When people die and go to heaven, they enjoy eternal pleasure not because they were good people. They enjoy eternal pleasure because they were confident that Jesus Christ lived not just a good, but a perfect life in their place. When people die and go to heaven, they enjoy eternal pleasure not because they were without sin. They enjoy eternal pleasure because they knew and rejoiced that Jesus Christ suffered the punishment for all their sins.
Jesus died for the sins of the world. Jesus died for you. It’s true! As the Lord gives you confidence that this is true, that Jesus is your Savior, you know that you have eternal life.
Jesus then says to you, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
You may not have grape vines at your house. You do have lamps. You have cords on your lamps. You plug in the cords. Why? You need power from the power plant. The power plant is the vine. Lamp cords are the branches. If a lamp remains connected to the power plant, it will light up a room. Apart from the power plant, a lamp does nothing.
You are a lamp. As a baptized child of the Lord certain that Jesus is your Savior, you are plugged in to the power plant, Jesus Christ. As you remain in Jesus, you will bear much fruit.
Christ’s love in you lights up a room. As you marvel at God’s forgiving love, you long to forgive those who sin against you. As you marvel at Jesus’ patience, you long to be patient with those who test you. As you marvel at Jesus’ gift of trust in him, you long to share the news of Jesus with those who don’t know him, that they also might trust him and be saved. You want them to learn to trust him and be saved too.
As you remain in Jesus, you will bear much fruit.
How can you remain in Jesus, how can you remain “plugged in?”
You can’t. You and I, even as Christians, still have a sinful flesh. If remaining in Jesus were left up to us, we surely would become unplugged.
It is God who works in us both to will and to act in line with his good pleasure. Thank God! He gives us the strength to remain in him.
What tools does God use to keep our love for him strong? He uses the Word of God. Read your Bible often. Use the church directory on this web page to find a place where you can hear the truth. God’s words are living and powerful. They fight off the tricks of the devil.
What tools does God use to keep our love for him strong? He uses our Baptism, which continues to assure us that we are dressed in the beautiful robe of Jesus’ perfection. He uses the Lord’s Supper, where God places on our lips the very tools which won our forgiveness, the body and blood of Jesus.
Jesus is the vine. We are the branches. Remain in him. Read his Word. Rejoice in your baptism. Celebrate his Holy Supper!
Connected to the power station, your lamp will burn brightly.