Joh 15:1-2; Col 3:3-5; Isa 49:14-16; Jam 1:2-4; Hos 6:1-3;Eph 1:4-10.
ROMANS-303-111027 - length: 62:24 - taught on Oct, 27 2011
What is discernment?
“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”
“Every branch [believer] in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away [discipline]; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it [suffering for blessing] so that it may bear more fruit.”
dead branches = dead works, or the production of the flesh.
live branches = divine good, or the production of the Spirit.
God the Father removes the “dead wood” through the law of volitional responsibility and divine discipline, HEB 12:11.
It is the branch that BEARS FRUIT that He prunes!
There is a purpose behind this suffering: MORE FRUIT!
Dechaunac - first frost
“After winter exposure, this dead wood can be easily recognized as dark, brittle, and sapless, and can be removed.”
Dechaunac - Unpruned.
Winter is also when we start to look at life MORE REALISTICALLY.
Dechaunac - Pruned
Winter may be a time when your fellowship with God seems to have gone dark and icy and frozen.
Our spiritual life is a life that is designed to be alive and active.
Sometimes, though, we live in the dead wood and useless shoots.
Adversity is a reminder that our true life is not caught up in earthly things that are fading away .
A shoot can be a concept of Christ that is small and limited and still very far away from the heart of who He is.
It might be God as the great vending machine in the sky.
It might be a tit for tat God: I do this for you and you do this for me.
You might have a god in your head that you are still trying to please.
You don’t yet understand what propitiation really means.
Your god might be a short order cook; you expect to step up to the counter, put in your order, and… voila.
Or he might be a sales manager god, looking for that report on the number of cold calls you made last month.
Or a temperamental god who loves you one day and can’t stand you the next.
It might be a mechanical god; we wind him up with our procedures, and we expect him to behave just as we predicted he should.
What started out as alive has now become a dead ritual. And dead ritual becomes a covering for evil.
Num 21: 8
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.”
God gave the bronze serpent on the pole as a means for receiving His healing grace, but the Jews ended up worshipping the gift instead of the Giver.
2 Kings 18:4b
He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan.