Study Notes

John 15:1-27


Jesus and His disciples have just left the upper room in which they ate the Passover Seder. Now, Jesus begins His final discourse to them before entering the Garden of Gethsemane, where He will be betrayed.

15:1-8 What Is The Fruit?

This whole section exhorts us to be bearing fruit. But what does it mean, "to bear fruit?" Fruit is the produce, the outcome, of a tree, or your life. The produce of a Christian's life is to be abundant. John the Baptist preached,

Matt. 3:8 "Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;

The writer of Hebrews said,,

Hebr. 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

And Paul wrote,

Gal. 5:22-23 ...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...

Phil. 1:10-11 sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which {comes} through Jesus Christ...

Col. 1:10 ...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please {Him} in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

This is the fruit, this is what is supposed to the the produce of our lives: repentance, thanksgiving, love, righteousness, good works, and increasing our knowledge of God. Is your life bearing this fruit?

If You're Not Bearing Fruit

Maybe the produce of your life doesn't look like this. "Peace? Patience? Kindness? Doesn't sound much like me!" If that is the case, read verses 2 and 6 again...

John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away...

John 15:6 "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.

Not a pretty picture for branches that don't bear fruit. You can see the need to be a fruit bearer!

Why does God insist that you bear fruit? Because you're good for nothing else. "Hey, that offends me! I'm good for lots of stuff" you might think. According to the Lord, the branch of a vine, is valuable for just one thing: bearing fruit. Ezekiel writes,

Ezek. 15:1-3 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, "Son of man, how is the wood of the vine {better} than any wood of a branch which is among the trees of the forest? Can wood be taken from it to make anything, or can {men} take a peg from it on which to hang any vessel?"

You can't make a chair to sit down on. You can't carve a dowel to hang your mug on. It's only good for one thing: bearing fruit.

How Can I Bear Fruit?

So how can we bear fruit? What do we need to do? "Okay, God, I'm going to start bearing fruit. I'm gonna smile more at angry people. I'm gonna be more patient with pushy people. I'm gonna be gentler with annoying people." Is this how we do it - by forcing fruit?

It is important to understand this: you can't force fruit. You can't just start to behave in a different way - forcing yourself to smile, volunteering to help when you don't want to. Because if it's not from Jesus, it's not fruit. He said in verse four,

John 15:4 "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.

So here is the key to bearing fruit: Jesus is the vine, we are just the branches. If we stick to the vine, if we abide in Him and Him in us, then we naturally bear fruit. We are just a conduit - not having to force the fruit, squeezing it out, but just being attached to the vine. Be as close to Jesus as you possibly can, and the fruit will be a natural result. Because apart from Jesus, we can do nothing, but the Bible tells us,

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Jesus brings the fruit out of your life as you abide in Him.


So the real thing to focus on is abiding. How can we abide in Christ? "Abide" means "to remain in, not to depart, to continually reside in." Living every moment in Jesus Christ. Look back on your week for a minute. Did you live in Jesus this week? Be honest with yourself.

Who did you choose to spend time with this week? What did you do for entertainment? Where did you go? How did you act? Did you live this week constantly in Jesus Christ? Or did you just start thinking about Him this morning during the worship service. That's not abiding.

Dear saint, if you're not bearing fruit like you know you should, the reason is that you're not abiding in Christ like you know you should. I'm not talking about legalistically obeying rules and regulations. I'm talking about being pleasing to God, keeping Him in the forefront of your mind. Living so close to Him that we're never ashamed of the decisions that we make or the actions we take.

15:9-17 Abide In My Love

Jesus tells us to keep His commandments.

John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and {that} your joy may be made full."

If you're not experiencing peace, joy, and fulfillment in your Christian walk, it's because you're not walking in obedience to His commandments. If you want to experience true joy, you must truly hate the sin that permeates our society.


Do you hate the immorality that surrounds us? My wife and I were in Subway yesterday having lunch. Blasting over the speakers was this song that had a woman's voice saying, "Will you go to bed with me?"

Saints, is anyone else embarrassed by where we are as a society? Are you grieved? I pray that you are. Don't buy into the lie that the world has handed us through its books and magazines, movies and videos, radio and television. Adultery is sin. Profanity is sin. Sex outside of marriage is sin.

Eph. 5:8-12 ...You were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light {consists} in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

Actually enjoying this immoral garbage as entertainment is a slap in the face to a God that has saved us from the penalty of sin by dying on the cross. You cannot continue on this path.

1John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and {yet} walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

Hebr. 10:26-27 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.

He has called us friends. He has laid down His life for us. Let us do what He has commanded us. As David wrote,

Ps. 101:2-4 I will give heed to the blameless way. When wilt Thou come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.

Walk in obedience to the commandments, and you'll be abiding in Christ. As you're abiding in Christ, you'll find fruit being produced in your life. And then you'll realize that your joy is full - you'll have the happiness and fulfillment that you were trying to get out of the world's entertainment.

But understand: the world isn't going to be happy about this.

15:18-21 The World Hates You

Have you ever lost friends because you are a Christian? Has anyone ever gotten angry with you over your faith?

When I was a new believer, I was bound and determined not to be different. Sure, I was saved by faith, but I wanted to convince everyone that I was the same. As a matter of fact, the very first Christian book I bought was called, "How to be a Christian without being religious." I still got drunk with my buddies. I still watched the profane comedians. I still acted the same as I always had. And nobody ever hassled me about being a Christian.

But one night, as a friend of mine and I were both drunk, he looked at me and said, "Dude, you're the coolest Christian I know." That hit me like a truck. The world was supposed to hate me, and yet, I was the "coolest Christian" around! I quit drinking that night, and fully dedicated myself to serve God. I stopped trying to convince people I was the same person... because I wasn't the same person.

2Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, {he is} a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

I wasn't offensive, I was just pleasing to God. And wouldn't you know it? Almost overnight, I lost just about every friend that I had. If you're living your life pleasing to God, the world hates you. The Bible promises,

2Tim. 3:12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

If the world doesn't hate you, it's because the world can't tell the difference between you and them. Jesus said,

Luke 6:26 "Woe to you when all men speak well of you..."

Is the world hating you, or speaking well of you?

15:22-27 Sinners' Accountability

This world has heard Jesus Christ. The world has rejected Jesus Christ.

John 1:10-11 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

Let me ask you where you are at with Jesus Christ this morning. You know that sin sends people to hell. You know that Jesus died to take away sin. How have you responded to that?

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