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"Chosen to bear fruit" - Wedding of Victor Vermaak and Sophie Witthoft (see pics below)

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 29 Aug 2015

John 15:16, "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you"

God chose us and found us. We didn’t find God. He wasn’t lost, we were lost. He chose us for a purpose, to go and bring forth fruit. Not just to bring forth fruit in season but also out of season. In good times as well as difficult times. God expects fruit from us. The question is whether you are bringing forth the fruit where you are. Are you doing God’s will where He placed you? God doesn’t just expect fruit from us, but fruit that will last. Only the fruit that will last will receive the Lord’s stamp of approval. Our second-hand work is not good enough for Him.

We read in Eph 1:4, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight"

We are Christ’s because He died for us. We will be fruit-bearers if we are willing to take up our cross and die with Him. To say, not my will, not my way, not what I want, but what God wants. Do you know that life? It is no accident that when Jesus had commanded us to go and bear fruit, He went and died for us. Our calling must always be in the shadow of the Cross of Christ. The only fruit that will last is the fruit that grows on the Cross. Why did God choose us, we sinners who are doomed and damned for all eternity? We find the answer in Ephesians, "He chose us in Him" (Eph 1:4).

During the time when many families left England to go to America, there was a poor family that also wanted to go. They saved every last penny to buy the tickets and the mother prepared rusks for the months-long journey so that they will have something to eat on the ship. After they had travelled for many days, the young boy of the family begged his father for some money so he could buy himself something different to eat than the rusks they ate each day. The father felt sorry for his son and gave him a little of the money they had left. The boy stayed away for a long time and when he returned he told his parents how he enjoyed himself with ice-cream and steak and everything else that he could eat until he was full. His father asked him whether the little money he had was enough for all of that. The boy answered that after he had his first ice-cream and he wanted to pay, they told him that all the meals on the ship were included with the tickets they bought to board the ship. In the same way when you are in Christ, all the fullness of Christ’s is yours. We are sinners, but we are saved, sanctified and cleansed in Him. You are precious to the Father if you are in the Son and abide in Him.

We were dead in our sins and trespasses. Yet He chose us before the foundations of the earth was laid, and appointed us that we should go and bear fruit.

We might ask, what it means to be appointed to bear fruit. If we read the whole chapter in its context, the fruit that we should bear consists of two things. Firstly the love to each other, and then the love for sinners. That we should win people for Christ. Whoever we meet should feel the love of Christ that goes out to them from our lives. Through that the Name of Jesus is glorified. But if we get married and only mind each other and forget others, it is not good.

The life of the vine flows through the branches. God’s love flows through into His branches. The Bible says that the husband should love the wife as Christ loves the church, and gave Himself for the church, so that He might cleanse and sanctify and make His church holy (Eph 5:25-28). That is the duty of the husband with his wife.

He said, "a new commandment I give unto you that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34). It’s not how a friend loves a friend but how God loves us!

We can only bear that fruit if we abide in Him, as He said "abide in My love" (John 15:9). He also said, "in this is My Father glorified that you bear much fruit". It’s time that we ask ourselves whether we love each other with a divine love, the way God loved us and the way the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father.

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