Last time, we began looking at what discipleship looked like for Jesus, and how that still applies to us today. We saw that a disciple of Jesus abides in the Word and surrenders to Christ. This week, we will see a few more things a disciple of Jesus does.
A Disciple Of Jesus Loves As He Loved
Notice what Jesus says in John 13: “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35, CSB)
Jesus commands His disciples to love one another in the same way that He loved. Notice also what John says in his epistle.
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14, CSB)
A disciple is assured that he is an authentic Christ follower if he loves other believers. The word used here is agape. That word describes a sacrificial love that seeks others welfare. Notice what John says in 1 John 4:
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. (1 John 4:7-11, CSB)
God is the One who takes the initiative to love sacrificially for our ultimate welfare. We are to imitate that kind of love.
Jesus also tells us that men could see the authenticity of our faith based upon our love for one another. In other words, those “on the outside” of the Church “looking in” can identify real Christ followers, dependent on their love for one another!
A Disciple Abides In Christ
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. (John 15:4-5, CSB)
The word “remain” means to continue or abide in fellowship with. A disciple is one who is in “union” with Christ and a disciple who “remains” in Christ not only is in union with Him, but also is in communion with Jesus.
Just as the branch remains in the vine to receive life because of all of the life-giving nutrients that help it to grow and bear fruit, so the disciple remains in the True Vine – Jesus Christ. If we remain in Him, He provides all that we need to grow, mature, and live lives that are fruitful.
Because Jesus is the source of life, we must remain in Him to live lives of abundance and fruitfulness. To be severed from the vine is death, but to remain is life!
A Disciple Bears Fruit Through Christ
My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
(John 15:8, CSB)
One thing is certain: if I am faithful to abide in Jesus, He will be faithful to bear fruit through me. But what kind of fruit? Not only is there the fruit of seeing others come to faith in Christ, but notice what Jesus says in John 15.
- Answered prayer (15:7)
- Love (15:9)
- Obedience (15:10)
- Joy (15:11)
When we abide in Him, we will bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit, fruit that remains!