Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

The Word of Life (III)

by Erik Momsen

God's great love for us is unquestionable BUT so is His great purpose.  Since we are to be transformed into the likeness of the Son, we to will live many of the patterns of the Son. Was He greatly loved by His Father?  No question!  Did He go through great trouble and pain?  Yes again!  The Father did not love the Son any less at the time of greatest distress.  Probably loved Him even more.  We must understand that blessing and trial will be part of the same package of the walk of faith.

The Lord gave me this promise 15 years ago and I am believing this word.  This word was for Joshua but to some degree for me but also for you.

READ Joshua 1:5-9
Did Joshua have some tough times? Yes. Did he prosper? Yes!

NO BETTER WAY TO PROSPER THAN IN THE VINE
In John 15 Jesus was giving them God's plan for abundant life.

LAST WEEK ON FRUIT
Paul tells Titus: "Let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they might not be unfruitful."  (Titus 3:14)

Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is only in the law of the LORD; and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf shall not wither, and all which he does shall be blessed. (Psalm 1:1-3)

The Father loves us unconditionally, but has plans for us and seeks fruit in our lives.  The fruit the Father seeks is that which brings glory to the Godhead and inevitably ushers in the Kingdom. (John 15:8)

The Father seeks eternal fruit -  "I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that fruit should remain." (John 15:16)

We are not here to fulfill our dream.  We are here to fulfill God's dreams.

GOD IS MORE WILLING TO BLESS THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE
YOU ARE ALREADY CLEAN BY THE WORD & THE BLOOD
THOSE WHO ARE FRUITFUL IN THE THINGS OF GOD ARE BLESSED IN ALL WAYS.

LIFTING UP, CLEANING & PRUNING
At first glance John 15:2 seems very disturbing:

"Every branch in me that doesn’t bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you."

The immediate question is, "Will He take me away if I do not bear fruit?"  Does this verse say that I, as a believer, can be discarded?

Verse 2 describes them as "in Me" ie. in Christ.  This is a common New Testament description of believers.  These are part of Christ.

The next question is, "Does 'cut off' mean 'cut off'"?  Or rather does the Greek 'airo' mean cut off?  AIRO is used in:  Matthew 14:20 'look up' 12 baskets;  Matthew 27:32 'take up' cross / John 1:29 'takes away' the sin of the world.

[*StrongsGreek*][00142]
142 airo ah'-ee-ro a primary root; to lift up; by implication, to take up or away; figuratively, to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind), specially, to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Hebraism (compare 5375) to expiate sin:--away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up). see HEBREW for 05375

Jesus is saying that those who do not bear fruit are picked up, washed clean and tied up so they can produce fruit.  This is exactly the process still used today by vine dressers around the world.  He tells the disciples they are already clean (remember the washing of leaves and stems by the vine dresser) because of the word.

WHAT DOES PRUNING LOOK LIKE?
Jesus has called us to be disciples and to disciple others.  This is process of teaching and discipline.  The vine dresser has to discipline the vine branches.  Tie them up, clean them off and encourage fruit production.  

Hebrews 12 describes three stages of discipline.
"My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him;  for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives."   If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? ...  Now chastening for the present does not seem to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it."  (Hebrews 12:5-7,11)

DEGREES OF DISCIPLINE

1st. Rebuke (elegxomenos) = convict, convince - “My son, do not ... be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him” (Hebrews 12:5).  This is a verbal warning.  A prick of the conscience or Holy Spirit, a word from someone or from Scripture.  This happens all the time so we must keep our ears open.

2nd. Chasten (paideuei) = educates by punishment - “For whom the Lord loves He chastens” (v.5) This is an emotional anxiety, frustration or distress. You have lost your joy in yourself, other and the Lord. More church and bible reading will not work but a discovery of the ongoing sin, repentance and change of behavior will bring back the joy.

3rd. Scourge (mastigoi) = “to flog” - “And scourges every son whom He receives.”  This is the same word used for Jesus' beating.  This passage says God scourges every son.  All of us have probably gone though some very difficult situation that God has used as a punishment to get our attention and correct our self destructive ways.  This is correction for continuous, flagrant and unrepented sin.

The Father loves us too much to leave us in our undisciplined state but if we cooperate with His patient hand we will produce in all areas of life.

Erik Momsen
30th January 2007

Date Added: 2007-01-30

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