Class Notes: 1/17/2010

Jesus is the true vine and believers are the branches


John 1:14 - And the Word (undiminished deity) became flesh (true humanity), and dwelt among us (the Incarnation), and we (James, Peter, and John) beheld His glory (the visual manifestation of the Uniform of Glory), glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (Bible Doctrine).

In our previous lessons we reviewed the doctrines that relate to TLJC in his first advent when he was incarnated via the virgin birth as celebrated on Christmas.

Christmas is about how God so loved the world that he gave his uniquely born son. It is about how God became human in order to solve the problem of man's of separation from God and man's inability to do anything about it.

Christmas is about what God did to resolve man's problem and how he did it while maintaining his perfect integrity that is composed of his perfect righteousness, his perfect justice and his perfect love.

Christmas is about the person of TLJC. It is about knowing him personally as he is revealed in the Word of God who has existed from eternity. John 1:1;

We started our study with a discussion of the doctrine of the virgin birth that was necessary for there to be no transmission of the OSN and then took up the doctrine of the hypostatic union that explains the mechanics of how undiminished deity and true humanity reside in the person of TLJC and then discussed the doctrine of the kenosis that defines God the Father's protocol for the deity and humanity of TLJC in hypostatic union.

In the context of these doctrines, we are now looking at the names and titles for our Lord Jesus Christ so we can see more clearly what God has done for us through him, so we can more completely understand who TLJC is and what he has done for us, and from our knowledge of him have our confidence established in him by being occupied with him. Heb 12:2;

Both the Old and New Testaments provide us with names and titles for TLJC and it is from these we are given a clearer awareness of Jesus' person, His deity, His humanity, the hypostatic union and His mission as the Messiah, the King of Israel, the Head of the Church, and the Savior of mankind.

When we stopped last time we were discussing Jesus' reference to himself as "the true vine" and believers as "the branches" John 15:1;

We left off in John 15:7; where Jesus said "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you."

There are three concepts revealed in this verse: the believer in fellowship, the
believer in doctrine, and the believer in prayer.

"Abiding (or remaining) in Christ" is a reference to the Church-age believer in fellowship with God and under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit.

The word "abide" is used because the filling of the Holy Spirit only occurs when the believer resides in the PPOG.

Being filled with the Spirit is synonymous with living in the PPOG.

The believer has fellowship with God on the basis of the fact that the Holy Spirit controls their soul. The believer in fellowship can perform good deeds and Christian service, which are produced as result of the execution of the PPOG.

Only the filling of the Holy Spirit can produce divine good. The filling of the Holy
Spirit is the first spiritual skill, and the only way for the believer to have fellowship with God.

"My words" in verse seven are the thinking of Christ, or Bible Doctrine.

This means that the phrase, "My words abide in you," is a reference to consistent PMA or reception, retention and recall of Bible doctrine. This is the second spiritual skill.

The third spiritual skill is the execution of the PPOG by advancing through the three stages of spiritual adulthood (spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity).

Spiritual maturity results in maximum fruit bearing in three categories: visible production of divine good, which can be seen by others who observe the believer's Christian service; invisible production of divine good, which has maximum impact in life; and prayer.

Invisible impact cannot be seen by other people. It is the function of the "pivot" of mature believers who are the basis of God's preservation of their nation because of God's faithfulness toward his Word that resides in them. Matt 24:35;

This production is best because it always makes a role model out of Jesus Christ, thereby manifesting an invisible impact in the historic phase of the angelic conflict.

The phrase "Ask whatever you wish" in verse seven does not apply to believers
out of fellowship, new believers, or even adolescent believers. It applies to believers who have the three categories of fruit bearing, and visible and invisible impact.

The phrase "And it shall be done for you" does not imply that all your dreams will be fulfilled. It does mean that God will do exceeding abundantly above all you could ever ask or think. Eph 3:20;

God only makes this promise to those believers who are fruit bearers in spiritual maturity.

When believers are in spiritual maturity, Jesus' words abide in them so they will be asking for the right things.

The concept is "Ask for what you wish according to my word and God will provide it for you."

Prayer is used here as a function of the spiritual skills, and a means of producing
divine good that results from the believer functioning in the PPOG.

Spiritual skills extend to the function of prayer. Therefore, the function of prayer is production of divine good.

Spiritual skills plus production skills equal divine good in prayer. Divine good in prayer can only occur where spiritual skills precede production skills. This means that prayer is not effective unless it is done in a right way for the right reason.

John 15:8; "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be
My disciples." ( indoctrinated ones or students)

Maximum production of divine good occurs in the three stages of spiritual adulthood. Each stage produces more and more divine good until the believer has maximum production of divine good in their life.

God is only glorified through the execution of the spiritual skills. Glorification of God through the spiritual skills goes far beyond good deeds or Christian service.

This means that fruit bearing, or works by themselves, do not glorify God; it is when the three spiritual skills are the source of Christian service or production that God is glorified.

Production, or fruit bearing, is a result of spiritual momentum; it is never the
means.

This means that the production of a believer is not an indicator of their spiritual life because only God knows if the production is divine good or the dead works that come from human good.

It is therefore wrong to conclude that a person is spiritual because they are sincere and are working hard. It is equally wrong to conclude that a person is not a fruit bearer or even a believer, simply because others do not see any visible evidence of it.

Many believers today are not fruit bearers because they have no spiritual skills and don't even know what they are or how to acquire them.

The Greek word for "disciple" means "one who is indoctrinated or inculcated
with Bible doctrine." A disciple is a student of the Word of God, under the teaching and authority of one's right pastor-teacher.

Where spiritual skills are bypassed by negative volition toward doctrine or religious misconceptions in the application of doctrine, production skills take over completely.

Spiritual skills are often abandoned to carnality, and good deeds become the production of dead works, because arrogance has become the believer's motivation.

Divine production, or fruit bearing, is a result of spiritual momentum; it is never the means. Growth occurs through the combination of the filling of the Holy Spirit and the study and application of Bible Doctrine.

When the believer's growth produces fruit, God is glorified completely, the ultimate goal of all believers who are advancing in the PPOG.

2Cor 3:3; You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written
not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.

Eph 3:16-17; I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power
through his Spirit in your inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith or by means of doctrine...

Phil 1:20-21; I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have
sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by
life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

We have studied The Fruit of the Spirit previously, but it is worth reviewing again in the context of the vine and the branches.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The word "fruit" is the genitive singular noun "karpos," meaning "fruit," as opposed to "fruits." It is important to understand that this word is in the singular, because it describes one "fruit" (or "production") with a nine different facets.

This means that there are not nine different fruits mentioned here, but one fruit with nine different characteristics.

The phrase "of the Spirit" is the definite article "tou" plus the ablative singular noun "Pneumatos," that makes it clear that the source of this production is the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:22; But the fruit of the Spirit is…

"Is" is the present active indicative form of the verb "eimi," that means to "keep on being." This present tense is an iterative present, describing what occurs at successive intervals so it is a present tense of repeated action.

It was written to the Galatians as a tendential present, because at the time they did not have the fruit of the Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who produces these characteristics in our lives, we cannot do it. It is the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the believer.

The indicative mood makes a declarative statement of fact, under the conditions of being controlled by the Spirit and advancing to maturity by means of the application of Bible Doctrine.

Gal 5:22; But the production of the Spirit keeps on being love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…

These nine characteristics that co-exist under the filling of the Spirit and can not be separated. The measure of their manifestation is based on the believer's capacity from spiritual growth that results from the doctrine they have learned.

They are not all manifested at the same time, but they are all manifested under certain conditions, and as the believer grows in the grace and knowledge of TLJC, they increase.


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