Transcending Eden | Part 7
How to Be Fruitful
Genesis 1:28; John 15:1-11
To Transcend = to go beyond the historical space and time in which an event occurs
Welcome our series: TRANSCENDING EDEN
What we learn from the first three chapters of Genesis – the Epic of Eden – is FOUNDATIONAL TO THE WAY WE APPROACH THE WORLD.
Foundational to the way we understand
- who God is,
- our beginning,
- why we are here,
- what’s wrong,
- and what’s the cure.
Last week: Introduced the
1.) God is the eternal – perfect – all powerful – glorious Creator of all things.
2.) All of life, all things that exist, find their beginning in God.
3.) And all things that exist find their purpose in God.
4.) On Day 6, God created humanity. And when God created humanity – male and female – He created them special.
5.) Unlike the rest of creation, God said… (v26-27)
6.) God created you in His image: YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD – “Imago Dei”
a.) Your life has a BEGINNING because of God
b.) Your life has BEAUTY because of God
c.) Your life has BLESSING because of God. With this blessing of being made in the Imago Dei comes responsibility
7.) In fact, as God blesses humanity, He gives 5 Specific Imperatives… (v28)
1.) Be fruitful
3.) Fill the Earth
4.) Subdue [the earth]
5.) Rule over [the earth]
8.) Now, last week, we made this point:
The first three commands are to make, multiply, and magnify the name of God to the ends of the earth
- Is not simply a call to have babies
- Rather God is calling every follower of Christ to make and multiply image bearers of God – SPIRITUAL CHILDREN OF FAITH – in order to magnify the name of God to the ends of the earth
And so being fruitful.. is a spiritual activity.. a PRIORITY
- For every Christian (individually)
- For every Church (cooperatively)
9.) If God is calling us to be fruitful, then How?
10.) Christ answers that question for us in John 15
How to be Fruitful
>>>> John 15:1-11<<<<
There is an indispensable connection between fruitfulness and being a disciple (v8)
- You have to be SHAPED by God (v1-3)
Pruned by Him/Shaped by Him
Bonsai Trees at Arboretum meticulously pruned/clipped/shaped into a work of art
If you’re going to be shaped by God
a.) You have to be WILLING
- If you’re going to be shaped by Him you can’t hold anything back
- You must willingly surrender every part of your life to His hand
If I only gave my barber access to half my hair my haircut will never be right (unless it was a bowl cut or a mullet, but do I need to say anymore)
b.) You have to be HUMBLE, trusting Gods aim
Illustration: Barber with shaky hands. I didn’t trust his aim and I didn’t go back. We must trust God’s aim and go back again and again, “What needs to be trimmed Lord?”
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today! (Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907)
2.) You have to be SUPPLIED by Christ (4-11)
10x in 8 verses, Jesus says “Abide…”
“Abide” = stay; remain, continue to live
a.) Abide in CHRIST (vv4-6)
Christ is the vine and you are the branch
Illustration (Object Lesson): Branch detached vs a branch attached
Do you know what this is a picture of?
A grape vine
This is a branch from that grape vine.
Do you know what the difference between the branches that you see in the picture and the branch I am holding?
The branch I am holding will never produce fruit because it is not attached to the vine.
Without Christ, you can do nothing. Nothing of eternal consequence.
CH Spurgeon –
“Do nothing” and the world dying around us! Africa in darkness, China perishing! India sunk in superstition, and a church which can do nothing! No bread to be handed out to the hungry, and the multitude fainting and dying! The rock to be smitten and the water of life to leap out for the thirsty, but not a drop forthcoming because Jesus is not there!
Ministers, evangelists, churches, salvation armies, the world dies for need of you, and yet, “you can do nothing” if your Lord is away! The age shall advance in discovery, and men of science shall do their little best, but you shall do “nothing” without Christ—absolutely nothing! You shall not proceed a single inch upon your toilsome way, though you row till the oars snap with the strain! You shall be drifted back by winds and currents unless you take Jesus into the ship.”
You can do nothing without Christ. BUT WITH HIM YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT!
Illustration: the glove
In order to Abide in Christ:
1.)Be in tune with His Spirit
Christ tabernacles w you in His Spirit
Remind yourself who lives in you
2.) Every morning declare: “Jesus you are my all in all”
b.) Abide in the WORD (v7)
Abide in the Word of God so you know where God is leading you, and
So you know what God wants you to do
Abide in the Word of God so you can:
- hear His prompting,
- have His wisdom,
- trust His care
Know God’s Word in your heart and not just in your head
How do you Abide in the Word:
1.) Make God’s Word yours
Lean on them
Pass them on
People don’t need advice, they need a Word from God
From the Word we understand what it means to be a Christian – a follower of Christ
From the Word that we explain what it means to be a follower of Christ to someone else in a simple way that everyone can understand. Sunday nights at 6p: Explaining Christianity from the Gospel of Mark
c.) Abide in PRAYER (v7)
Be in prayer so your soul can be attentive to understand God’s Word
1.) Pray first,
2.) Pray w expectation of faith,
3.) Pray w humility of dependence,
4.) Pray w boldness
d.) Abide in POWER (v7-8)
Trust in the Sovereign Power of God to accomplish through you what He desires to
e.) Abide in LOVE (v9-10)
We do not earn the love of God by our obedience
5 …we were dead in our transgressions, [but God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We are obedient to God because we love Him
1 John 4:15-16, 19
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. … 19 We love, because He first loved us.
Because we are lovers of the King, the King will rule our heart
How do you keep Christ’s commandments? Love Him more than anything
When we sin, we love something more than Jesus
f.) Abide in JOY (v11)
There is joy in the pruning – shaping
There is joy in the abiding – supply
There is joy in being fruitful.. it is God’s blessing to you
A joy killer is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said, “…the cares of this world…choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19)
“The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do”
God created you in His Image
God has called you to be fruitful, multiply, to fill the earth
Find your joy in who God made you to be and what God is calling you to do