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How to Be Filled with Joy

(John 15:1-11)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Last time we saw Jesus saying,
That if we love Him,
We will obey Him.
This reminded us of two things:
1. That this is how Jesus wants us to show Him our love:
He doesnt just want us to say it,
Or think it,
Or feel it,
He wants us to show it
By the way we live.

2. That this is how we can know that we really do love Him.

If our love doesnt go beyond
What we say, think and want,
Then theres a disconnect in our lives:
Its possible that our love is weak.
But its also possible that its just not there.
If thats the case,
We need to look to Jesus
And ask Him for the gift of His Spirit,

So that we can trust Him

And obey Him.

Jesus also promised His disciples

That if they already had His Spirit with them
Which they knew they did
If they loved and were obeying Him
That there was something even better coming:
More of the Spirits work and power
When He would indwell them at Pentecost.
Not only would He help them remember
Everything Jesus had said,
And continue to teach them everything they needed to know
So that they could write it down for us,
In the Gospels and NT letters
He would also give them
The power to do even more
To push His kingdom forward.

B. Preview.
This brings us to the topic of our passage:

The Spirit would give them more power

Power to be able to do more,

Because they would love Jesus more
And this in turn
Would bring an even greater blessing:
They would be filled with joy.
This morning, lets consider:
How we can have this joy Jesus promised.

II. Sermon.
A. First, lets see that this is what Jesus is talking about:
That we can have joy; how we can have it.
He tells us as much in verse 11, These things I have spoken to you so that My joy
may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Weve seen that Jesus has been saying
The things Hes been saying
To comfort His disciples
Because He had just told them
That He was going away
Back to heaven.

He said they shouldnt be troubled

Because He was going to prepare a place for them
Just as He also went to prepare a place for you,
If youre trusting Him this morning.

He told them not to be afraid

Because He wouldnt leave them as orphans

Jesus had been a father to them

During the last three and a half years
He wasnt going to abandon them:
He would come to them again
In the presence of His Spirit.

And now, He says, this will give them joy

Joy because of what they would be able to do
Once the Spirit came:
They would not only do what He had done,
But greater things.

If you really love Jesus,

And want to show Him that you do by obeying Him,
What could possibly give you greater joy and pleasure
Than having the power to do it?

B. So how could they have this power?

And how can we have it
So that we can experience this joy?
1. Jesus says we must be connected to Him.

Look at verses 1 and 4-5: He says, I am the true vine, and My Father is the
vinedresser. . . . Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit
of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in
Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Jesus uses an image

That was very familiar to them
And should be to us,
Because of all the grapevines growing in the area:
That of a vine and its branches.
If the branches are to produce grapes,
They have to be connected to the vine
They need the sap it provides.

In the same way,

If we are to produce fruit
If we are to obey
We need to be connected to the Vine Jesus
We need the life giving power
That comes from Him His Spirit.
Without this connection,
Without His Spirit,
We cant do anything good.

We can still do something

But nothing that God wants.
We can sin
We can disobey God
We can do the right things

For the wrong reasons.

But we cant do the right things for the right reasons
We cant obey Him
Because we love and want to honor Him.
Thats why Jesus says in verse 5,
Apart from Me you can do nothing.

God tells us in His Word

That we came into this world spiritually dead
Dead to obedience we didnt want to obey
But alive to disobedience to sin.
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:1-3, And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now
working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived
in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
When we were in this condition,
We couldnt please God:
Paul writes in Romans 8:7-8, The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God;
for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

If we are to have the power to do good

To produce the kind of fruit that pleases God
We have to be connected to the Vine,
We must be in Jesus

And have His Holy Spirit working in us.

The only way we can be connected to Him is by faith:

We must be willing to turn from our disobedience,
Trust Jesus alone to save us,
And begin to do what He wants us to do.
Once we are connected to Jesus
Once were abiding in Him
And He in us
His Spirit will flow into our souls
And give us the power
To do what He calls us to do
We wont be able to do it perfectly,
Or to live perfectly,
But we will be able to obey Him
With real love and a real desire
To honor Him in our hearts.
And since we now love Him,
That obedience will bring us joy.

2. Jesus tells us there are other things

That will bring us joy as well.
a. He says if we are connected to Him
We will not only bear fruit,

But we will bear much fruit
Well have the power
To do a lot of things for Him.
Look at verse 5 again, I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in
Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.
If doing a little
For His glory and that of His Father
Will give us joy,
Just think how much joy well have
When were able to do more.

b. If we bear a lot of fruit,

He tells us in verse 8
That our joy will be even greater
Because it will prove to us
That we really are His disciples
That we really are new creatures,
Saved by His grace
Saved from the punishment
That would have been ours for our sins;
And on our way to the safety of heaven.
Jesus says, My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so
prove to be My disciples.

c. If we are bearing good fruit

If we are trusting Jesus,
And doing what He tells us to do in His Word
He also tells us we can ask for whatever we want,
And He will give it to us.
He says in verse 7, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask
whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
As we saw recently,
He will do this because the things we ask for
Will be the things He wants us to have.
When we see the answers He sends to our prayers
We will have an even greater joy.

d. And, so that we wont stop bearing fruit,

Jesus tells us that the Father will continually prune us
So that we will bear more and more fruit.
He says in verses 1 and 2, 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 bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more
This pruning isnt always an easy thing to go through.
He usually does it through trials and discipline.
But the results are worth it
We will produce more for His glory.
Have you ever heard the expression:
No pain, no gain.
The same is true in the Christian life:


We have to go through the pain of pruning

If we are to gain the ability to do more for Him.

Jesus told His disciples in verse 3

That they had already been pruned
And so were ready to produce fruit,
You are already clean (pruned) because of the word which I have spoken to
Jesus reminds us that if were in His Word often
If we allow the Spirit to use it
To teach and correct us,
If we work on overcoming our sins
And on following Jesus in everything He tells us to do
In other words, if we discipline and train ourselves in Gods Word
We wont need the Fathers pruning as much to keep bearing fruit.
Its only when we dont do it
As much as we need
That the Father will step in and do it for us
Which will be the case more often than not.

3. Jesus says one more thing to encourage us in verses 9 and 10.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If
you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept
My Fathers commandments and abide in His love.
He said before that if we abide in Him

If were connected to Him,
And His Spirit is working in us
We will bear much fruit
And be filled with His joy.

Here He tells us that if we keep His commandments

Which is the same as bearing good fruit
We will abide in His love:

When we keep His commandments,

We show that we love Him.

But when we keep His commandments

We are also loved by Him,
Just as Jesus obeyed His Father
And was loved by Him.

Jesus could mean one of three things here

Each of which are true:
a. That He will love us, if we obey Him:
The good news is, we will obey Him
If were trusting Him,
Hell make sure that we do
By His Holy Spirit living in us
And so we will abide in His love.


b. Or, He could mean the more we obey Him,

The more He will love us.
Jesus does love all of His children,
But He doesnt love them all the same
Even He has His favorites.
His favorites are those who obey Him more.
If we love Him,
This should encourage us to obey Him more.

c. Or, He could mean that through our obedience

We will sense more of His love
When we dont obey Him,
We cant sense it as well,
And that robs us of joy.

Here are three more reasons

We should obey Him.

B. So far, weve looked at

What Jesus has to say
About those who obey Him.

What about those who dont?

Who say theyve trusted Jesus,
Maybe theyve joined with a church,


But theyre not producing any good or useful fruit?

What does Jesus say about them?

He says the Father will eventually remove them

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away (v. 2)
And they will eventually be cast into the fire
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and
they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned (v. 6).
Just as useless branches are pruned and then burned,
So those who havent trusted Jesus
Will eventually be thrown into the eternal fire.

Simply saying you believe in Jesus isnt enough.

Becoming a member of a church isnt enough.
If youre not trusting Jesus
If youre not connected to Him, abiding in Him
If His Spirit isnt in you
So that your life isnt producing good fruit
Then you are still in the condition you were in
When you came into the world
Youre still in your sins;
The Lord hasnt forgiven you.
When you die,
His angels will take hold of you

And throw you into hell
And you will never come out.

The same is true

Even if youve never claimed to be a Christian
If you havent trusted Jesus
This is what your disobedience deserves
Thats what mine deserved,
Thats what all of ours deserved.

But the good news is,

You can escape this judgment,
If you turn from your disobedience
And trust in Jesus.
If you will,
He will receive you;
He will forgive you;
He will give you His Spirit;
And you will obey Him and know His joy.
Is that what you want this morning?
Then believe in Jesus
Trust Him to save you
And He will. Amen.