EP43 John 15:2.2

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Last week we identified that this scripture can be broken down into three parts; Number one, “The Father Takes Away,” number two, “The Father Purges,” and finally, “For The Father’s Glory.” We covered “The Father Takes Away” last week, go ahead and go back to it if you need, if you didn’t listen to it, or you’ve forgotten what we said, and get a handle on that before we move on. This week we’re talking about “The Father Purges,” and hopefully we’ll have time for “For The Father’s Glory” as well.
In part two of John 15:2 Jesus says, “(The Father) prunes every branch that produces fruit.” First off, it’s important to note that coming to faith in Christ doesn’t require you to be perfect and even after you become a Christian there’s no biblical basis for trying to be perfect either. The reality is that after you become a Christian your faith will be your guide to what, if anything, you need to change. And that’s really where this part of John 15:2 applies.
To understand how we are pruned by the Father, let’s go ahead and look at Hebrews 12:9-11, “We had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share in His holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
I hear objections right now to using Hebrews 12 to back up the overall theme that we’re getting at here, “Isn’t discipline for when you’ve done something wrong? How would that apply?” Well, the word, “discipline” is used three times and it’s three different Greek words, the first one is:
G3810 παιδευτής paideutēs pahee-dyoo-tace' From G3811; a trainer, that is, teacher or (by implication) discipliner: - which corrected, instructor.
In English it should really should be less of, “We had human fathers discipline us,” and more, “We had human fathers as trainers. The second translation of discipline is the word:
G3811 παιδεύω paideuō pahee-dyoo'-o From G3816; to train up a child, that is, educate, or (by implication) discipline (by punishment): - chasten (-ise), instruct, learn, teach.
Once again, it’s less of, “For they disciplined us for a short time,” and more, “For they trained us for a short time. The third translation of discipline is:
G3809 παιδεία paideia pahee-di'-ah From G3811; tutorage, that is, education or training; by implication disciplinary correction: - chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture.
I think you see where this is going, not discipline, but training. The problem is that the English word training loses the gusto that the Greek is going for in using these words. The word discipline is closer to the gusto, but it paints the wrong picture. What’s missing in the overall understanding is what the Greek ear hears when these words are said. The beginning of each of these words leads the Greek ear to the word:
G3816 παῖς pais paheece Perhaps from G3817; a boy (as often beaten with impunity), or (by analogy) a girl, and (generally) a child; specifically a slave or servant (especially a minister to a king; and by eminence to God): - child, maid (-en), (man) servant, son, young man.
It’s understood in the original language that pais is the base of the three words translated as discipline in this scripture in Hebrews. By analogy when we put all of these words together in context we can imagine a coach training an athlete for the Olympics. Training, disciplining, putting them through there paces.
The final detail for understanding this scripture in this way is in the last part where it says, “those who have been trained by it.” The word for trained there in the Greek is:
G1128 γυμνάζω gumnazō goom-nad'-zo From G1131; to practise naked (in the games), that is, train (figuratively): - exercise.
This word literally refers to training for the Olympic Games, which were historically competed in without clothes. Which brings us to the last part of our scripture this week, “For The Father’s Glory.” This part of the scripture says, “so that it will produce more fruit.”
Let’s start this point in John 15:8, “My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.” Let’s talk about that “proving to be disciples” for just a minute and how it loops around tying into the rest of what we’re covering here. Let’s look at John 8:31, 32, “Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” Now over to John 15:9, 10, “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep my commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.” John 14:21, “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” John 14:15-17, “If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask The Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of Truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.”
Let’s track back, we prove we are disciples and know we have salvation by producing fruit, we gain access to that fruit by loving Christ and keeping His commands. Because we love Him and keep His commands the Spirit of Truth, or Holy Spirit, remains with us and in us. And, because the Holy Spirit remains with us and in us, as we just read in John 14 we then operate in the fruits of the spirit and The Father prunes or trains/disciplines us like a coach so that we can produce more fruit for His glory.
Go back and read Hebrews 12:9-11 and it wouldn’t hurt for you to read 1 Corinthians 12 either, the whole chapter. Really let all of this sink in.
Until next time…
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