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Watch 2022 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Everyone Has To Grow

Matt Hagee - Everyone Has To Grow

Matt Hagee - Everyone Has To Grow
Matt Hagee - Everyone Has To Grow
TOPICS: Spiritual Growth

John 15:1 through 17 have a conversation that in order to understand it, we have to go where Jesus was and see what he was looking at. That's why we've reconstructed our version of a Cornerstone vineyard here. When Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches," he wasn't sitting in a sanctuary with padded pews. He was on his way from the upper room into the Garden of Gethsemane. The last supper had just been celebrated. Their final Passover had been shared. And the disciples are starting to wonder why Jesus is not starting the revolt that they expected. And Jesus walks into a vineyard on his way through the Kidron Valley, and he begins to explain some things to the disciples. He says, "I am the vine and you are the branches. And my father is the vine dresser".

Now in order for us to understand what God expects of us, we have to recognize the roles and relationships of the things Jesus just said right there. Who is the vine? Jesus. Who are the branches? We are. Who is the vine dresser? God. Is it your job to dress the vines? So then stop looking at everybody else's leaves as if it's your responsibility. Jesus said, "I am the vine. You are the branches. My father is the vine dresser". And when we look at this relationship, we quickly understand exactly what God wants from us.

You know often people are asking the question, "Pastor, what is God's will for my life? I just want to know what God wants from me". The good news is that God wrote it down in his book. And here's what he says in John 15:16: he said, "You didn't choose me: I chose you. And I appointed you that you should bear fruit". What does God want from us? It comes in one word, "Growth". He wants us to bear fruit. God wants you to grow today, no matter how long you've been going to church. You may have been here for five minutes, and you may have been here for 55 years. The good news is he's no respecter of persons. He wants you to grow. He wants you to get bigger. He wants you to become stronger. He wants you to believe for more. He wants you to produce, because he said it very clearly, "You didn't choose me, I chose you. And I chose you that you might produce fruit".

What does God want from you? Production. He wants to come and inspect the areas of your life. And when he sees what you're growing, he wants it to be pleasing in his sight. You're either producing fruit or you're producing strife. Your life is either generating joy or it's bringing division. You're either pulling people together or you're pushing them apart. You are either an ambassador of peace or you are the agent of anger. But your life is producing something. There is no neutral ground. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 7:17: he said, "Good trees produce good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit, and every tree is known by its..." Every tree is known by its... You can't hide, from the world, who you are. It doesn't matter how many Christian phrases you've memorized. It doesn't matter how many conferences you attend. It doesn't matter how many ministry mailing lists you're on. A tree is known by its fruit! Not it's association: it's, fruit!

Whenever your life is one disaster after another, whenever your life goes through one series of strife after another, when in the last five years, you've caused six church splits, four bankruptcies, three divorces, and you even killed your own dog who'd rather play in the street than sit next to you. You can't tell somebody, "I'm blessed and highly favored," "Behold, all things work together for the good of those that love him," because no matter what you say, a tree is known by its... We all know people who've got Christian phrases memorized. But their profession does not reflect their production. Trees are not known by their profession. Trees are known by their production. And God expects to produce fruit. Without a root, there is no fruit. Say that with me. Without a root, there is no fruit.

Jesus Christ said, "I am the vine. You are the branches". I am the vine that goes from Bethlehem's manger all the way back to Abraham. I am the vine that connects the covenant that God made in Genesis with what he did for you on the cross. I am the vine that pulls you into every promise of the Word of God. Paul said that before the cross, we were without hope, without Christ, and outside of the covenants. But because we have been grafted into the vine, now every promise is yes and amen in Christ Jesus. Every Word of God is now applicable to our lives. Everything that God said he would do for his son, he'll now do for you, because through Jesus Christ, you have become an heir and a joint heir. Thank God that we have such a sacred vine as Jesus Christ. Give the Lord a handclap of praise.

But without a root, there is no fruit. This is a branch. This branch should be able to produce. But the problem is it cannot produce. Why? There's no root. Jesus speaks about two different branches in John 15. You need to see the distinction between them both. He says, "Every branch that abides in me," John 15:5. "Every branch that abides in me produces fruit". And then in John 15:6, the very next verse, he said, "And every branch that does not abide in me". He said, "It's gathered together, it's burned with fire, and it's cast away". How many of you see a distinction between a branch that abides in and a branch that does not abide in? Raise your hand if you're sure.

The reason that I'm asking you this is because often times whenever people read this chapter and these verses, they begin to confuse the branches. You'll have people say, "Well see God's so interested in fruit: that if you're not producing fruit in your life for Jesus Christ, you're going to be taken away, gathered up, and burned". No. That's taking a bit of this verse and a little of that verse, and creating your own doctrine. Now I'm not saying you've done that, but how many of you know people who have? There are two distinct branches, the branch that is in me, grafted in: and the branch that is not in me. This branch is going to be picked up and burned, because it has no relationship with Jesus Christ.

This branch, the day it got grafted in, the day that it went from being alone to being connected, the day that it heard at Cornerstone Church, "Apart from me, you can do nothing. But with me, you can do all things:" the day that it made a decision to receive in faith the free gift of salvation, that is the day that this branch became alive. Before Christ, it was dead. After Christ, it'll never die. Before Christ, it had no hope. After Christ, it has all of the hope that the Word of God can promise. Before Christ, it was powerless. After Christ, it can do all things! Before Christ, it had no provision. After Christ, "My God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory". Before Christ, he was alone. After Christ, the Bible says, "I'll never leave you, nor will I forsake you even to the ends of the earth". Before Christ, there was no covering. After Christ, he's given his angels charge over you to protect you and guard you in all of your ways. Before Christ, he was cursed. After Christ, he's the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath! He's blessed going in! He's blessed coming out! Everything he puts his hand to is going to prosper! Why? Because he's been grafted into the vine!

There's two branches, a branch that's in and a branch that's out. And in John 15:2, Jesus said, "Every branch that does not bear fruit, he (God, the vine dresser), he takes it away". Now that's the English translation. But a better way to say that is, every branch that is in me that does not bear fruit, he lifts it up. The Greek word is "Airo". "Airo" means to lift up. Here, it's written, "Takes away". And there's several places where we see the word "Airo" written in scripture. For example, when John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan, and he saw Jesus coming, what did he say? He said, "Behold, the Lamb of God", who does what? "Takes away the sins of the world".

The Greek word again, "Airo". What he was saying is there is the sacrifice of God that is going to take my sin and your sin, and he's not going to take it away from you: he's going to take it away and lift it up to God. Jesus Christ said it this way: he said, "If I be lifted up (airo), I will draw all men unto me". So John 15:2, "Every branch that is in me," every branch that has been to the altar and gotten saved, every branch that has a profession of faith, "Every branch that has in me that does not bear fruit, he lifts it up". How many of you have seen a vineyard? Have you ever seen grapes grown on the ground? Grapes grow with support. Grapes are held up on posts that enable the vines to grow and the fruit to hang.

One of the reasons why this vine has to be lifted up by the vine dresser is because it has been connected to a source of potential and power, but it is growing in a place that it was never intended to exist. How many of you know God's kids cannot grow in a place they were never intended to exist? There are people, who come to church every Sunday, and they're asking God, "God, help me grow". And then Monday through Friday, they go right back into the world. And they try to accomplish the godly things that they heard about in church. But you can't go out there and do what God wants you to do, because you weren't intended to grow down here.

Now this is a very powerful picture, because when you understand that the vine dresser picks you up, the way he picks you up is through the word. First, with the written word. The Bible says of Jesus in the book of John, "In the beginning, was the word". And in John 14, it says, "And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us". When Jesus looked at the disciples, and he said, you guys are already clean, you've already been picked up and washed off, prepared for growth, because of the washing of the water of the word. Where did they get that word? They got that word from him. Where do we get the word? We get the word from what is written. The Bible says that everything that is in this book is given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it is good for encouragement, for exhortation, for correction, for doctrine, and for reproof.

This is not just a book that has been printed and passed down from generation to generation. This is the written Word of God! This is meat for men. This is milk for babies. This is your supernatural source of strength. And whenever somebody comes to salvation, and they get connected with the vine, the thing that everyone needs is a source of strength. You are a newborn Christian. Just like a newborn child needs milk, you need nourishment. And your nourishment comes from the milk of the written word. Now the problem is until you read the written word, it doesn't work for you. Some people come to Christ. They're grafted into the vine, and all they do is come to church on Sunday. And if they come to a church where the word is preached, they get a little pick me up. Oh, that sermon the preacher preached was good. Man, he was on target today. I can't wait till next Sunday. I hope my mother-in-law bought the tape.

And one of the problems that we have in the church today, one of the reasons why we're not growing is because we think that a Sunday pick-me-up is the same as what happens when the word lifts you up. It's not good enough just to sit here on Sunday and listen to the word preached. You've got to go home and you've got to read what is written! Because once you receive the written word, then you start to find in you what the Bible calls "The spoken word". Have you ever noticed that when people come to Christ and they start reading the Bible, suddenly they start speaking the Bible? I always get a kick out of it when new Christians come in and they say, "Doesn't the Bible say", and I just kind of brace because I hope they get close. But what happens is what you ingest, you repeat.

Now Isaiah 55:11, it says, "My word that comes forth from my mouth, it will not return to me void". Paul said this in Ephesians 6, when he was talking about the armor of God. He said, "After you put on all of the armor, take up the sword of the spirit, which is... The Word of God". It's not the written word: it's the spoken word. But the challenge of the spoken word is that you cannot learn the spoken word until you've read the written word. Now when you carry the Word of God with you into spiritual warfare, you can't use the written word. It has to be the spoken word. You can't walk up to somebody and go, "I bind you". That's not how this works. But when you use the written word to arm yourself with the promises of God, and you get into spiritual warfare, what is written in his word is then spoken out of your mouth. And what he said is that will not return void.

When you read what's in writing concerning physical healing, and a season of sickness comes, you can go from reading this promise to saying that by his stripes, I am healed. The Lord sent his word and he healed them. His promise will endure forever: for it will be health to my navel and it will be marrow to my bones. I will live and I will not die. I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. I can overcome sickness and disease by the spoken Word of God! Reading the written word to speaking the spoken word, then you begin to walk in the living word. How many of you've ever been around God's kids, and it just seems like what they say, God's taking notes on? It was that way in my house growing up. Dad would say, "I believe the Lord is", and you just went, "Oh". Because whether you liked it or not, what he said was going to happen. Why? Because he'd invested so much of his heart, soul, mind, and body in what was written. And then in faith, he spoke it. And then in his reality, he saw it.

Now the good news is that your point of contact determines your potential. People see lives lived by the written, spoken, and living Word of God, and they say, "Well, I could never do that". Yes, you can. And the reason you can is because your point of contact determines your potential. Billy Graham shook the world, taking the message of the gospel to the nations. And you might look at a man like that, and you'd say, "Oh, I'd never be used of God like that". Why not? He's connected to the same vine that's calling to you today. Your point of contact determines your potential. And it's all determined by your willingness to do one thing, grow, grow. "You didn't choose me," Jesus said, "I chose you that you may grow: you may go and produce fruit".

In the close of this sermon, I want to ask you this question: where are you connected? What are you grafted into? What promises are alive in your life today? Are you like this branch? You've been around the things of God. You know what it feels like to be in the presence of God. You've heard the spoken Word of God. But you've never received the living Word of God, because you haven't been grafted into the vine. Or are you like this branch? You're grafted in. You've received salvation. You just need to be lifted up out of where you've been so that you can become who God wants you to be. You see you can't hear messages like this, and go home and nothing change, because if you do, God holds you accountable. You've heard the word. And the Bible says it this way: "Faith without works is dead". "He who knows to do right and does it not, to him it is sin".

God wants us to grow. Some of us need to grow in what we're reading. Some of us need to grow in what we're speaking. Some of us need to grow in how we're living. But one day the vine dresser is going to send his son back and examine what we're producing. And what he wants is fruit. So I want to close this service this way: by asking you in this place, "Where are you connected"? If you're grafted in, you've got great potential. But if you're not, you're dead already. For the Bible says, "He who believes in me shall never die. But he who believes not, he who has never been grafted in, he who has never received the relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior: they're dead already. You know it doesn't matter how long this branch stays disconnected. Sooner or later, it's not going to be green. It's going to wilt and it's going to wither, and it's going to become dry".

And maybe your life in this place today is wilted, withered, and dry, and you want to connect with the source of life, which is Jesus Christ. Would you stand to your feet and bow your heads in the presence of the Lord, with the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart? And I know that God is moving in this place, so I want you to take a moment and consider the question, because Jesus Christ, the true vine, wants to bring you into the family of God today. And now, congregation, I want us to sing this song. And as we sing, if you raised your hand because you want to receive Jesus Christ, I want you to start walking this way. Sing with me. "Oh the blood of Jesus". If you want to be grafted in, sing, come this way. Sing. "Oh the blood of Jesus. It washes white as snow". We're all here. I want everyone in this room to raise their hands and repeat this prayer with me.

Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the power of your word today that is alive in me. Today, I receive you as my Savior. Today, I receive forgiveness from my sin. Today, I am washed in the water of your word and the shed blood of Christ: that I might be white as snow. Thank you, God, for sending your son to graft me into the vine: that I may be a part of the family of God. Thank you, Jesus, for taking my sin and making me your child. And thank you, Holy Spirit, for being in this place and pulling me to this altar. I receive it, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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