Written Word

Lesson One: Being Faithful and Fruitful

Study Guide

  • Before you begin, take time to pray, asking God to give you guidance and understanding.
  • Read John 15:1-8 a few times.
  • Note what you believe to be the important statements.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Conclude your time of study with prayer, this time asking God to help you to be a faithful and fruitful disciple.

Lesson taken from John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine …”

  1. I Am The True Vine
  2. The Father Prunes the Vines
  3. What Kind of Fruit Do We Bear?
  4. Abiding in Him and He Abiding in Us
  5. For the Glory of God
  6. Memory Verses

I Am the True Vine

Seven times in verses 1-8 Jesus says ‘I Am.’

A vine is to be fruitful, similarly God’s people are to be fruitful.

The Father and the Son are involved in our life producing fruitfulness.

The fruit on the branches of a vine comes from its connection to the vine. The branch cannot produce fruit if it is cut off from the vine, its source of life.

God is working in the lives of his people producing the character of his Son in us.

Question 1: Why does the Father cut off certain branches? (verse 2)

The Father Prunes the Vines

There is a strong word of warning for nominal Christians whose lives do not bear fruit, “He cuts them off….”

One might protest, ‘I can’t be fruitful, I’m too weak.’ Remember that we do not produce the fruit, Jesus does that. We are called upon to abide, to remain in him.

The Father is like a gardener tending his vines to make them more fruitful. The life of a fruitful disciple is the result of the Father’s involvement.

God prunes our lives to make us more fruitful. Sometimes he allows us to experience trials and through these we can experience spiritual growth. See James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7. In Hebrews 12:7-11 we are told of the loving discipline of the Father in producing holiness in the lives of his children.

God works in us transforming us into the image of his Son. 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Question 2: How does the Father make us bear more fruit? (verse 2)
Question 3: Why do some branches not produce fruit? (verse 5)

What Kind of Fruit Do We Bear?

Vines produce grapes. Jesus makes this application: He is the vine and we are the branches upon which he displays his fruit. The life we live, our character, our behaviour, our beliefs are to be those of Christ Jesus. Jesus works in our life to make us more like him.

The type of fruit produced in our life is seen in Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-8.

Abiding in Him and He Abiding in Us

There are two parts to fruitfulness: There is our abiding in him, and there is his abiding in us. This occurs when the Lord comes to live in our lives – permanently. See John 14:23. When the Lord is living permanently in our life he is affecting every area of our life. He is our Lord and he reign over us.

As a result of this mutual abiding our prayer life is affected and we desires only that the will of God be done.

Verse 5: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing.’ What does that mean? Can people who are not disciples of Jesus be good parents, husbands, wives, successful in business, care about the poor, the needy, be involved in noble tasks, etc.? Yes they can. But the fruit Jesus speaks about cannot be borne unless one abides in him.

What does it mean to abide in Jesus? Abiding or remaining in Christ means keeping in fellowship with the Lord. How do we do that? The answer is found in Colossians 3:16-17.

How do we know if we are abiding in Christ?

  1. The evidence of fruit in our life testifies that we are abiding in him
  2. We will experience the Father’s pruning, the Father’s involvement in our life as he works to make us more like Christ.

Question 4: How do the words of Jesus remain in us? (verse 7)
Question 5: Why does the Lord give us what we ask when we remain in Him? (verse 7)

For the Glory of God

By being fruitful we glory the Father vs. 8. What does it mean to glorify God? (1). Paul glorified God through his suffering 2 Corinthians 12:12. And Abraham glorified God by believing Romans 4:20. In both these cases God was glorified; one by a man allowing the Lord to be seen through the suffering he endured, and the other by a man believing God in spite of the impossibilities of his situation.

Question 6: How do we show ourselves to be disciples? (verse 8)
Question 7: How is the Father glorified? (verse 8)
Question 8: How can we bear much fruit? (verse 8)

Memory Verses

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39)

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3)

End of Lesson 1. Remember to conclude your time of study with prayer, this time asking God to help you to be a faithful and fruitful disciple.