StoneBridge Community Church
"I Am the True Vine"
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

Online "Connection Card"

Thanks for joining us today! Follow this link to our online "Connection Card" where you can let us know you were here and share any prayer concerns.

The Text in Context

Bob Utley, "John 15" From the series The Beloved Disciple's Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, III John.

Clusters of Grapes, Israel

Golden Vine with Clusters Jerusalem Temple

1. The purpose of the branches is…
1. The purpose of the branches is to bear fruit.

Every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes…

How to Prune a Grape Vine

Stefano Watson, owner/winemaker at Avio Vineyards in Sutter Creek, demonstrates the art of vineyard pruning. YouTube video.

Pruning and Abiding

Harry L. Poe, "Abiding and Pruning" chapter 2 of the book The Fruit of Christ's Presence. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1990. Inklings Fellowship website. PDF format. Recommended reading.
Every authentic follower of Christ will experience seasons of pruning as God cuts back the spiritually unproductive parts of our lives so that we can bear more fruit and better fruit in the future.
A Prayer For When You're Being Pruned

Gracious God,
I thank You that You know what is best for me. I recognize that you have been glorified by the fruit of my life. I have come to see that you have removed ______________ from my life to prune me, to cause me to bear more fruit, and to bring greater glory to Your name. So I choose to shift the posture of my heart as I commit to abide in You in new ways in this season. Speak to me as you reshape me and prepare me to bear even more fruit.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Based on a prayer by Gabe Morrell.
For Reflection/Discussion: What was the context in which Jesus spoke these words? Where was he? Who was he with? What was taking place? Why was this teaching especially appropriate given the context? Why does Jesus call himself the true vine? With what or whom was he comparing himself? What are the two kinds of branches? What or whom do they represent? Why is pruning important to vines and other plants? How does God prune us? Why? Can you think of any times in your life when you felt that you were being pruned? What was the ultimate outcome of that pruning?
2. The branches that bear fruit…
2. The branches that bear fruit and live stay attached to the vine.

If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…

We are not commanded to manufacture, produce, create, or even bear fruit. We are commanded to remain in Christ. And we are promised, if we do that, we will bear much fruit.

What Does It Mean to Abide in Christ?

"The exhortation to abide has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities." —Sinclair Ferguson, "What Does It Mean to Abide in Christ?" Ligonier Ministries, February 19, 2018.

Without Christ, Nothing

Charles Spurgeon, "Without Christ, Nothing" Spurgeon Gems website. A classic message on John 15.5 delivered October 23, 1881.
For Reflection/Discussion: The word "remain" (or "abide") is a favorite found in the Gospel of John and is repeated a number of times in this passage. What does the word remain (or abide) mean? Why is it important to remain in Christ? What does Jesus command his followers to do in verse 4? Notice that Jesus is not commanding that we produce more. What is the difference between our producing fruit and bearing fruit? Jesus states that we will either "bear much fruit" or "do nothing." What accounts for the difference? What outcome can churches and individual believers expect if they attempt to do great things apart from Christ?
3. Our lives offer…
3. Our lives offer evidence of the kind of branch we are.

That you bear much fruit…

For Reflection/Discussion: What are some of signs we can look for as evidence that we are remaining/staying/abiding in Christ? Are there tangible, visible signs that indicate you are a follower of Jesus Christ? Can it be said of you, as it was of Peter, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” (Matthew 26.73)? If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? As we draw this message series to a close, what have you learned about God, Jesus, and yourself from the great "I AM" sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John?

Social Media @ StoneBridge

We encourage you to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media to share images, quotes, links, or what you've learned from this week's message and YouVersion message notes. Social media can also be a great way of inviting your friends to worship and special events. Don't just like us. Feel free to share any posts from StoneBridge with your friends.

Secure online giving

Thanks for partnering with us in our mission to reach people with the good news of God's love, to make disciples, and to send them out. Secure online giving via PayPal.

Subscribe to our podcast

Subscribe to the StoneBridge Community Church podcast on iTunes and you'll never miss a message. Updates automatically.

Watch us on YouTube

While no substitute for worshiping God with others, if you happen to miss a message you can always catch us on YouTube. We invite you to subscribe to our channel.