How do you prove your love to someone?
No matter the relationship, on a fundamental level, we must prove our love to others, or our words are empty. Stay with me.
If I told my wife, “I love you” but was unfaithful to her, would I prove my love was real or fake? If I ignored her, mistreated her, didn’t talk to her, didn’t provide for her—would I prove my love was real or fake?
I think we all agree: that behavior would prove my love was fake. My words would be lies.
If we understand that, we’ll understand the profound implications of our verse today.
The section we’re in so far in John 15 is Jesus’ metaphor about His Father as the gardener, Jesus as the vine, and us (His disciples) as the branches. We are pruned to produce fruit for Him. We live in Him because He lives in us. Today, we finish this part of Jesus’ teaching in John 15:8.
It is to the Father’s glory that we prove ourselves to be Jesus’ disciples. Does that surprise you?
There is certainly some subtlety I want to make sure you understand. We don’t bring glory to the Father all on our own. We must keep this verse in its context (where we’ve been the last few weeks).
As we are connected to the Vine (Jesus), we bear much fruit. This fruit is proof of our commitment to His Son, Jesus. If we were not connected to Him, we would produce no fruit (that was back in verse 5).
Our primary task is obedience to Jesus—this demonstrates our love for Him. Jesus said in John 14:23, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” Our fruit-bearing not only proves we are connected to Jesus while we all dwell in the Father’s vineyard, but our fruit also proves our love for Jesus. You might want to read that again. Wow!
As our prayers are answered, it is for the Father’s glory.
As we reach the lost, it is for the Father’s glory.
As we disciple one another, it is for the Father’s glory.
As we have fellowship with each other, it is for the Father’s glory.
As we grow in meaningful Christian relationships, it is for the Father’s glory.
And in bringing Him glory, we are showing ourselves to be like Jesus and are proving our identity in Him.
Now, as I’ve said before: we don’t do these good works to earn our salvation. There’s NOTHING we can do to earn it. As Jonathan Edwards said, “You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it a necessity.”
We are saved by the Lord. We are saved by the Lord to produce a harvest for Him. The Word of God challenges us to prove our devotion to the Lord. It’s not that the Lord doesn’t know this about us; it’s so we can test ourselves. It’s so we will strive for holiness.
The half-brother of our Lord Jesus wrote in James 1:22-25:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.James 1:22-25
New International Version
Oh, brothers and sisters, the blessing we have is proving our loyalty to our Lord. When we do this, it is a blessing to the Lord, to the church, and to the world.
The fruit you and I bear is proving our identity is becoming that of our Savior. In addition, we’re showing the world that Jesus can change a life—even theirs.