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Doctrine of Vine and Branches

July 21, 2010

Doctrine of the Vine and Branches “Metaphor”

In Matthew 11:28-30, the Lord said “come to Me,”
and in John 15:4, He said to “abide in Me.”
Matt 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will
give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and
humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My
yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

It is only when we abide in Christ after coming to Him for salvation that we
experience true peace and joy in our lives. The believer experiences the joy of the
Lord by “abiding” in Christ “meaning remaining in fellowship with Him“.

The metaphor of the vine and the branches illustrates this principle and is 1 of 8 metaphors used in the New Testament to describe the relationship between the church and the Lord Jesus Christ:
(1) The last Adam and the New Creation (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor.
5:17a).
(2) The Head and the Body (Col. 1:18a).
(3) The Great Shepherd and the
Sheep (Heb. 13:20).
(4) The True Vine and the Branches (John 15:5a).
(5) The Chief Cornerstone and the Stones in the building (Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:5-6).
(6) The Great High Priest and members of the Royal Priesthood (Heb. 4:14a; 1 Pet. 2:9a).
(7) The Groom and the Bride. (Our wedding occurs at the Second Advent) (Rev.
19:7).
(8) The King of Kings and the Royal Family of God (Rev. 19:14-16).

Our Lord used the illustration of the vine and the branches to show what it
meant to abide in Him. This parable, or illustration, teaches us the perfection of our
union with the Lord Jesus Christ as believers. So close is the union between the
vine and the branch, that each is nothing without the other, that each is entirely and
only for the other. Without the vine the branch, we can do nothing.

To the vine the branch owes its right of place in the vineyard, its life and
fruitfulness. Just as the branch fulfills its purpose for being in union with the vine,
so the believer can only fulfill his responsibility in his eternal union with Christ by
remaining in consistent fellowship with the Lord.
Just as sap from the vine flows through its branches so the Holy Spirit flows through the soul of the believer who remains in fellowship with Christ. The branches (church) are totally dependent upon the vine (Christ) and the sap (Spirit) that is produced by the vine that flows to the branches. Without the branch the vine can do nothing for a vine without
branches can bear no fruit.

No less indispensable than the vine to the branch, is the branch to the vine. Such
is the beautiful condescension of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that just as His
people are dependent upon Him, He has made Himself dependent on His people.
Without His disciples, our Lord cannot dispense His blessing of eternal life to the
world.

John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”

3 Vines in Scripture: (1) Past (Israel: Ps. 80:8-19; Isa. 5:1-7; Jer. 2:21; Ezek.
19:10-14; Hos. 10:1). (2) Present (Church: Jn. 15:1-17). (3) Future (Gentile world
system that will be judged during the Tribulation: Rev. 14:14-20).
“True” is the adjective alethinos (a)lhqinov$) indicates that the Lord Jesus
Christ is the original vine. The Lord Jesus is the original vine from which branches
grow. He is the origin and source of the believer’s spiritual life.
The Lord Jesus appeared as a dry root out of the parched ground meaning a
sinless man among human beings who were physically alive but spiritually dead.
Isa 53:2, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root
out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look
upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”
The major essential in horticulture is to plant the right kind of vine or tree in
order to assure the proper quality of fruit. No fruit can be better than the vine that
produces it.
Our Lord states in John 15:1 that He is the “true vine.” Unless the believer
remains in fellowship with the Lord the quality of his fruitfulness will be
unacceptable. There may be many branches on a vine, but if they are to bear the
right kind of fruit, they must be connected to the vine. There are many spiritual
branches (believers) connected to the spiritual Vine (Christ) and if they are to bear
the right kind of fruit, they must remain consistently in fellowship with God.
1 Cor 3:11-15, “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which
is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with
gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become
evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the
fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work, which he
has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned
up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
The responsibility of the vinedresser was to tend vines so that the vines could
produce fruit. Just as the vinedresser is vitally interested and cares for his vineyard
so the Father owns the land and tends the vineyard and is vitally interested and
cares for believers who are in union with His Son Jesus Christ.

John 15:2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away;
and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more
fruit.”
“Branch” refers to a shoot, which comes forth form, the central vine; therefore,
its life and growth depend on the trunk of the grapevine.
“Every branch in Me” refers to the believer’s eternal union with the source of
the believer’s spiritual life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Fruit” refers to the production of Christ-like character, which is accomplished
by the Holy Spirit in the believer who is obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ’s

command to love and serve his fellow believer self-sacrificially as the Lord loved
and served the believer self-sacrificially at the Cross.
Gal 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things
there is no law.”
4 categories of believers mentioned in John 15: (1) “Does not bear fruit” refers
to believer’s who are disobedient to the Lord’s teaching to love and serve one
another self-sacrificially and who die the sin unto death (1 Jn. 5:16; 1 Co. 11:30).
(2) “Bears fruit” refers to the minimum production of Christ-like character in the
believer by the Holy Spirit. (3) “More fruit” refers to moderate production of
Christ-like character in the believer by the Holy Spirit. (4) “Much fruit” refers to
the maximum production of Christ-like character in the believer by the Holy Spirit.
The greater the obedience by the believer to the Lord Jesus Christ’s command
to love and serve his fellow believer self-sacrificially, the greater the production of
Christ-like character in the believer by the Holy Spirit. The production of Christlike
character in the believer by the Holy Spirit is in direct proportion to the degree
that the believer is obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ’s command to love and serve
his fellow believer self-sacrificially.
“Takes away” is the verb airo (ai&rw), which actually means, “to lift up.”
To conserve moisture in a dry land vines were allowed to run on the ground
until the blossoms began to appear. It was then necessary for the gardener to life
the vines off the ground so that the blossoms could germinate. Vines were lifted up
either on sticks or on stones and thus were put in a place where they could produce
fruit. Thus, Christ was saying that the Father had the responsibility of putting each
branch in a place where it could bear fruit.
Since every vine will produce some sterile branches, the gardener must trim
away unproductive branches lest the vitality of the vine be used to produce leaves
and be diverted from its function of bearing fruit. Since fruit is produced only on
new growth, the gardener had to cut away all the old growth so that fruit could
grow. Christ asserted that the Father would do His work of pruning the vine so that
it would be more fruitful.
The Means of Pruning: (1) Word of God (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). (2)
Divine Discipline (Heb. 12:1-11). (3) Undeserved suffering (Jn. 15:2).

John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word which I have
spoken to you.”
The cleansing of the vine required not only the removal of sterile branches, or
old growth, but also the removal of insects that would consume the vine. This had
to be done tediously by hand. In the dry climate in which the vine would grow, the
leaves would accumulate a thick layer of dust. This dust would weaken the vine. It
was necessary for a gardener to sponge the leaves to remove the accumulated dust
.2003 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries 3
so that the vine could remain healthy. When Christ spoke of the Father cleansing
the vine so that it would be fruitful, He had in mind the Father’s work of removing
from the branch anything that would interfere with the production of fruit. The
disciples were all clean meaning all saved except Judas Iscariot. The truth that our
Lord communicated to them was a cleansing agent that would make it possible for
them to be fruitful.
Eph 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the
church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having
cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to
Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such
thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”

John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
“Abide” is 2nd person plural aorist active imperative form of the verb meno
(mevnw), which is meinate (meivnate), “to remain” on the vine.
The verb meno in John 15:4 is used metaphorically and expresses the analogy
that just as a branch must “remain” on a vine in order for it to produce fruit so the
believer must “remain” in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ in order that the
Holy Spirit might reproduce the character of Christ in the believer’s life.
“Abide in Me” implies that the believer is already eternally united with Christ
and refers to experiencing fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ by being obedient
to His command to love and serve one another self-sacrificially as Christ has loved
and served others self-sacrificially.
Abiding in Christ demands walking through life by means of faith.
2 Cor 5:7, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Col 2:6-7, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk
in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and
established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with
gratitude.”
Faith for the Christian is trusting in the authority of the Scriptures in order to
govern one’s life.
Heb 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of
things not seen.”
Heb 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who
comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who
seek Him.”
True Biblical faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of
circumstances and consequences whereas unbelief doubts God’s Word.
Heb 11:8, “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a
place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not
knowing where he was going.”
Abiding in Christ demands that the believer live by every word that proceeds
out of the mouth of God for the Words of God strengthens the soul of the believer
to do abide in Christ.
Matt 4:4, “But He answered and said, “It is written, “MAN SHALL NOT
LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS
OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
Abiding in Christ demands that the believer worship the Lord (Jn. 4:23-24; Rm.
12:1; Phlp. 3:3).
Rom 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to
present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is
your spiritual service of worship.”
Abiding in Christ demands that we pray habitually (Eph. 6:18; Phlp. 4:6; 1
Thess. 5:17).
Eph 6:18, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and
with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the
saints.”
Abiding in Christ demands that we meditate upon God’s Word (Josh. 1:8; Phlp.
4:8-9).
Josh 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you
shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according
to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and
then you will have success.”
Abiding in Christ demands sacrifice (Phlp. 4:18; Heb. 13:15).
Heb 13:15, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of
praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
Abiding in Christ demands that we serve one another (Gal. 5:13).
Gal 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your
freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one
another.”
Abiding in Christ demands that we love one another (Jn. 13:34; 15:12).
John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I
have loved you.”
Fellowship with the Lord or abiding in Him demands that the believer
acknowledge any known sin to the Father when necessary in order to be restored to
fellowship after committing sin and maintaining and sustaining that fellowship is
accomplished by obedience to the Father’s will, which is revealed by the Holy
Spirit through the communication of the Word of God.

1 John 1:5, “Now, this is, as an eternal spiritual truth, the proclamation,
which we have heard issue forth from Him and we are imparting at this
particular time for the benefit of all of you, namely that God (the Father) is, as
an eternal spiritual truth, light. In fact, there is, as an eternal spiritual truth,
absolutely no darkness inherent in Him, none.”

1 John 1:6, “If, any of us enters into making the claim that we have been
experiencing fellowship with Him and yet we have been living in the darkness
(of the cosmic system of Satan), then we, as an eternal spiritual truth, lie to
ourselves and furthermore, we, as an eternal spiritual truth, unequivocally do
not obey the truth.”

1 John 1:7, “On the other hand, if any of us does live in the light just as He
Himself is, as an eternal spiritual truth, in essence that light, then, we, as an
eternal spiritual truth, do experience fellowship with one another and the
blood of Jesus His Son as an eternal spiritual truth purifies us from every
(personal) sin (that we commit).”

1 John 1:8, “If any of us enters into making the claim that we possess
emphatically no sin (nature), then, we, as an eternal spiritual truth, deceive
ourselves and furthermore, the truth is, as an eternal spiritual truth,
emphatically not in us.”

1 John 1:9, “If any of us does acknowledge our (personal) sins, He is, as an
eternal spiritual truth, faithful and righteous to forgive us our (personal) sins
with the result that He purifies us from all unrighteousness.”

Evidences of Abiding in Christ: (1) Prayers answered (Jn. 15:7). (2)
Experiences a greater love for Christ and other believers (Jn. 15:9, 12-13). (3)
Experiences joy (Jn. 15:11).
Just as a branch in the natural realm bears fruit that is a benefit to others so the
believer becomes a blessing to others when he acquires more of the character of
Christ in his life and the more the believer manifests the character of Christ in his
life through his words and actions, the more of a blessing he is to others.

John 15:5-6, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me
and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If
anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and
they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
John 15:6 refers to dying discipline and not loss of salvation.
1 John 5:16, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to
death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not
leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should
make request for this.”

John 15:7-11, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask
whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this,
that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father
has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My
commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s
commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so
that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
“May be made full” is the 3rd person singular aorist passive subjunctive form
of the verb pleroo (plhrovw), which is plerothe (plhrwqh~|) and should be
translated “might become a reality.”
This is an ingressive aorist denoting “entrance into the state” of experiencing
the joy of the Lord. The passive voice is used without an expressed agency but it is
implied that if the disciples put into practice our Lord’s teaching to abide in His
love, our Lord’s joy will become a reality in the lives of His disciples. The
subjunctive mood is employed with the conjunction hina to express the purpose for
the Lord teaching His disciples the importance of abiding in Him and obeying His
commandment to self-sacrificially love one another as He self-sacrificially loved
them.

John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I
have loved you.”
Sharing the joy of the Lord is contingent upon the believer obeying the Lord’s
command to love and serve our fellow believer self-sacrificially just as our Lord
was obedient to the Father’s commands and loved and served the believer selfsacrificially.

John 15:13-14, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his
life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
The term “friends” is employed by our Lord to express the intimacy between
the Lord and the believer who is obedient to His command to love and serve his
fellow believer self-sacrificially as the Lord has loved and served Him selfsacrificially
at the Cross.
Intimacy is a close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving, personal
relationship with another person or group and in relation to people, intimacy is a
close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a person.
If we are obedient to the Lord’s command to self-sacrificially love and serve
each other as He did for us, then we will be rewarded with a more intimate, detail
knowledge and understanding of the Lord, which will produce greater joy in the
believer, which at times cannot be expressed with words.
Friends don’t hold things back from one another and they share secrets and joy
with one another and are intimate with one another and friendship with the Lord is
no different since He shares His secrets and joy and is intimate with the believer.
who obeys His command to love and serve his fellow believer self-sacrificially as
the Lord loved and served him self-sacrificially at the Cross.
Abraham and Moses were called “friends of God” because they were on
intimate terms with the Lord (Ex. 33:11; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; Jam. 2:3)
Abraham was a friend of the Lord because he obeyed the Lord (Gen. 18:19),
and he was also a servant of the Lord (Gen. 26:24). The fact that Abraham was a
friend of the Lord is illustrated when the Lord revealed His planned to Abraham to
destroy the cities of the plain (Gen. 18).

John 15:15-17, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know
what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I
have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose
Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and
that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My
name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.”
When we obey this command to love another self-sacrificially then we will
achieve not only experience the joy of the Lord in our lives but also achieve greater
intimacy with Him and the greater our intimacy with the Lord, the greater will the
joy of the Lord be in our lives.
There are 2 types of relationships: (1) Friendships (2) Acquaintances.
Of all the relationships that you have in life, your relationship with God is the
most important, but it must be cultivated and matured. We as believers must
recognize the awesome privilege that we have been given; namely, we have been
called into fellowship with the Triune God.
1 Cor 1:9, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship
with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Believers treat the Lord as an acquaintance because they do not love Him and
are disobeying the 1st great commandment.
Mark 12:29-31, “Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, HEAR, O ISRAEL!
THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE
LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR
SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR
STRENGTH.’ The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
If you love the Lord you will obey His Word.
John 14:24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the
word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”
There is a curse upon you if you don’t love Him.

1 Cor 16:22, “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed.
Maranatha.”

Too often, we as believers value our human relationships more than our
relationship with the Lord. This is reflected in our priorities in life, our perspective
of life and our performance in our relationship with the Lord.
Too often the Lord is last on our list of priorities and that is being ungrateful
towards Him. The Lord Jesus Christ constantly challenged His disciples to put
their relationship with Him above every relationship that they had in life.
The greatest joy the believer can experience in life is by being intimate with the
Lord and being intimate with the Lord means being His disciple. The greatest joy
that the believer can experience in life is by experiencing intimate fellowship with
the Lord, which is experienced by the believer who imitates the Lord Jesus Christ’s
example of denying self in order to serve others and execute the Father’s will. True
joy in life is experienced by doing the Father’s will and the believer who is willing
to experience identification with Christ in His death accomplishes this.
Identification with Christ in His death is accomplished when the believer loves
and serves others self-sacrificially and by doing so the believer executes the
Father’s will for his life. There are believers who are not disciples and there are
believers who are disciples. There is a difference between being a believer and a
disciple.
A disciple is willing to love and serve others self-sacrificially to further God’s
kingdom in the devils’ world, whereas a believer who is not a disciple is one who
is “not” willing to make sacrifices for the Lord’s sake and His kingdom.
The Lord Jesus Christ constantly challenged His disciples to put their
relationship with Him above every relationship that they had in life. He demanded
total and complete loyalty and submission from His disciples.
Luke 9:23, “And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after
Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’”
We can only find true joy and happiness by denying self and serving others just
as Christ came not to please Himself but to serve others.
Rom 15:1-3, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of
those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his
neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please
Himself; but as it is written, ‘THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO
REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.’”
Andrew Murray, “Self-denial is the law of the Christian’s life. Nor does the
believer find self-denial hard once he has truly surrendered himself to it. To one
who, with a divided heart, seeks to force himself to a life of self-denial, it is indeed
hard. But to one who has yielded himself to it unreservedly-because he has with his
whole heart accepted the cross to destroy the power of sin and self-the blessing it
brings more than compensates for apparent sacrifice or loss. He hardly thinks any
longer about self-denial, because there is such blessedness in becoming conformed.
to the image of Jesus. Self-denial is not valuable with God, as some think, because
of the measure of pain it causes. No, for this pain is very much caused by the
remaining reluctance to practice it. But it has its highest worth in that meek or even
joyful acquiescence that counts nothing a sacrifice for Jesus’ sake and feels
surprised when others speak of self-denial.” (Full Life in Christ, page 54).
Luke 9:24, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever
loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”
John 12:24-26, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls
into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He
who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to
life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there
My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
Fruit bearing does not result from one’s efforts to save his life, but from one’s
willing sacrifice of his life.
Luke 9:25-26, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and
loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the
Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory
of the Father and of the holy angels.”
The cross is the chief mark of the Christian. One of the essential elements of a
Christians is that he has been crucified with Christ and whoever wishes to be like
Christ must understand the secret of fellowship with His cross.
At first, this is frightening to the Christian but it is the secret to true joy and
happiness in life. At first the believer is repulsed by the suffering that accompanies
the cross but as he grows spiritually, he realizes that the cross is the source of his
joy and happiness since being identified with Christ and His cross makes the
believer a partner in a death and victory that has already been accomplished by
Christ and that delivers him from self, sin, the devil and his cosmic system of lies.
As we noted in our study of the vine and the branches metaphor, experiencing
the joy of the Lord is directly related to remaining in fellowship with the Lord and
this is accomplished by the believer who is obedient to the Lord’s command to
love and serve others self-sacrificially just as the Lord loved and served others selfsacrificially.

John 15:10-12, “If you observe conscientiously My commandments, you
will abide in My self-sacrificial love; just as I have observed conscientiously
My Father’s commandments and abide in His self-sacrificial love. These
things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy
might become a reality. This is My commandment, that you self-sacrificially
love one another, just as I have self-sacrificially loved you.”
If we obey the Lord’s command to self-sacrificially love our fellow believer as
He did for us, then the Lord promises us that we become His friends and if friends,
then we will become intimate with Him since friends are intimate with each other.

John 15:13-17, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his
life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No
longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is
doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My
Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you,
and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit
would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may
give to you. This I command you, that you self-sacrificially love one another.”
A friend is someone you are intimate with and an acquaintance is someone you
are not on intimate terms with. Friends share things with one another and don’t
hold secrets back from one another.
We noted that Abraham was an individual who was a friend of the Lord.
James 2:22-23, “You see that faith was working with his works, and as a
result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which
says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO
HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.”
He experienced intimacy with the Lord.
Gen 18:16-19, “Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward
Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. The LORD
said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will
surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the
earth will be blessed? For I have chosen him, so that he may command his
children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing
righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what
He has spoken about him.’”
Ps 25:14, “The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will
make them know His covenant.”
Prov 3:32, “For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is
intimate with the upright.”
In order to obey our Lord’s command to self-sacrificially love others as our
Lord did, we must deny self as He did. Self-denial is the root from which selfsacrifice
springs. In self-denial, self-sacrifice is tested. Self-denial means that we
must surrender our will for the will of God. We are to let God’s will do with us as
it pleases.
Luke 22:41-42, “And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and
He knelt down and began to pray, saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove
this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’”
It is only when we deny self and self-sacrificially love others that we become
the Lord’s disciples and are intimate with Him and enter into His joy. We must
give up our lives in order to win others to God. It is a death in which all thought of
saving self is lost in that of saving others. It is only when we die to self meaning
we surrender our will in order to do the will of God, that we produce fruit in our
lives for God.
John 12:24-26, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into
the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who
loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life
eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My
servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”