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Systemic Christianity

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Recognizing the preeminence of a close, personal, faith-based relationship with Jesus Christ.

Text: John 15:3-6
Date: 07/28/2019, the Contemporary service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 142

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As Jesus continues to instruct His disciples during the Upper Room Discourse, He expands upon the allegory of the Vine and the branches. His focus turns to the relationship between Himself and His disciples. He emphasizes that He is the Vine and they are the branches and without Him they have neither fruit nor life; that any branch that is not abiding in the Vine is useless and no different than a fruitless branch that is cut off and cast away. In this relationship we will find that Christianity is wholly systemic, flowing from Christ to us and cannot be absorbed or created through external means. After wrestling with the complex way Jesus addresses both salvation and sanctification, we will analyze how the church of today is miserably failing to recognize and implement these fundamental principles of systemic Christianity.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 15:3-6.
A. Context
B. Defining a "systemic" relationship.
1. Cleaned through the Word, vs. 3.
a. Defining what Jesus means by "clean".
i. Re-visiting the foot-washing, John 13:10.
ii. A systemic "clean", 1John 1:7,9.
b. The revelatory Word of Christ, John 6:63.
c. Noting the good and bad branches, John 8:36.
2. The systemic relationship with Christ, vs. 4.
a. Salvation or sanctification?
i. The eleven are "clean".
ii. An imperative command.
iii. Salvation by works, 1Pet. 1:4-5.
iv. The reciprocal "abiding".
b. Rounding out the metaphor.
i. Abiding in Christ, 1Pet. 1:22-23.
ii. Christ abiding in us.
• The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, John 14:16-18.
• The planting of the Word, John 14:23.
c. Systemic fruit.
i. The literal branch.
ii. The figurative branch.
3. The preeminence of the Vine, vs. 5.
a. Restating the metaphor, John 15:1.
b. A nuance of difference.
c. The preeminence of Christ, John 5:19, 30, Phil. 4:13.
4. The uselessness of branches without fruit, vs. 6.
a. The imagery of "uselessness".
i. The literal imagery.
ii. The figurative imagery, John 15:16.
b. Suggestive imagery, Mark 9:48.
c. The all-important lesson.
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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