GodSpeak for the Week of April 29
“Connected to the True Vine”
This week, we take a short break from our “What’s In [His] Name?” sermon series, as Pastor Fofana preaches on this week’s Lectionary readings.
Read John 15:1-3
- Answer this – what does Jesus mean by saying He is the “true vine” and the Father is the “gardener”?
- What’s the difference between the two?
- Why is that important to us?
Read John 15:1-3, again.
- Consider this – the practice of “pruning” is a bit violent; it involves cutting away dead, damaged or unproductive parts of a plant in order that the main plant may thrive.
- What does Jesus mean that the Father “prunes” every “branch that does bear fruit”?
- How is this something actually healthy for those of us who are joined to Christ, the “true vine”?
Read John 15:3
- Answer this – what does Jesus mean that we are “already clean” because of the “Word” He has spoken?
- What does “cleanliness” have to do with being part of the “true vine”?
Read John 15:5
- Consider this – in this verse, our NIV text reads: “IF you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…”
- That word “if” sets up a conditional statement – e.g., “If you do this, that will happen.”
- But, in the original Greek, the word “if” isn’t present! A clearer way to translate this phrase would be: “AS you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…”
- Answer this – by translating this verse differently, what does that do to our faith?
- Consider this – the branch of a vine can’t separate itself from the vine itself (i.e., the “if” of a conditional statement).
- So, how does that affect our faith, by reading the verse: “As you remain in me…”?
Read 1 John 4:1
- Consider this – John counsels us to “test the spirits” to see if they truly come from God.
- Answer this – how can we “test the spirits”?
- By what means, through what tools are we able to do this?
Read 1 John 4:10
- Consider this – this is one of the great lines of Scripture; a wonderful summary of true faith.
- Answer this – how does this one verse accurately capture both Law and Gospel?