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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
The LORD is the sole source of life to man

As we get ready to move on in our passage of JOH 15, I would like to begin by reading the first 13 verses in JOH 15.

We begin with JOH 15:1, where we have a reference to the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ as undiminished deity and true humanity said,
JOH 15:1-13, “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. (Which refers to the Gospel for the unbeliever that leads to faith alone, in Christ alone).  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. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Those are the first 13 verses that we have been given some insight to by GOD the Holy Spirit concerning the real purpose of our Life. In fact, there are three important words in this passage that you have heard many times before that help us with the interpretation of the passage. Those three words are translated in:

JOH 15:2 - Pruning.
JOH 15:4 – Abiding.
JOH 15:9-10, Agape love.

Now, we have a lot to cover concerning the special events or the special treatment that took place in John 15 after Jesus and the disciples have left the Upper Room. They are on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane and it is along the way that Jesus gives the discourse on the true vine.

We began our detailed study of John 15 with the phrase; “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” 

This is the seventh of what is referred to at times the eight “I am’s” in the Gospel of John. These are statements that Jesus makes regarding HIS person and HIS work. Some are analogy, and some relate specifically to who HE is and what HE does. So, we began in JOH 15:1 with the Biblical meaning of the “Vine.” We have noted some of the principles that exist concerning the Vine and the Branches with a reminder of the “Great I am” passages where our LORD revealed to us the importance of the unity that we should  have as we understand the different functions that our LORD provides for us all.

For example, in JOH 6:35, Jesus said to HIS disciples, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”

What our LORD is doing is claiming to be the sole source of life to man. Because of sin man is separated from the true source of life; JOH 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” Man has limited pleasures but unless he is in right relationship to GOD he cannot understand what real life is as GOD intended it to be which is an abundant life.  In JOH 8:12, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Light is illuminating; it shines forth and shows us the truth. Our LORD is claiming HE is the truth here, the one who illuminates or gives guidance and light in the darkness of sins and sorrows in the devil’s world.

In the Gospel of John, we read in JOH 8:47, “He who is of GOD hears the words of GOD [they hear the doctrine]; for this reason you do not hear {them,} because you are not of GOD.”

Notice how crystal clear our LORD makes the truth known.

JOH 8:48-58, The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets {also}; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste of death.' Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out {to be}?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our GOD'; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw {it} and was glad.” The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

And that’s all there is folks, HE is the Great I Am. And then, of course, the religious lovey dovey leaders revealed their true heart in Joh 8:59, Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

JOH 8:58, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” 

This was in the midst of a heated controversy with the Pharisees and Jesus referred to the fact that he knew Abraham because He was before Abraham. In fact, the significance of this is seen in the Greek word that the LORD uses which is ginomai which means that Abraham came into existence. The emphasis is on coming into existence. There was a time when Abraham did not exist and then he came into existence and eventually he died. Jesus said, “Before Abraham came into existence, I AM.”

The present tense of the Greek verb ginomai is to keep on being emphasizing His continuous existence, that Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity and he always existed.

EGO EIMI (I keep on being) is the Greek translation of the name of GOD from the Old Testament. When Moses was conversing with GOD at the burning bush he said, “By what name are you called, that the people might know that I have come from you?” And GOD said, “I AM who I AM.” The LORD’s name in the Old Testament is known as the sacred tetragrammaton, YHWH or JHWH, which comes from the Hebrew verb meaning “existence.” A Tetragrammaton is the Hebrew name of GOD transliterated in four letters as YHWH or JHVH and articulated as Yahweh or Jehovah. To the Jews, they considered the name of GOD, like Jehovah or Yahweh, so holy that they would not even pronounce the name but instead they would call JHWH or YHWH = Adonai.

So when our LORD said  “I AM” He was claiming for Himself all of the attributes of YHWH or JHWH because He is LORD or He is Adonai.

Therefore, in Joh 8:59, the Jews understood that He was making that claim that HE was the Great I Am, so they immediately reached down to pick up stones to kill HIM.

Notice that our LORD was not afraid of the stones that they threw at Him and they didn’t stop our LORD from fulfilling HIS ministry to them and us; JOH 10:6-11.

JOH 10:6-11, This figure of speech (even Jesus taught typology) Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. Jesus therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Now, in this section of the Word of GOD our LORD made a very interesting observation when HE said in JOH 10:9  “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and he (the sheep) shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Our LORD Jesus Christ Jesus is claiming that HE is the only way; He is the door for the sheep and HE is the only way of salvation.

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