…by Larry McManus
Before the message was delivered we were moved by the video of the multitude of baptisms for last week–WOW! The “not a fan” teaching series has turned out to be a turning point in our church’s history with 80 baptisms in one weekend. God is changing lives at Suncrest and this final message in the series moves us forward into what a completely. committed. follower. looks like.
With John 15 as the textual backdrop for the whole message, we see that there are some immutable components of our faith once we are transformed by Jesus. These components must be developed but should begin as soon as we start this life of following Christ. There are certain activities and qualities that the Bible calls “fruit” and which begin to characterize the life of a Christ follower.
We see some of these in Galatians 5 and Jesus said in Matthew 7 that “every good tree bears good fruit” and “by their fruit you will recognize them”. There is a qualifier in John 15:16 that we bear fruit that lasts. Lasting fruit must come from a lasting power source in order to have the eternal quality that Jesus is speaking of here. This kind of fruit is spiritual and born from time with the Eternal One, Jesus Christ.
This leads to the next component of faith in which we remain in Jesus, much like a branch remains connected to the main vine or trunk. And so the agricultural metaphor develops from “fruit” production to “branches” and “vine”. Or…. we could go with tape-ology. Gorilla tape, being the alleged “stickiest tape”, we should be like that tape. We should cling to Jesus as if everything depended on Him (because it actually does). This seemed to be the big idea of this message, “stick with Jesus.” If we align our lives with Jesus and His words and will, then when we ask the same as Him it will be given. Joy is also part of the promise that will come when we “stick with Jesus”. So have you dropped the “fan” status with Jesus? Are you giving yourself to Jesus completely, committing everything daily to Him, and following Him as close as you can?