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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review

JOH 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 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.

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 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.

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.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so} prove to be My disciples.

Now, Friday evening we began to see the importance of the first prepositional phrase in JOH 15:2, when our LORD says: “Every branch in me”

This is the Greek prepositional phrase “en emoi” correctly translated “in me” which refers to our union with our LORD Jesus Christ and it is also used to identify “our oneness” with HIM. That is something that the disciples did not understand at the time our LORD taught them. The sad thing is that even today, the average believer still has no idea what positional truth is and how it can affect believers in such a positive way.

And, what is that positive way?

The positive way is simply believing what GOD’s word says and then (and here is the real key) apply it when needed. In fact, recently researchers have found positive thinkers live longer, healthier, have more energy, more successful careers, make better decisions, are more productive, are less stressed, have healthier relationships, and (not surprisingly) are much happier than pessimists.

It’s important to recognize that positive thinking is NOT the idea that you’ll never encounter any obstacles as long as you stay positive. Instead, being believers who think positive is all about how we respond and not react to the obstacles, the trials, the unjust and unfair treatment which eventually we all go through one way or another. It’s whether you respond to adversity positively or negatively that makes the difference in life.

In 2CO 4, the apostle Paul begins to bring some answers to the questions that many believers have as they continue to go forward in the PPOG (Predesigned Plan of GOD), fulfilling their own PSD (personal sense of destiny), which has been tailored perfectly just for all of us. Therefore, after dealing with some of the false doctrines and divisions in the Corinthian Church, the apostle Paul had to come back to the city of Corinth to reconcile the two different categories of believers who were fighting and bickering among each other.

Basically, there were two opposite points of view that one could take or receive, both of which emphasized the personal tastes of the individuals which was wrong and causing divisions in the local church or assembly.

The two opposite points of views are as follows:

  1. The arrogance of morality = the thinking of the individual who thinks that his or her little system of being good and moral and following the Ten Commandments is living the spiritual life. So much for religion, legalism, and self-righteousness.
  2. The second category is called lasciviousness which refers to those individuals, believers or religious unbelievers, who fail to put into action that which they you claim to be.

Notice this - don’t take it lightly.

Beginning in 2CO 4:7 notice what the apostle Paul says to the believers in Corinth: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of GOD and not from ourselves; {we are} afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

And this principle is just as much alive right now as it was back then.

So, in 2CO 4:15-18, For all things {are} for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of GOD.

Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Continuing; remember no chapter breaks in the original. 2CO 5:1, added to the motivation that you have so far, we can also remind ourselves of this:  For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from GOD, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Once we stay focused, we have no idea WHAT the LORD is going to do, nor do we know “WHERE” HE is leading us to, or “WHEN” HE will do it.

There are quite a few doctrinal principles that you can apply to living the spiritual life, but I believe that there is nothing better for us then what our LORD already provided for us, billions and billions of years ago. This is another reason why we should hang in there when we are going through something, etc.

In fact, one of the most helpful manifestations of the divine blessings of GOD is when the Holy Spirit teaches us and provides for us the Fruit of the Spirit; GAL 5:22-23. One of the nine-fold expressions of the Fruit of the Spirit.

GAL 5:22-23, But the fruit [singular of karpos = fruit, not fruits] of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self‑control; against such things there is no law.

What I want you to see is that when we are patient and waiting upon the LORD or the timing of GOD, we will have the fruit of the Spirit available for all of us. Many times, as we wait upon the LORD, the exact fruit of the Spirit will be manifested to us along with the peace and serenity that our RMA gives to believers as we rest in the LORD.

Things have a way of working themselves out if we just remain positive. Most believers cannot do that because they constantly stick their nose into other people’s business instead of MYOB (minding their own business). For those believers who endure and refuse to quit they will eventually discover that one of their own strengths is their ability to keep negative thoughts out of their mind; 2CO 10:3-6.

2CO 10:3-6, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. {We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of GOD, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

Be positive because your mind is more powerful than you think. What is down in the well comes up in the bucket. Fill yourself with positive things not negative things.

Optimism is hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. Pessimism is the tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future. Pessimism is a negative or depressed mental attitude in which an undesirable outcome is anticipated from a given situation.

Pessimists tend to focus on the negatives of life in general. A common question asked to test for pessimism is “Is the glass half empty or half full?”; in this situation a pessimist is said to see the glass as half empty, while an optimist is said to see the glass as half full.

It’s interesting that throughout human history, the pessimistic disposition has had effects on all major areas of thinking. There’s always been groups in every generation who do nothing but murmur and complain. If you fill your mind with negativity, you shouldn’t be surprised when you experience a negative outlook on life.

MAT 15:11 says, “Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Be very careful about the type of news, music, books, movies, and opinions you fill your mind with. No matter who you are, what you do, or how you think, life will throw negative situations at you especially those sudden shocks. Optimists recognize that they have the power to turn those obstacles into opportunities.

Those believers who are positive toward life and are optimists recognize that they have the power to turn those obstacles into opportunities. They find the good in whatever negative situation they encounter and attack the problem with a can-do, find-a-way mentality. Optimism is like a magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.

Positive thinkers remind themselves that every problem is temporary. By staying positive, good things will eventually come your way.

Vince Lombardi once said: “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”

Perhaps Lombardi got that from King Solomon: ECC 9:11 I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise, nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.

This means there’s always a chance, no matter what the odds. Don’t put a limit on GOD, and do not put GOD in a box. You will also be amazed by the fact that positive people and positive results are drawn to enthuseiastic, upbeat people. No one likes to be around negative people - they drain life out of GOD’s people and wear them down. Listen, it doesn’t matter whether you are soft or loud, but what does matter is that you stay positive.

It would be delusional to never expect any adversity. Optimists don’t pretend they can avoid all adversity; instead, they believe they have the power to overcome whatever adversity comes their way. When that power is the LORD’s power, well you truly can overcome. You know that ultimately all things will turn out for the glory of GOD.

While there are many things you can’t control in life, you have Let’s begin with the Titles of the Seven Ministries of GOD the Holy Spirit followed by a short description and definition of the ministry that is mentioned.

First a description then a definition that follows.

  1. We have as a description called Efficacious grace – which enables the believer to have an effective faith in Christ; HEB 9:14.

In HEB 9:14,  we are told that our LORD relied on the ministry of GOD the Holy Spirit when He offered up Himself without blemish to GOD.

And, you will note that when GOD the Holy Spirit works with the humanity of our LORD Jesus Christ, there is the tremendous blessing also of having our hearts cleansed from guilt and condemnation.
Well, because in Joh 8:32  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

However, it doesn’t stop there.
Because in JOH 8:36, our LORD reinforces the freedom that He mentioned in Joh 8:32, but this time our LORD switches from “the truth setting us free” to “the Son setting us free” which is why we read “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

By the way, this principle of doctrine is given to “whosoever” desires to be cleansed in their conscience especially those who try and serve GOD with dead works.

  1. Regeneration – Born Again; TIT 3:5; 1PE 1:23.

1PE 1:22   Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1PE 1:23  for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of GOD.

TIT 3:5  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Baptism of the Spirit; -- Union with Christ; 1CO 12:13; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:5.

Most of you are familiar with 1CO 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
In Gal 3:26-28,  all of us were baptized into Christ and all of us are in union with Christ.
And probably one of the most important passage on the Baptism of the Spirit is the passage in Eph 4:5 which says that there is one LORD, one faith, one baptism. And probably the least known reference on the Baptism of the Spirit is the passage in Eph 4:5, that says that there is one Baptism, not 2, or 3, but one ---. and that one baptism is without a doubt, not water; Not a second blessing; Not liquid waves of love running down my spine, Not  some idiot putting his hand around my throat and trying to move my vocal cords and pressure me so that I could receive the Holy Ghost.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the churches in Ephesus were all apostate churches, because we know that’s not true about them. In fact, in REV 2:4 our LORD says;  “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Anyway, the last passage that says all of these things and even more.

EPH 4:1-6, I, therefore, the prisoner of the LORD, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one LORD, one faith, one baptism, one GOD and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

  1. Indwelling of the Spirit; 1CO 3:16, 6:19-20; 2Co 6:16.

1CO 3:16   Do you not know that you are a temple of GOD, and that the Spirit of GOD dwells in you?

1CO 6:19   Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from GOD, and that you are not your own?

1CO 6:20   For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify GOD in your body.

2CO 6:16-18, Or what agreement has the temple of GOD with idols? For we are the temple of the living GOD; just as GOD said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their GOD, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the LORD. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the LORD Almighty."

  1. Filling of the Holy Spirit; EPH 5:18; GAL 5:16.

EPH 5:18   And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

GAL 5:16   But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

  1. Sealing of the Holy Spirit; EPH 1:13-14, 4:30.

EPH 1:13-14, In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation‑‑ having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of GOD's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

  1. The Sovereign Distribution of Spiritual Gifts to each Believer by the believer; 1Co 12:4-31.

All of these principles are just the beginning of what our LORD has been preparing us for complete control of the most important thing: your attitude

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