Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
April 3, 2019
Three Persons Involved *( John 15).
Vinedresser = God the Father
Vine = our Lord Jesus Christ
Branches = believers of the Church-age.
There is the ultimate manifestation of the glory of God revealed in the souls of man.
That ultimate manifestation of the glory God revealed in the souls of man is found when in we life in Christ in us, our hope of glory; Col 1:25-27.
“Christ in you” = when believers fulfill the plan of God in the dispensation of the Church-age, they actually become like our Lord in a way that He did which is to “walk in love.”
Main Goal = the challenge to produce divine good and not human good or “legitimate Christian service” which is acceptable to God as it is found in the vine and the branch metaphor of Joh 15:1-8.
We begin by reading the context that our Lord began to teach to His Disciples who were now becoming Apostles.
The Vine represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Vinedresser represents God the Father.
The Branch represents the Believer.
The word “clean” is also used for salvation throughout the Old Testament; Psa 119:9; Hos 15:1-11.
PSA 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word.”
The apostle John uses the vine, the vinedresser and the branches as a metaphor to represent the relationship of the believer with the Lord Jesus Christ.
- A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another.
- Secondly, a metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
We have the vine and the branches used as a metaphor to represent the unity between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church-age believer.
The vinedresser metaphor refers to God the Father as the author of the Predesigned Plan of God.
The vine metaphor refers to the humanity of Jesus during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
The vine is the basis for the production of divine good or fruit-bearing.
Fruit through the branch is a symbol of the Church-age believer producing fruit.
Obvious principle: No fruit or production can be any better than the vine which produces it.
Because of positional sanctification, our union with the Lord Jesus Christ plus the grace provision of God, it is possible for the believer to produce divine good.
The vine metaphor emphasizes the fact that all precedence and all production of divine good in the Church-age comes from the vine – our Lord Jesus.
The branch is a metaphor for the Church-age believer.
“in me” is a reference to the believer in Union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
1TH 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
PHI 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
PHI 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
We are the branches in Union with the vine, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Two categories of branches = “dead branches” representing dead works on the part of the believer or the production skills minus spiritual skills.
Production skills minus spiritual skills = we know what we should be as doing as far as our production skills are concerned, but the average believer lacks the spiritual skills needed to fulfill the production skills.
Following Principles of doctrine:
1. Two Power Options.
2. Three Spiritual Skills.
3. Four Spiritual Mechanics.
The “two power options” are “being filled with the Spirit and the power of the word of God.”
The filling of the Holy Spirit is the first power option and the first spiritual skill in the spiritual life.
The filling of the Spirit converts human I.Q. into spiritual I.Q., so that we have equality to learn spiritual phenomena.
The third spiritual skill is the “problem solving devices deployed on the FLOT line of the soul also known as the Forward Line of Troops which is a military acronym.”
Four Spiritual Mechanics. This refers to the filling of the Holy Spirit, metabolized Bible doctrine circulating in the soul, the ten problem solving devices, the execution of the PPOG.
The “dead branches” represent dead works on the part of the believer or the production skills minus spiritual skills which means that we produce human good with human power.
As a branch with life from the Vine , the “live branches” represent the ability of the believer who knows that divine good only results from living by using the spiritual skills.
The spiritual skills refer to what the branch “in me” that does not bear fruit refers to the believer who does not produce divine good.
Dead works is not fruit-bearing and is punishable or subject to divine discipline.
In verses 2, God the Father removes and takes away all dead wood, dead branches, branches which produce dead works.
God the Father takes away or removes the dead works through disciplinary suffering in two categories:
The law of volitional responsibility which produces a tremendous amount of self-induced misery; and Divine Discipline.
Mat 7:17 “Every healthy tree produces good fruit. And every diseased tree produces worthless [degenerate, or evil] fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit.
Mat 7:19 every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
- The law of volitional responsibility which produces a tremendous amount of self-induced misery and divine discipline.
- Pruning which is necessary to redistribute where the energy for divine production should go.The branch that does bear fruit has to be pruned occasionally so that the spiritual skills will increase and maximize.
However, this is suffering for blessing.
Prin: Just as God provides divine discipline and punitive action for the non-fruit bearer, so God provides suffering for blessing for the fruit-bearer.
Now, in verses 3-4, we are the cleansing of the branches for production.
Verse three is salvation cleansing of the branches.
PHI 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
This means that nothing in your life, including what you thought, what you said and what you do, can ever hinder your spiritual life = including your past.
ISA 43:25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
ISA 44:22 “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
Nothing that ever happened to you before salvation should be a hindrance to your worship of the Lord and the production of divine good.
Post-salvation refers to the cleansing of the branches from personal sins which took place after your salvation and that is which is found in 1Jo 1:9 for us as it was found in Psa 32.
Joh 15:4 “abide in me [fellowship], and I in you [understanding – [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.”
Joh 15:4 “Abide in me [stay in fellowship], and I in you [mandate for understanding Bible 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.
Abide” = command to R &R (rest and relax);
Experience = lifestyle of the believer.
Positional = how our Lord looks upon all believers.
Sanctification = devotion and dedication to the PPOG.
We are never commanded to be in Union with Christ and this is a command to remain in fellowship with God through the use of 1Jo 1:9, so that divine good can be produced.
The branch in Joh 15:2 is positional sanctification and inverse 4, is the believer mandated to experiential sanctification through the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Also note the phrase in verse 4, “I in you” which is a command for the believer to learn and metabolize doctrine where the Lord and His thinking is revealed in us — and that would be Gal 2:20 for every believer .