Wk 4 // A Whole New Year... // Walking with Christ and Bearing Fruit
What do you think of when you read about “fruit” in the Bible?
What image comes to mind when you think of the word “abide”?
How would you define the word “abide” in the context of your relationship with Jesus?
In this week’s message, Pastor Mike talked about having a spiritual awakening and how afterwards your life is never the same. After God has given you a wake up call it is important that you maintain that spirit and willingness to grow in faith. And as you continue to grow in faith the Bible says you will begin to “bear fruit.”
Today we will look at Jesus’ teaching about walking with Him and bearing fruit as a result. If we are to be His disciples, we must be intentional about pursuing Christ and prepared to be pruned by Christ. True disciples walk with Christ by abiding in Him.
Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.
What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?
Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?
Was there anything that challenged you?
Have a volunteer read John 15:1-4.
What did Jesus mean by trimming or pruning the branches, and how does that relate to God’s actions to believers? In what specific ways do you think God prunes His disciples?
Describe a time in your life when God pruned you so you would grow closer to Him. Was it a good process? Why or why not? What was the result of the pruning?
Verse 2 continues the vine metaphor and describes the process of pruning, when dead branches are removed and the decaying parts are trimmed away. As Christians, we’re represented in the branch that produces fruit but still requires pruning. This process of removing the dead parts occurs as God challenges us so we can continue to grow in Him. Pruning is a good process, and it promotes spiritual health and strong faith.
In verse 4, many bible translations use the word “abide.” What does it mean for Jesus to “abide” in us?
Some bibles use the word “remain.” Why are both “remaining” in Jesus and Jesus “abiding” in us necessary to produce fruit?
Jesus encouraged the disciples to abide in Him and to allow Him to abide in them. When people are saved, they are in Christ and Christ is in them. We can do nothing without Christ. Only with Him living and working in us can we produce fruit and make a difference in the world.
Have another volunteer read John 15:5-8.
What is the meaning of Jesus’ statement in verse 6?
What is the link between obedience and prayer (v. 7; see also John 14:13-14)?
Genuine believers who maintain an essential relationship with Christ can ask whatever they wish and their requests will be granted. This doesn’t mean we get what we want, simply that when we are focused on God, our prayers are aligned with His will. We must remain in Christ and His words must remain in us. Our prayers are tied closely to bearing much fruit and glorifying God.
How can believers bring glory to God, according to this passage (v. 8)?
If you were abiding in Christ completely and without a doubt, what do you think you would pray for our church?
Have a third volunteer read John 15:9-11.
With what kind of love did Jesus love His disciples?
What was the motivation behind Jesus’ words in these verses?
Producing spiritual fruit is joyful, but it comes as the result of sacrifice—of pruning and abiding and seeking the heart of God. In this way, it should lead us to follow the example of Christ.
What can you do to more closely and consistently abide in Christ? How can we as a group intentionally help one another with this effort?
What are some specific things we can ask God to accomplish through us? What step might He want us to take to accomplish this?
Close by praying over your group. Thank God for putting this specific group of people together at this moment. Ask Him to reveal to each person the fruit that He wants him or her to produce, and ask for the willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish it.