Joh 15:1-2; Heb 5:11-6:3; Rom 6:1-14.
ROMANS-304-111030 - length: 78:55 - taught on Oct, 30 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!
“After winter exposure, this dead wood can be easily recognized as dark, brittle, and sapless, and can be removed.”
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.
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 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 we have now made into a dead ritual. And dead ritual becomes a covering for evil.
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 that day, but the Jews ended up worshipping the gift instead of the Giver.
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.
We get stuck on an infantile approach to the spiritual life when we should be moving on to a more adult understanding and lifestyle, HEB 6:1.
Illustration: what we understand about our sinning.
Rebound is a fantastic grace provision from God our Father.
Rebound opens up a door to the work of Christ on the cross in connection with our personal sins after salvation.
Christ is the propitiation (the offering that satisfied the justice of God) for all of our sins (1JO 2:2).
Name & cite it. Isolate it. Forget it . Move on in the spiritual life.
So in our spiritual life, we can get to the point where we find ourselves resisting a fuller and more radical embrace of the cross when it comes to our sinfulness.
But then a day comes when we think the agenda is our sins, but the Lord shows up and His agenda is not the sins - it is the sinner!
So the Lord comes and wants us to reckon with, to come to understand the facts concerning, what He has done about our old man, our old self.
There is something about considering ourselves dead to sin that opens a new door to the power of the cross.