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Stop Trying to Be a Christian!

by on December 16, 2013

I want to share with you something that I’ve been sharing with the Metanoya family the last few weeks. It’s found in John 15:1-6 and has to do with Jesus speaking about the Vine and the Branches.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 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. 5 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. 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.  John 15:1-6

1. The Vine  (John 15:1)

 You removed a vine from Egypt; You drove out the nations and planted it.Psalm 80:8 The Nation Of Israel Was God’s Vine In The Old Testament. God Desired Fruit But The Vine (Israel) Became Corrupt And Produced Rotten Fruit. Let me sing now for my well-beloved. A song of my beloved concerning His vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill. 2 He dug it all around, removed its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it. And also hewed out a wine vat in it; Then He expected it to produce good grapes, But it produced only worthless ones. 3 “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge between Me and My vineyard. 4 “What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones? 5 “So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard: I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed; I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground. 6 “I will lay it waste; It will not be pruned or hoed, But briars and thorns will come up. I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it.” 7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel. And the men of Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for justice, but behold,bloodshed; For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress. (Isaiah 5:1-7)  Jesus Is “The True Vine” Who Came To Fulfill What God Intended For Israel. I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (John 15:1)

2. The Gardener  (John 15:1)

God The Father Is The Gardener, Who Plants, Cultivates And Protects The Vine, To Receive And Rejoice In Its Fruit. The Father Is The Gardener Who Cares For The Branches To Make Them Fruitful.

3. The Branch (John 15:2)

The Branches Are Christians. (Followers Of Christ)

4. The Fruit (John 15:2)

So What Is The Fruit The Branch Must Produce? Now this in no way is an extensive list of fruit that the Father looks for, but only one to consider:

1.   The Fruit God Looks For Is The Fruit Of The Spirit.

The Fruit Of The Spirit Is The Character Of Christ. (Galatians 5:22-23) If you ever wanted to know what Jesus is like, look at the Fruit of the Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is who Jesus is. A few things to consider is this: notice that the Bible clearly calls it “fruit” (singular) and not “fruits” (plural) signifying that it is one fruit that is manifested several different ways. So you don’t have to have 9 different fruits in you, just one: The Fruit of the Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit that will will produce the manifestations of love, joy, peace, etc. Early on in my Christians walk I used to say things like: “I have love and peace, but I don’t have patience” – which is typically what a new believer says, but is not entirely true. Now, I know what you mean when you say that, but let me work this out for you:

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the character of Jesus. When a person is born again (John 3:1-7) that person internally recieves the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. You become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) So when you receive the Holy Spirit, you receive everything the Holy Spirit has. If the Holy Spirit has love (agape) then you as a believer have love (agape), because the Holy Spirit is in you. If the Holy Spirit has peace, then you have peace because the Holy Spirit is in you. So as a believer, a follower of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit in you (the character of Jesus) and everything He has to offer.

The 2nd thing I want you to consider is the fact the Jesus “doesn’t” have “love” to give you, JESUS IS LOVE. Jesus doesn’t have “peace” to give you, JESUS IS PEACE. Jesus doesn’t have joy to give you, JESUS IS JOY.  – this is the same with every other manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit. That’s what makes the Christian life so amazing, this is not something that you by your own strength have to try to produce, this is something that the Holy Spirit produces in the life of the believer. For many years, I lived a miserable Christian life, because I was trying so hard to have “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…” I knew that Christians were supposed to be like that but it was impossible to produce that every single day! I was so frustrated and condemned, because I fell short all day, every day. Until my father sat me down and said, “stop trying to be a Christian, and let Jesus live his life in you, and through you.” I finally realized what my problem was, I was trying to live the life of Jesus in my own strength, in the power of my flesh. And that was NEVER going to happen. So I made decision that day, from that moment on, I was going to “stop trying to be a Christian”. I was going to place my faith in Jesus, and what He did at Calvary, and with my flesh crucified, I would allow the Holy Spirit to begin to do what He did best, produce the life of Jesus in me, and through me. I learned something very powerful that I have carried with me my entire Christian life: Christianity Is Christ In You, Living His Life Through You, Without Any Help From You.

If you are ever in San Antonio, Texas, please make some time to visit us at Metanoya Church.

I pray you have a blessed week!

Expect A Miracle,

Pastor Jubal

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