God also promises to bless us for obeying Him


Week ending in: 011920

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
011920
God also promises to bless us for obeying Him

In Joh 15:1 we read: “I [Jesus Christ] am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”
This is a verse that uses metaphors to portray the different functions of the Vinedresser, the “True Vine,” and the branches.

The “vinedresser” metaphor portrays God the Father as the author of the Pre-designed Plan of God (PPOG). Not only did God the Father plan to perform miracles and wonders and signs to those who desire to know Him, to love Him and serve Him but, God also promises to bless us for obeying Him and doing things we love to do, especially for Him. How can anyone of us really describe the privileges and blessings that we receive from Him simply by serving Him with sincerity and truth as we are being blessed by Him because of our obedience to Him.

JOS 24:14“Now, therefore, fear or respect the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods [false religions] which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

The “vinedresser” metaphor portrays God the Father as the author of the PPOG created just for man, accompanied by a personal sense of destiny that created just for you.
The “vine” metaphor portrays the humanity of Jesus Christ during the dispensation of the Hypostatic-union with undiminished Deity and true humanity indwelling one person forever and ever.

Next, in JOH 15:2, “Every branch [believer] in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away [divine discipline]; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it [suffering for blessing], that it may bear more fruit.”
In this second verse, we begin with the principle of positional truth or being in union with the Lord Jesus Christ as the most powerful weapons in the entire universe. Fruit from the branch is a metaphor or a symbol for the Church-age believer who produces Divine good. However, no fruit (or production) can be any better than the vine that produces it. This is where some of doctrinal principles are really important to understand as we go on with this passage.

I told you before when we began our study on the Dispensation of the Hypostatic-union that it was going to be a life-changing doctrine for those of you who have PVTD. It is ’s life changing because it gets our eyes off ourselves and puts them right where they belong – which is upon our Lord. Therefore, we continue this study by defining a few important doctrinal views concerning our Position in Christ and our unity with one another. Let me illustrate this with a principle known theologically as Positional Sanctification.

Positional Sanctification refers to our place before God as HE sees us as totally complete and the finished work in action from HIS hands. Sanctification also means to be set apart as Holy, and in Positional Sanctification, God sees us as being perfect in our Position and holy because of what He has done for us. As you keep on learning about these doctrinal terms, you are also going to begin to see yourself as God sees you. How does the Lord see us as serious students of the Word of God that have been created just for you and me.

Look at the magnificent description that our Lord gave to man when He said in EPH 5:27, that He died just for you and me so that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. Our Lord has presented us to the Father and the Holy Spirit who are already in Heaven in their interim body. They are waiting for the Lord to come back in His resurrection body. Another way God sees you is found in COL 1:21, where the apostle Paul wrote the following scriptures to man;

COL 1:21-22, And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, {engaged} in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.

Because of Positional Sanctification (our union with Christ) and the grace provision of the filling of the Spirit, it is possible for the believer to produce Divine good which is the only good that God accepts. And that is why both believers and unbelievers will stand before God and have their good works tested. The first set of works or deeds that will be judged and evaluated is for believers who will either receive divine blessings or lose what the Lord had provided just for them.

1CO 3:10-16, According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon 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 upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and {that} the Spirit of God dwells in you?

2CO 5:10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Good is the Greek adjective agathos which refers to divine good or the production of the fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer.
Bad is the Greek adjective phaulos which refers to evil and human good as stated in ISA 64, the righteousness from phaulos is disgusting to God; ISA 64:6.

The Second set of works or good deeds of human good that will be judged and evaluated is for unbelievers whose good deeds are less than perfect and are not good enough to get them to Heaven on their own;

JOH 5:28-29, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

Dead branches represent dead works or production skills minus spiritual skills and therefore God classifies these principles as “Dead Works.” Production skills mean that there are times when we automatically produce good deeds or good works, but we do with the production skills that have been developed in the Old Sin Nature and not the spiritual skills that have been graciously given to us from God for the purpose of producing the fruit of the Spirit. The production skills try to accomplish God’s plan with man’s power, whereas the spiritual skills will enable us to produce Divine Good from the skills of the Lord to us.  Live branches representing divine good, with spiritual skills as the basis for production skills. This time the believer gets it right – and by that I mean right in order. This means that the spiritual skills, like EPH 5:18; GAL 5:16; HEB 4:12; ACT 1:8, must come before the production skills.

The branch who is “in Christ” but does not bear fruit represents the believer who does please God experientially because of the lack of use in their spiritual skills.
Dead works do not bear fruit and are punishable by divine discipline in one of three phrases, 1) Warning; 2) Intensive; 3) Dying.

God the Father removes all dead wood and dead branches that produce dead works. He removes the dead works through corrective suffering in two categories:

  1. The law of volitional responsibility, which produces a tremendous amount of self-induced misery.
  2. Divine discipline. JOH 15:2, “Every branch [believer] in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away [discipline]; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it.”

Now comes some deeper truths. We begin with a natural principle concerning pruning because it has a great application to “spiritual pruning” which is necessary for properly redistributing the “spiritual energy” that we all need for production. This means that there are times when pruning is very beneficial even though it may hurt the ones being pruned. No one truly loves suffering. No one truly loves to be pruned. We don’t see the human race and all its glory, we are too busy violating the privacy of others, as we keep on sticking on long proboscis or noses into the affairs of others. No matter what we see, the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is God the Father’s down-payment on His promises to man for his obedience. No matter what we see, the Royal Family of God (believers in the Lord Jesus Christ) is said to be partakers of the promises of the divine nature of God in Christ Jesus.