John 15:1-17 Abiding In Christ

Welcome back the group and acknowledge any new members. Share with them that the purpose of the group is to help people discover more about God and how He relates to their lives. Explain that anyone is welcome, and if they have other friends that they would like to invite to join, they are always welcome.

Care

Begin the session by asking:

· What are you thankful for this week?

· What are you struggling with and how can we help?

Spend time praying for their concerns

Accountability

· How did you apply the lesson from last week? How did it go for you?

· Who did you share the story with, and what was their response?

Story: John 15:1-17

Relate the Purpose: To know how the Holy Spirit can empower us, and how we can bear fruit of the Spirit and fruit of witnessing

Relate the Background: The setting of this story is the night before Jesus was crucified. Jesus is having dinner with his 12 disciples, called the apostles. He has washed the disciples’ feet. Then he begins to tell them that he is going to leave them and go back to heaven to prepare a place for them. He tells them that he is going to send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to be with them forever. Then he makes the statement that on the day the Holy Spirit comes “you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. He is saying that he himself will be in them by the Holy Spirit living in them. Then Jesus uses a metaphor to describe what their relationship with him should be. This is the picture he gives

Read the Story: Either the facilitator or members of the group can read. Read it once with Bibles open with the members following along, and once with Bibles closed.

John 15:1-17

15 Jesus said to his disciples:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of what I have said to you.

4 Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. 5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. 6 If you don’t stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire.

7 Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered. 8 When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored. 9 I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. 10 If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.

11 I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. 12 Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. 13 The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. 14 And you are my friends, if you obey me. 15 Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.

16 You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.[a]17 So I command you to love each other.

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Retell the Story: Have a group member retell the story in their own words. If they miss parts or misunderstand, ask the rest of the group to help them, or fill in what they have forgotten.

Ask Questions for discussion and clarification: These are sample questions you might use for this story. Also use your own. Let their answers to your questions do the teaching.