Scriptures: John 15:1-11, John 15:16
The picture of Jesus as the vine given in John 15 is a rich illustration that tells us much about our relationship with Him and with God the Father. When we abide in Christ--that is, remain with Him and cultivate our relationship with Him, we are able to "bear fruit". It helps us to understand that at the heart Christianity is about a relationship, one that is more important than any other and one that must be our chief concern in life.
"Do you realize how this makes Christianity the most unique faith in the world? No other faith or religious system offers its followers a personal union in connection with its founder. The Buddhist does not claim to be joined with Buddha. The Confuciusnist does not claim to be joined to Confucius. The Muslim does not claim to be joined to Mohammad, but a follower of Christ is connected to, joined to, and a branch of Jesus Christ. This is why so many people are so confused about what is real Christianity. They confuse religion with relationship. There is a difference between an organizational connection with Christ and an organic connection with Christ. I know in my ministry I have pastored a lot of people who were connected to the church, but they were not connected to Christ. That is why going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going into a garage makes you a Mercedes." --Dr. Merritt
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Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.