The Secrets of the Vine: Bruce Wilkinson has an excellent study of disciples bearing fruit and what that really means.
- The Secrets of the Vine Introduction
- Authentic Disciples Bear Fruit
- From No Fruit to Bearing Fruit
- From Bearing Fruit to More Fruit
- From Bearing More Fruit to Much Fruit
The Secrets of the Vine (Bruce Wilkinson), teaches about every believer going from bearing more fruit to bearing much fruit. The debate is between “Being vs. Doing.” Doing more I run into a brick wall, so I must abide. This involves being. John 15:4-5, 7, 9-11.
Passage: John 15:5
- “Abide” means to continue, live and remain – John 15:4, 14:2, 14:23
- “Abide” occurs on the vine where the branch connect:
- Abiding is the primary method to bear much fruit.
- Abiding is dependent on how the branch relates to the vine.
- Abiding increases the sap that flows through the branch.
- “Abide” occurs in believers as they connect to Christ more deeply.
The moment that you are saved, you automatically abide.
Misconception: Abiding is the same as salvation and therefore I am already abiding.
Truth: Christ abides in you, but you decide how deeply you will abide in Him.
- You are placed “in Christ” when you accept Christ by faith – Ephesians 2:8-9
- You remain “abiding in Christ” when you fulfill the requirements – John 15:4, 1 John 3:24a
- You can be “in Christ” but not “abide in Christ” at the same time – 1 John 2:28
Principles of Abiding:
The key is not working more but abiding more. Abide is a command, it is active. Salvation is passive, it happens to us.
- Abiding Principle # 1– Abiding in Christ in an ongoing relationship is the secret to bearing much fruit – John 15:5
- Much fruit cannot be achieved by working harder or longer.
- Much fruit requires less work for, and more time with, Christ – Luke 10:39-42
- Abiding Principle # 2– Abiding in Christ is directly related to your attitude toward Christ – Genesis 3:4-5
- God’s personality is full of mercy, grace and love – Exodus 34:6, Jeremiah 9:24b
- God wants a relationship with you so much, He sent Christ to die – Romans 5:7-8
- God wants you to abide so deeply, He adopted you into His family – 1 John 3:1a
- God wants you to abide so much, He sent His Spirit to cry out Father – Galatians 4:6
- God loves you with the same love as He loves Jesus – John 17:26
- Abiding Principle # 3– Abiding in Christ enables you to experience Christ’s greatest Promises. If you abide…
- You will bear much fruit bringing God glory – John 15:5b, 8a
- Christ will answer your prayers – John 15:7, 14: 13-14
- Christ will make you experience His love – John 14:20-21a
- Christ will reveal Himself to you – John 14:21b, Acts 23:22, Hebrews 11:14
- Christ will place His joy into your hearts – John 15:11, 17:13
The Process of Abiding: Jeremiah 9:23-24, 1 John 1:3, 2 Corinthians 13:14
The Lord reveals that knowing Him is your life’s greatest glory
The Lord reveals that He wants us to understand Him
The Lord reveals that He wants us to know Him
- Abiding Process # 1– To abide, you must meet Christ’s requirements: the Three Abiding requirements
- Abiding won’t work if you are living in darkness – 1 John 1:5-6, 9
- Abiding won’t work if you hate another person – 1 John 2:9-11
- Abiding won’t work if you can’t keep His commandments – John 15:10, 1 John 3:24a
- Abiding Process # 2– Abide with God through Five Spiritual Disciplines – Jeremiah 29:13, Psalm 42:1-2a
- Build the lifelong habit of regular morning devotions (set the alarm, select a comfortable place, set up a schedule) Not just quiet time, but becoming a more devoted person.
- Read and meditate in the Bible (read for wisdom, relationship, set an annual plan, read more if you are receiving less) Not reading about the Bible or just for information; physically we eat until we are full; spiritually we eat God’s Word and we become more hungry.
- Experience victory through your Notebook of prayer (pray a daily calendar, number your requests, review prayers that are answered).
- Cultivate meaningful praise and worship (worship through music, a posture of humility, through the Daily Ten).
- Interact with God in your life journal (write notes to God, journal, write problem, dreams, confessions).
- Abiding Process # 3– Abide with God more and more throughout your life: Three Fruit-bearing Seasons.
- Fruit-bearing Season 1 – God’s discipline (you are not too concerned about sin, not much thought about serving God, devotions are boring and almost impossible).
- Fruit-bearing Season 2 – God’s pruning (cleaned up much sin, service brings fulfillment, devotions 2-3 times each week).
- Fruit-bearing Season 3 – Your abiding (committed follower of Jesus, serving with all your heart, Jesus is Lord and best friend).
God desires all believers to develop a vibrant, intimate relationship that glorifies God by bearing much fruit.
Conclusion: Revelation 21:2-3