Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Important principles about Spiritual Pruning from the Lord.
- First of all, just like today pruning is necessary for the proper redistribution of the energy that we all need for the production of agathos good works Divine Production in the natural realm along with the spiritual.
- Spiritual pruning enhances spiritual growth by removing whatever inhibits spiritual growth.
- There are times when pruning is very beneficial to us even though being pruned may hurt us and the some of the ones we love.
- Spiritual Pruning is not discipline for believers but, it is a reward not a penalty, a gift not a payment, a result of blessings earned not by cheating or stealing but by kneeling and healing.
- Pruning is aimed to provide more space, to cut out older wood, and allow the development of new vigorous roots and shoots from the base of the plant.
- Pruning is not a punishment for sin but it is a reward from God who is the vinedresser who prunes the life of everyone who abides in Christ; Heb 12:27-29.
All of this is for all believers because God loves them so much that He disciplines them, embraces them, and corrects them.
Prin: God uses discipline to educate us and that is why you must never quit because He’s treating you as dear children.
The trouble that we “may have” or “be having” or “will have,” isn’t punishment at all; it’s training.
LUK 6:40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?
God knows the beauty that He hopes we can become when He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”, (Jer 29:11).
- God envisions us becoming part of His Royal Family especially when He prunes us and He has that vision in mind.
- God’s Word is the perfect tool for pruning us.
- God’s Word is sharp so that it can remove the unwanted “branches” in our lives without harming us.
- God’s Spirit guides us “into all truth,” helping us to study what we need; Joh 16:12-14.
- Pruning also helps us to see what God is working out in our lives; Phi 1:6; 2:13.
- The Holy Spirit encourages us and directs us we are pruned in our spiritual lives, for we must “seek those things which are above; Col 3:1).
- In fact, it’s also interesting that God is the vinedresser who prunes the life of everyone who abides in Christ and bears the fruit of Christ.
Job’s judgmental fake friends who were counselors who immediately assumed that God is punishing Job for his sins and failures.
Why do we not receive punishment in our lives as Christians?
The answer to that is two-fold: We do we not receive punishment in our lives as Christians because Christ already endured the punishment for our sin on His bloody cross.
If we forget this doctrinal truth then we become Pharisees filled with an imaginary sense of our own self-righteousness and, as a result, begin to conclude that the sins of others are far worse than our own, and are worthy of condemnation.
Remembering the sufficiency of the Cross of Christ is found in living for Him in a fallen world, while we dwell in fallen bodies.
When God chastens believers, He trains us in righteousness—and He does so motivated by love and familial commitment; Heb 12:6.
Sometimes this includes suffering the painful consequences for our sinful words and deeds; which He ultimately has wisdom to discern.
However, He only does this for those who truly belong to Him (false believers are not disciplined because they are illegitimate children).
HEB 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
And, when doing so, He does not make us do penance, or cast us away in anger.
We are no longer the enemies of God who receive punishment, but His adopted and blood-bought children.
We are His branches and, as such, are tended by the Gardener, our Lord Jesus Christ in the spiritual realm which includes the intentional pain of pruning.
God prunes us so that we will bear more fruit.
God does not prune us because He is angry at us, nor does He prune us because Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough.
God prunes us, His branches, so that we may bear more fruit; Joh 15:2.
God looks at our Christian lives and concludes that we are not bearing near as much fruit as we could be.
God prunes us so that we will become more dependent on Him.
God does not prune us in order to discourage us; He prunes us so that we will learn to abide in Christ—the true source of life.
To abide in Christ means to live in obedient dependence upon His ongoing, minute-by-minute, supply of grace—grace which is Himself!
“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.
Our Father, the vinedresser, trains us to learn—in practice, not only precept—that we truly “can do nothing” apart from Christ; Joh 15:5.
God prunes us in order to assure us that we are truly saved.
God does not prune unbelievers in order that they may become more fruitful, for their fruits would simply consist of more dead works; Jam 2:17; Heb 9:14).
He eventually throws them “into the fire, and they are burned,” Joh 15:6.
Painful pruning (and it is painful) does not undermine the Spirit’s work of assurance; it strengthens it.
It is the true child of God who is chastened by the heavenly Father, not the illegitimate child (Heb 12:7-8). By our fruitfulness we “prove to be” true disciples of Christ; Joh 15:8b.
God prunes us so that He is freed to answer more of our prayers.
Divine pruning results in our learning to abide in Christ, which in turn results in the freedom to ask God “whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you” (verse 7).
God prunes us so that we will glorify Him. Jesus is crystal clear: “By this is My father glorified, that you bear much fruit.”
To glorify means to magnify, to enlarge, and to draw attention.
As believers in Christ, we do not live to draw attention to ourselves, but to our glorious God and Savior.
Our redemption brings God glory in order that the world may know that the gospel is real; 1Th 1:2-8).
So, is it punishment or pruning?
Punishment is reserved for the unbeliever, but God prunes those whom He loves–those who truly belong to Him.
The heavenly vinedresser cuts here and there, wherever it is needed, to shape us into the image of the true Vine, Jesus Christ.