Are you Growing?


Reflection Questions

1. Think about the main image Jesus uses in his teaching here. What does the vine provide for each of its branches?

2. Looking later in the teaching at verse 15, Jesus describes himself as a friend of his followers. What do friends share with one another? Think about what happens in a good friendship.

3. The sermon challenges us to use Galatians 5:22-23 to examine whether we are seeing good growth in our lives. Pick one of the examples of the fruit of the Spirit that Paul mentions, and discuss how you see either progress or a lack of growth in that area of your life.

4. There’s one key concept that Jesus uses to show us our role in seeking this growth: staying with Him. What are some of the practical things that might help us “stay with Jesus” in our every day lives?

5. The two primary indicators of growth that Jesus mentions in this passage are love and joy. From what you know about the life of Jesus, what would this love and joy look like in our lives?

6.The sermon concludes with the encouragement that the life of Jesus is stronger than the things in our life that oppose our growth. Think personally about how you might take that encouragement to heart this week. You can either share this with the group, or use this encouragement to lead you to pray.

John 15:1-17

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I 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 be 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, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have 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 abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.


FOOTNOTES

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.