Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
The Spiritual Gifts given to Believers.
JOH 15:1-14, “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. 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. You are My friends, if you do what I command you.’
JOH 15 takes place after our LORD and the disciples have left the upper room where they are on the way from the upper room to the Garden of Gethsemane and it is along the way that our LORD gives the discourse on the true vine.
By now, you should know that JOH 15 is one of those controversial passages that we run into every now and then that is subject to some misinterpretation.
Sooner or later we run into someone who teaches that you can lose your salvation and that the LORD will take back His gift of salvation. However, our LORD doesn’t give us gifts and then takes them back.
For example, salvation and living the spiritual life is said to be a gift in Eph 2:8-10.
Eph 2:8-10, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of GOD; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Therefore, salvation is a gift and as a gift, our LORD will never take it back, or it can never be withdrawn or cancelled or nullified according to ROM 11:29.
Some of these doctrines were brand new doctrines that were never heard or taught before the Gospel of John; ROM 16:25-27.
ROM 16:25-17, Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal GOD, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise GOD, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
Look at MAT 12:38-41, Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”
What is the preaching of Jonah that caused the Ninevites to repent or to change their mind concerning Jehovah or our LORD? I was the Gospel that changed their mind towards as our LORD used the three days and the three nights that He was in the belly of the whale or the belly of one of the largest fish of his day.
So, as our LORD was teaching these principles which He revealed concerning salvation, He evangelized the wickedness of the Ninevites and He also revealed that something greater than Jonah’s experience is here.
MAT 12:42, “The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, [Why?] because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
The queen of Sheba traveled thousands of miles just to hear the wisdom and the doctrine that Solomon possessed. The LORD said: “something greater than Solomon is here” and that does not refer to “someone greater than Solomon is here,” although our LORD was greater than Solomon.
What our LORD was saying is that the “something greater” than what Solomon taught is here and that “something greater” refers to the new teachings that our LORD brought to His people.
You say, “What new teachings?”
JOH 1:17, For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
The new teachings were now based upon “grace and truth” and not the Mosaic Law.
MAT 12:43-45, “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. The it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”
The point here is that we have something far greater and more challenging than the blasphemy professed by the “tongues crowd” or the “emotional revolt of the soul crowd” and that is the fact that you and I have and hold doctrine in our soul; PSA 56:4-11.
This is a very interesting passage that was either written “by David” or written “for David” when David was outnumbered by the Philistines who seized him in Gath.
This is a Psalm that describes David “faking madness” or pretending that he was crazy or that he had lost his mind. On one occasion, while he was being hunted by King Saul, who was extremely jealous of David who Saul was trying to kill or have him killed.
In the ancient world, it was considered to be a curse or bad luck if anyone took advantage of those who were mentally challenged by mistreating them or hurting them in some way.
King Achish, the king of Gath, would not touch David or hurt him in any way. And so, upon discovering who he was, the Philistines suggested to Achish that David was a security risk, and David became afraid and ran away for his life.
This was some of the background to the passage before us which is PSA 56.
Consequently, David disguised his sanity by acting insane.
And then thinking David was crazy, King Achish of the Philistines let him go with his life, as he was considered a harmless idiot.
PSA 56:1, Be gracious to me, O GOD, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me.
This is a reference to the fact that David had to be on the alert at all times because his enemies would not leave him alone. Just like you and me have to deal with a constant outbreak of negativity, indifference, apathy, and other sins.
PSA 56:2-4, My foes [enemies] have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. In GOD, whose word I praise, In GOD I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
Notice that we should respect and have praise for the word of GOD. This means, not only should we praise GOD the Father, GOD the Son, and GOD the Holy Spirit, but we should also “Praise the Word;” PSA 56:4; 56:10.
PSA 56:4-11, In GOD, whose word I praise, In GOD I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? All day long they distort or pervert GOD’s words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. They attack, they lurk, they watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life. Because of wickedness, cast them forth, In anger put down the peoples, O GOD! Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Thy bottle; Are they not in Thy book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that GOD is for me. In GOD, whose word I praise, In the LORD, whose word I praise, In GOD I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Now, concerning the ministries that GOD the Holy Spirit is said to graciously give to us and provide for us although we are given some fantastic blessings at the moment of salvation, none of these ministries make you feel better or any differently. There is no emotional experience with a spiritual connotation.
There’s nothing wrong with the emotions as long as they are used in the way our LORD created them to be used and that is for either the “legitimate emotion of sorrow or hurt” or the “legitimate emotion of laughter and rejoicing.”