Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
January 25, 2019

JOH 15 =  our Lord challenges His disciples  to draw near to Him as He gets ready to complete the work that the Father desired for the Son to complete or to fulfill.

What does it take for anyone to follow the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that He completed during His time on the earth as a member of the human race and during His time on the earth after He died physically.

There were so many witnesses  that saw Him and so much proof  that He had been raised from the dead, even from sources that were not considered to be religious but right.

There is a book written by a gentleman from the standpoint of  being non-religious or in some cases being an atheist — “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” – Josh McDowell.

When you have two individuals who know their stuff and who need to be answered concerning the work that our Lord put into action, then you have principles of truth based upon points of doctrine.

After this man was converted we had many conversations concerning Resurrection, ascension and session, that really magnified the beliefs that both of us had.

Think about our Lord coming out from the womb.

Try and imagine what it must have been like for our Lord to come out not only from the womb….. but live and go all the way to the tomb.

He was born into a world whereby He became not only alive but He also became  a member of the human race and He lost His life for doing so.

We know that our Lord had to grow in stages; Luk 2:40, and Luk 2:40; Luk 2:52.

Divine blessings +  Divine Promises = He would have to experience some of the problems of being human and then trying to recover those things you may have lost.

We also have one the most powerful set of doctrines that we could ever have as we learn as He did, about resurrection, ascension, and then the session.

What does it take for anyone to follow the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

The works that God the Father demanded from Him were not only good deeds or good morals but they were also constant and demanding for our Lord to fulfill the entire Mosaic Law.

One of the main reasons that our Lord came to fulfill was to obey the works of God the Father which were done — according to the word of God.

Cornerstone =  a foundation for individuals who wanted to learn more about the reason and the purpose that many other Jews and Gentiles became intimately involved with one another.

He also realized the importance of the Church as a body of Christ whose one major goal and purpose was to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the Angelic Conflict.

Our Lord could not wait, in a good sense, to be able to scream out John 19:30  Tetélestai = meaning that it was finished in the past with the result that it goes on being finished forever.


  1. The natural principles for the individual to learn and to obey.
    2. The spiritual principles for the individual to learn and to obey.

This can be answered with some of the information that our Lord gave to His disciples and even His family which is called the message of the Vine and the branches.

It was going to be one of His last messages to His disciples and usually the words that a person speaks on their dying bed are normally words that are important and vital for family and friends to remember.

(1)  One of those principles refer to the doctrine that is overlooked where we learn that:  God saves the best for last.

(2)  God also taught if something is from Him,  He will give it back to you so that you may have a change in your life that God has given to you and that is the life of God in the souls of man.

(3)  The principle that is normally true for everyone of us because God usually saves the best for the last because that is His will for those who truly love Him.

1Co 2:9   “But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And {which} have not entered the heart of  man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Let us get ready for His blessings, His love, His wisdom, His plans for the glorification of our Lord as He is awaiting for all of us to follow Him so that He could bless them for doing so.

Our Lord just broke bread with the disciples and He knew that one of his own students, a disciple of our Lord named Judas Iscariot.

In Joh 13, the night before His death, Judas has just been told privately to go and do what he was planning to do which is to turn on and betray our Lord to the scribes and the Pharisees.

  1. They were uses of people.
    2. Luster’s after money.
    3. Turned on our Lord, who was someone who had tried to help them in every way possible.

They turned on our Lord and followed the lies of the cosmic system and while they were doing that, they let the Carnal Corinthian Christians walk all over them.

You really have never been hurt until you have been hurt, or wounded, or lied to, or stolen from BY…..another CCC – Cosmic Carnal Christian.

They may appear to be loving and sweet and nice but inside they are ravenous wolves.

They seem to be loving, when in reality the only love they have is truly love for themselves.

2TI 3:1-2b  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant,

Joh 15:1 = our Lord and His disciples were learning together the doctrine of the Vine and the Branches as they were all walking together to the Garden of Gethsemane.

The vinedresser metaphor refers to God the Father as the author the PPOG.

Fruit through the branch is a metaphor for the Church-age believer.

No fruit or production can be any better than the vine which produces it.

Because of positional sanctification plus the grace provision of the three spiritual skills, it is possible for the believer to manufacture productive righteousness.

Positional Sanctification = reveals the positional truth of the believers in the Church-age.

The grace provision of the three spiritual skills – reveals the Word, the power, and the plan.

Productive righteousness — reveals the good works that believers can produce through the righteousness of God and the filling of the Spirit.

Although these are three vital doctrines, we also need to have the humility to perceive, metabolize and apply those doctrines.

The vine metaphor emphasizes the fact that all precedence and all  productive righteousness in the Church-age comes from the vine – our Lord Jesus Christ.

Joh 15:2   “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.”

Joh 15:2  “Every branch [believer] in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away [that is He disciplines]; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes [suffering for blessing], that it may bear more fruit.”

In Joh 15:2  “Every branch [believer] in Me” = a reference to the believer in union with Christ.

The doctrine of the Baptism of the Spirit just as we all have been taught that we are also the branches in union with the vine, Jesus Christ.

  1. Dead branches representing dead works, or production skills minus spiritual skills;
    2. Live branches representing productive righteousness, or spiritual skills as the basis for production skills.

The branch in Christ that does not bear fruit refers to the believer who does not reveal productive righteousness.

Dead works is not fruit-bearing and is punishable.

The point of doctrine is that God the Father removes and takes away all dead wood, dead branches, branches which produce dead works.

God the Father removes the dead works through suffering:
The law of volitional responsibility which produces a tremendous amount of self-induced misery;
Divine discipline.

Mat 7:17-19  “Every healthy tree produces good fruit.  And every diseased tree produces worthless [degenerate, or evil] fruit.

A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Pruning is necessary to redistribute where the energy for production should go.

The branch that does bear fruit has to be pruned occasionally so that the spiritual skills will increase and maximize.

Now, in Joh 15, verses 3-4 are the cleansing of the branches for production.

First, in verse three is salvation cleansing of the branches.

“You are already clean [saved], He puts the verb este in a present-active-indicative form which should be translated “You are clean in a dogmatic way, Ain’t no doubt about it.’

Verse four refers to post-salvation cleansing of the branches, which is the rebound technique.

Joh 15:4 “Abide in Me [fellowship], and I in you [knowing and learning doctrine].  Just as the branch cannot bear fruit from itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

The fact that “abide” is a command means that it is an experience after salvation and not a reference to positional sanctification or believers keeping themselves cleansed through rebound.

We are never commanded to be in union with Christ because we always are in union with Christ, especially the day we realized and became that.

Joh 15:4 “Abide in Me [fellowship], and I in you [command for  doctrine].  Just as the branch cannot bear fruit from itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

This is a command to remain in fellowship with God through the use of 1Jo 1:9, and the principle of productive righteousness which will result.

The believer can only produce perfect righteousness when filled with God the Holy Spirit.

In Joh 15:2 when our Lord says “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit,”  He takes away.

In  Joh 15:4, when our Lord taught the principle of  abiding, He said  “Abide in Me, and I in you”  which is a reference to positional sanctification.

The branch commanded to abide in Christ is the believer commanded to experiential sanctification through the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Indwelling of Christ — Joh 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I (will abide) in you. —  this is the command for the believer to learn and metabolize Bible doctrine.

The vine, TLJC,  has provided for us the precedent, the pattern, and the information necessary to produce divine righteousness.

We cannot produce fruit apart from the function of spiritual skills:  the filling of the Spirit; perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine; and execution of the PPOG.

Our Lord had spiritual skills for thirty years before He had three years of production in His ministry.

Abiding in Christ is the filling of the Spirit.

Christ in us is cognition of Bible doctrine.

These spiritual skills are required before we can produce “much fruit.”

The phrase “do nothing” is dead works, the function of production skills without spiritual skills.

The production of perfect righteousness is a grace provision from God which meets God’s perfect standards.

God provides the means for fruit-bearing through the filling of the Holy Spirit, cognition of Bible doctrine, and through the attainment of spiritual adulthood.

Production skills minus spiritual skills result in dead works.

The believer who does not abide in Christ is out of fellowship, and therefore, minus the first spiritual skill, the filling of the Spirit.

All dead works are judged and burned immediately after the Rapture of the Church, Rom 14:10; 2Co 5:10.

The drying up of the branch means that the believer minus spiritual skills dries up with the production of dead works.

  1. The believer in fellowship.
    b. The believer in doctrine.
    c. The believer in prayer.

Abiding or remaining in Christ is reference to the Church Age believer in fellowship with God.

It is called “abiding” because the filling of the Holy Spirit only occurs in the PPOG.

When we reside in the PPOG, we reside in the place of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The believer has fellowship with God on the basis of the fact that the Holy Spirit controls the soul of the believer.

The believer in fellowship has good deeds and Christian service which are produced from the execution of the PPOG.

The filling of the Holy Spirit produces productive righteousness.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is the first spiritual skill.

The believer cannot have fellowship with God apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

And finally the phrase “My words abide in you” is a reference to the consistent words of Christ which are the thinking of Christ, the Bible.

The third spiritual skill is the execution of the PPOG by advancing through the three stages of spiritual adulthood.


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