6. Try to find from this passage as many conditions necessary for bearing fruit as possible.
    • How many times does the verb “remain” appear in this passage?
    • Where must a disciple “remain” in order to bear fruit?
    • How can the words of Jesus remain in us (verse 7)? (What might be the opposite of Jesus’ words remaining in us?)
  7. What does it show about a relationship if one part does not heed the other’s requests (verse 10)?
    • What does is show about a Christian if he doesn’t care for the commandments of Jesus?
    • What do you have to do if you realize that you haven’t obeyed Jesus’ commandments?
  8. How do we remain in the love of another human being (verse 9)?
    • How do we remain in the love of Jesus (verse 9)?
  9. The word to take home from this Bible-study is verse 9. What does it mean to you that Jesus has loved you as much as his Father has loved him?
GLAD TIDINGS: None of us has borne as much fruit as we should. Jesus was dealt with in our place as a branch that didn’t bear any fruit: though he had borne more fruit than anyone else, he was "thrown into the fire and burned" (verse 6).

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