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John 14:27-29; 15:1-5 1
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Background

The peace that Christ  has given us was given to all for their benefit. This peace is available to all even though Christ has left us. This peace is good and comes from the knowledge that we have our justification before God. In one way, Christ then becomes our peace because without Christ, we have no justification before God. This peace is different, however. The peace of God widely differs from that of Pharisees or hypocrites, as is shown by its humbling and holy effects. We are humbled before God by Christ Himself.

Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in Him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, is hidden. It is our life and dependance on Christ. The root of any plant supports the plant, diffusing sap into it. In this way Christ supplies the necessary nutrients to our soul. He is our support and supplier of life, supplier of peace.

The branches of any vine are many. Yet, they all come together meeting at the root. The branches are all part of one vine. As true Christians, though in place, time and even differing opinions, we are distant from each other but all still meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand on their own. The branches are supported by the root of the vine, Christ.

The Vine is under the care and keeping of God and never was there any gardener so wise, so watchful, about His vineyard, as God is about His church. Our call, therefore, is to prosper in His name. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temperament, disposition, and life. We must honor God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful (branches) are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best of us have ideas, passions, and behaviors, that require modification. Here is where the promise of Christ moves forward to sanctify His believers. For this, we will be eternally grateful.

Christ’s words are spoken to all believers and there is a cleansing value in His  words. As the Grace works inside on us, corruption is driven out of us. The more fruit we bring forth, the more we grow in producing what is good. The more good we produce, the more Christ is glorified. Like all plans, branches must remain attached to become fruitful. In order to live a fruitful life, we must abide in Christ, joined to Him by faith. It should be the great concern of all Christ’s disciples to constantly keep  up their dependence on Christ first and foremost to always be in fellowship with Him.

Items for Discussion

  • What are your recommendations to eliminate stress? What works for you?
  • How does peace facilitate rest and remove stress?
  • Does our world really want peace?
  • Why would a healthy and active relationship with Jesus reduce stress from someone’s life?
  • What are some Biblical messages about living peacefully, without stress?

Peace and harmony come to those who extend it to others  –  “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18).

We are called to be peacemakers – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

Pray that God will make it possible – “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:2).

Pray for peace of mind. Pray for peaceful relationships. And pray for God’s peaceful Kingdom to come soon! Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:6-7 (Revised Standard Version) beautifully summarizes this wonderful subject: “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Discussion Challenge

  • Unshared fruit just falls to the ground and rots; How are we called to use the fruit from our vine within/outside the Christian Church? 

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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