"I am the vine, you are the branches." This is what Jesus said in John Chapter 15. However, why did he not say "I am the olive tree ";" or "I am the cedar"? On November 1st, Xiao Mudao, the chairman of Chinese Christian Workers put forward this problem in the sermon in Beijing Gangwashi Church .
Xiao believes that the reason why Jesus here uses "vine" as the metaphor is that bearing fruits is the only function of the vine. If a Christian can not bear the fruit of life, he or she is just wasting the land.
What fruit can Christians bear? Xiao hold that we can bear the fruit of gospel, leading people to believe in the Lord; the fruit of praise; the nine fruits of the Spirit in the book of Galatians; in addition, the fruit of repentance.
The secret of bearing fruits is "abide in the Lord". How can we abide in the Lord? Xiao said that, first of all, remaining in the Lord's words. He pointed out that now it is a time of information explosion, and we are faced with new challenges of reading God's words for it's more difficult for believers to focus on reading the bible than in the past.
Secondly, remaining in the hands of the Lord. Xiao reminded us that the hands of the Lord are healing hands, helping hands, gentle hands. However, they are also pruning hands. Those branches belonging to the Lord but not bearing fruits, the Lord mainly prunes them clean; and those belonging to the Lord the branches and bearing fruits, the Lord prunes them to be more fruitful. Pruning is not a very pleasant process, but beneficial for our life. Hardships and setbacks can help us grow in crisis.
Thirdly, remaining the Lord's love. Pastor Xiao thinks, "love" is easy to say, but living out love is difficult. "Love needs expressing," Xiao pointed out that Chinese people often do not know how to express love. He advised believers to learn the twelve love language:
1. Praising word
2. Thanksgiving word
3. Heartening word
4. Comforting word
6. Positive word
7. Edifying word
8. Encouragement word
9. Gentle word
10. Peaceful word
11. Humorous word
12. Blessing word
"Love needs expression, also action." Xiao listed the seven mottos of loving each other :
1. To affirm each other instead of negating
2. To compliment each other instead of fighting
3. To praise each other instead of insisting
4. To understand each other instead of misunderstanding
5. To believe each other instead of losing faith
6. To confess your sins to each other instead of convicting
7. To building up each other instead of pulling down
"Love needs motivation." Xiao also pointed out that around us there are many people who are blind, lame, paralyzed. They need to be loved.
"Do good needs encouragement. Chinese Christians undertake the mission of preaching the gospel, at the same time, we should shine out our Christian lives in front of the world, letting others see God in the midst among us." Xiao blessed Gangwashi Church to become a church in God's presence.