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Kamloops Church | First Baptist Church of Kamloops

John 15:9-17 ~ The Joy of Fruitfulness

John 15:9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10  "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11  "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12  "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14  "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16  "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17  "These things I command you, that you love one another.”   

 

    Two years ago, First Baptist Church went through a long soul-searching time of looking at ourselves and trying to determine what our purpose is. At the end of that time we came up with a very short and very simple statement of purpose. First Baptist Church’s purpose is “Transforming the heart of Kamloops with the heart of God.”

    That is a bold statement - but as with all bold statements - it is easier to write out a purpose than  to do it. The question is “How can First Baptist Church transform the heart of Kamloops with the heart of God?”

    Well, if we are going to have any part in touching the people of Kamloops with the heart os God, we’d better understand  more: what is the heart of God?

    We saw last Sunday that God’s heart, God’s desire for His disciples is fruitfulness.

    That is the same purpose passed down to the true church through more than 2,000 years. To First Baptist Church in Kamloops, God calls for fruitfulness. We are to be one be His instruments to reach the people of this community for Christ.

    I went out to our garden yesterday to reap its fruitfulness. I hadn’t looked at our zucchini plants for a while and lo, and behold I found that they have been fruitful (hold up huge zuccini).

    But there is another type of fruitfulness.

    To our first parents God twice said"Ge 9:7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it."

    During this past week Joshua and Miriam answered that command by bringing Louie Joshua into the world, just as Jeevan & Swapma brought Jasmine and as our young families have been doing before them. Now each one of our young parents have the joy and responsibility of raising these little ones to know and love the Lord Jesus.

    In that they will show forth the heart of God.

    This morning I want to try show you more of the heart of God. I want you to see that

  1. God desires that we live in the love of God
  2. God desires that we live in the joy of the Lord
  3. God desires that we live in His love in this church
  4. God desires that we live as friends, not just servants of Christ.
  5. God desires that we live as those chosen by Jesus

 

  1. God desires that we live in the love of God

    From the time we were young children we have sung, “Jesus loves me, this I know For the Bible tells me so”

    Is that just a nice little ditty or does it carry the absolute truth of God?  Dear ones, that song rests on the solid foundation of God’s Word..

    John 15:9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10  "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.    

 

How does love manifest itself?

  1. the love of the Father and the Son is confirmed throughout scripture. This is the eternal love within the Godhead. But you will notice that love and obedience are inseparably linked..

    Over and over again, scripture bears witness to the Father’s love for His Son and the Son’s perfect obedience.

    ”I do always the things that please Him (John 8:29)

    “the Father loves me because I lay down my life - power to lay it down and to take it again.” John 10:17, 18  

    "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50  "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak." John 12:49, 50

    John 14:31  "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do.

 

    As with Jesus, so with us:

  1. the love of the Son for His followers is confirmed through out scripture

    "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

    Jesus declares that He has the same love for us, with which the Father loved the Son!

    God’s word declares His love for us. Whether we  feel His love for us, we must believe in His love for us. Let us rejoice that God the Father and God the Son loves us with an everlasting love. Let us bask in His love. Let us live our lives in the assurance of His love for us.

    Once again we notice that love and obedience are inseparably linked.   

     "I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

    Let’s illustrate this in a healthy, happy family. In a healthy, happy family, the parents love the child - they will do anything to help the child and do nothing to hurt the child. As part of their love, they put up fences to protect the child in the form of guidelines or commandments. Because the child rejoices in the love of his parents, he loves and obeys them. The parents appreciate that  obedience & love still more; If child fails to obey, the parent still loves, but he child feels a strain on the relationship. In order to remove that strain, the child turns from the disobedient behavior and all is well.   

    The heart of God is a heart of love for His followers.

 

  1. God desires that we live in the joy of the Lord

    11  "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. “       

    Here is the tremendous benefit of knowing that we are loved by God  Love manifests itself in joy - a joy given by God accompanied by peace; the joy of loving and being loved

    Christianity is meant to fill us with joy. Joy is not the same as happiness which may come and go depending on the circumstances.

    The disciples were about to have their happiness shattered by watching their master die on the cross and be laid in a tomb.

    In Luke 16:20 Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21  "A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 2222  "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

    Our joy is based on the knowledge that our Saviour is alive and completely in control no matter how the circumstances look. The joy of the Lord is based on our relationship with God.

    The heart of God is a heart of desiring the joy of His followers.

 

  1. God desires that we live in His love in this church

    15:12  "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

    In John 13:34 Jesus said,  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

    Bishop Ryle says that the command is repeated for emphasis. Love one another - and He gives us himself as our example  - as I have loved you. What a challenge - The least and most unlovely are to be loved with an active self-denying, self sacrificing  love.

    That’s quite an order. Since Christ  loves all the believers, it is natural that the believers in a local church should love each other. In fact, Christ and Christianity is  is judged by the love of his disciples for one another.

    But there’s a glitch here. What was there of loveliness in us to cause Him to love us?

    Romans chapter 5 spell it out correctly when it tell usu that 6   when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 10  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

    Says Bishop Ryle: “This command  condemns the selfish, ill natured, jealous, ill tempered spirit. Sound views of doctrine will avail us nothing if we know nothing of love. Where there is no Christ-like love, there is no grace, no work of the Spirit and no reality in our religion. “He that supposes he is right in the sight of God, because his doctrinal views are correct while he is unloving , and sharp, cross, and ill natured shows wretched ignorance of Christ’s gospel. No love - no grace!

    What is the extent of this love?

13  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

    You see, we’re not talking about our feelings just now. Christ’s love is not based on feeling loving, but on our actions. Christ didn’t go to the cross because he felt like it. He didn’t have to feel all gushy inside to give his life for us. His actions carried his love to the fullest extreme - even to dying for us, and that is a lesson for us. Let your life be a sacrifice of love for your fellow Christians. It is  impossible in our own strength; possible as we allow His love to fill us and flow through us.

    Only when we abide in Christ and His love can we keep on loving one another;

    The heart of God is expressed in his love to believers and in their love for one another.

 

  1. God desires that we live as friends, not just servants of Christ.

    14  "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.    

    I believe that the greatest privilege in the world is to serve the Lord Jesus. Over and over I repeatedly say to the Lord, “Lord, let me serve you in some way.” As I try to preach I ask the Lord to let me serve Him acceptably. As I try to witness, I ask the Lord to let me serve Him, but Jesus gives us so much more than that.   

    15 15  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

    Jesus called his disciples friends on the very night in which they were going to display

their character deficiencies to the greatest degree. “Watch and pray,” he said, and they went to sleep. One of them denied that he even knew him, and the others all ran away. Are these the ones whom he has just called his friends? "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” he said, and they failed him utterly. What an act of glorious condescending love for Jesus to call them His friends.  Christ had shared what He had heard from His Father - why he was sent to earth; why he would lay down His life; why He had to leave earth; what He would do at His return; how a person could be saved.

    And what of us? Have we served him perfectly? Have we kept his commandments acceptably? And yet he calls us his friends.

    Jesus knows every failure, every weakness. Nothing can surprise Him. Nothing can be hidden from Him. It is best to confess our shortcomings and seek His continuing forgiveness.

    He is not satisfied with servile obedience - but he desires an expression of our love.

    The heart of God is revealed in calling us His friends.

 

  1. God desires that we live as those chosen by Jesus                    

    "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17  "These things I command you, that you love one another.”   

    I chose you - appointed you  - This choice was one sided in origin; It shows the free, independent and spontaneous nature of Christ’s love.

    Such has always been the case: He showed His electing love to Israel. Deut. 7: 7  "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8  "but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

    He shows his electing love to us

    Eph. 1:4  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

    I have never understood why some Christians get upset by the idea of God’s electing grace. They want to place the emphasis on our choosing to receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord. They love to emphasize our free will but the doctrine of election emphasizes that it is not your choice but Christ’s choice . Election is to eternal life and always to sanctification.  “we are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son”

    Why he calls some and not others we cannot explain but this I know: God must begin the work of grace in our hearts or else we would never be saved. . If He had not chosen us, we would never have chosen Him. We owe all to the election of grace. - Chosen that we should be holy.     Chosen with a twofold purpose - that we might bear fruit on earth - that we might have power in prayer in heaven. “I chose you and appointed you, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

    “Whatsoever you ask” - We need to  awaken to our wonderful responsibility of having in such a promise -  the keys to the King’s storehouses given us, as we ask according to His will.

    The heart of God is expressed in choosing us unto salvation and service.   

Conclusion:

    That is the way in which we can seek to transform the heart of Kamloops with the heart of God. It is for that reason that we ”serve the heart of Kamloops” or “minister to the heart of Kamloops.”

    Two years ago, First Baptist Church came up with a very short and very simple statement of purpose. First Baptist Church’s purpose is “Transforming the heart of Kamloops with the heart of God.”

    So what is the heart of God?

    The heart of God is a heart of love for His followers.

    The heart of God is a heart of desiring the joy of His followers.

    The heart of God is expressed in our love for one another.

    The heart of God is revealed in calling us His friends.

    The heart of God is expressed in choosing us unto salvation and service.   

    Our challenge is to reveal the heart of God to the people of Kamloops. Amen.

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