Are you a John 15 Christian? What is a John 15 Christian?
This was the question posed earlier this week by Rev. Harry Hagedorn. He thoughtfully gazed at each of us to consider the ramifications, the challenges, and the promises associated with the bold claims that Jesus makes for each Christian in John 15.
Believers are already clean! Not because of what we have done or can do for Christ, but the powerful claims of His Word.
For those who remain in Christ, He delights in pruning branches that bear no fruit. The act of pruning is often painful, but necessary for us to bear fruit in greater number and of higher quality.
Bearing fruit is a promise. A healthy tree cannot help but to bear fruit. The only way to be a healthy believer is to remain in Christ. This means to trust in His promises that no matter what, He has placed you right where you need to be. Place your roots where God has you planted and be his disciples. He will take care of the rest.
Obedience is a wonderful opportunity to experience the presence of Christ. Obedience does not affect my status with Christ, but introduces His presence to the world.
Jesus claims us to be His friend. Pause and reflect on that. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Can there be no greater friend than Christ? He listens, he cares, he always has our back. He is perfectly trustworthy.
He chose us to be his friend. He picked us out from the crowd. He taps our shoulder and wants to be associated with us. He is not embarrassed to be seen with us. He has separated us from the world, set apart from the rest, and is leading us down the narrow road to be with him forever.
Because he has chosen us to be his friend, we are going to be hated by the world. That is going to hurt. We love to belong. We love to be liked, accepted, acknowledged, and befriended. By trusting in Christ and be obedient to his Way, we are going to be persecuted and hated. Be ready for that. Accept this promise. Remain in Christ. Nothing in this world can offer or even come close to what Christ will deliver in heaven.
Our life in Christ is a testimony for Christ. Be ready to provide an answer for the hope we have in Christ. When opportunities come to share the words of Christ, those words will not be your own. They will be from Christ. Take courage, remain in Christ, for Christ will always be with us in every situation.
Interesting blog posts I read this week:
Did you know that only 1 out of 10 Christians belong to a church with over a thousand people? When you drive by huge mega-churches with full parking lots, remember that the vast majority of Christians faithfully attend smaller churches.
Seattle is more Bible-minded than Green Bay, WI? Portland, OR is more Bible-minded than Minneapolis? After living in the Minnesota, I was aghast to these results of America’s most Bible-minded cities.
Pastors are not super-heroes. Sometimes we unwittingly place too high of expectations on them. Pastors need this reminder as well. I believe discouragement is the number one reason why pastors struggle in the ministry. They need our support. This is a good blog post to remind us of that.
Mormons believe that the Bible is Scripture “as long as it is translated correctly.” This means that verses that correspond with LDS teachings is what’s most important since they believe that there are parts of the Bible that have been lost. In this blog post, Mark Cares of Truth in Love Ministry refutes the LDS claim that we have a corrupted Bible.