Categories: Theology

by J.L. Morgan


New Grapes? Why NewGrapes?

1 Corinthians 1:21-22

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.


We must be grafted in before we can start to produce good fruit.  And how do we know our fruit is of the Spirit?  When it glorifies God and not ourselves.


If you are “trying” to produce fruit on your own, it will look appealing to you and those around you. But if you think “I have done good things therefore God must love me” then you are missing the point.


Without God our efforts and fruit look good to ourselves and other people.  Man is instinctual to “do” and expects praise for that which he does.


Man is born with a narcissistic ego from day one.  And the “American Way” is built to exploit that in humans who think highly of themselves.


Do not get me wrong, the “American Way” can also be used for God’s glory, when one is free to achieve what God’s will is, when our goal is to please Him in our efforts.


When our focus is on the fruit, then we can miss the fact that we are not yet grafted into the true Vine.


We must first forget about the fruit and instead focus all our efforts on the grafting.  You must get grafted into the Vine before you can produce the new grapes that it offers.


And how do we get grafted into the Vine?  This is where the true circumcision happens, for we must be cut off from the “ways” of the world.  The only way to do this is at the cross.


We live in a world where everyone wants to compare grapes.  Man has gotten very good at producing good looking fruit.  They flaunt it in their wealth, or their fame.  They are always searching for the best that man has to offer.


Some desperately try to produce good fruit, but they feel they lack the resources, the money, the platform of fame.  Some look to religion, they ask how can I make my fruit look better?


Sadly the mainstream church has tried to tell the people that their fruit just needs a little more prayer, or maybe you need to tithe more.  It offers for you to get more involved.  It tells you that you must keep producing, maybe this batch of fruit was not that great, but keep doing good things, I’m sure your blessings are coming.  And it gives a list of things people should do to make their fruit more appealing.


What they lack in understanding is that the only fruit God find’s pleasing is fruit that is produced by His Holy Spirit.  The New Grapes of the Kingdom.


The only way to receive His Holy Spirit is to detach from the vine of the world.  Jesus said it’s not easy, no one runs to His demands, which is why His children must be pulled towards the cross.


Man’s natural instinct is to run from the cross.  That’s why it is a very narrow road indeed.


The cross is the very image of pain and suffering.  No man on his own would ever want such a thing.


That’s why Jesus said He would do it.  He would pay the ransom for the penalty we all deserve.


He beacons us to come and lay down the rest of our earthly existence and promise to serve Him and only Him.  He calls to His sheep, and His sheep know His voice.  For those sheep the cross is drawing them in.  Some try to fight the urge, they aren’t ready to give Him their all.  You struggle with letting go of the things you want. 

Others cling to the Cross.  Once you understand what the cross has afforded you then you cannot deny the urge to receive the mercy that is so willingly offered.  To rely on Him for everything, the big things and the small things.


Jesus said His burden is light.  We all must bear burdens, it was inevitable from the fall in the garden.  We have families, friends, homes, jobs, our country, responsibilities that are growing more and more by the day.  You cannot escape the burdens, no matter what any other earthly religion tells you.  Religion tells you to find your happy place, the place where you find peace from all the cares and worries of this world.  Religion tells you to hide behind this tree.  Religion is what hid Adam and Eve in the Garden. “Maybe He won’t notice we are naked”.  They tried to make clothes out of leaves to “hide” their nakedness.  They had the audacity to think that maybe God wouldn’t notice.  God notices everything, because He knows everything.  It was because of their sin in the garden that God had to sacrifice one created living being to cover the sins of another created being.


Jesus said we all have to carry a burden, but His is much lighter and easier to carry.  But the only way we can lay our burdens down at the feet of Jesus and pick up His burden upon our shoulders is with the help of the Holy Spirit.


Jesus makes a request of all of us.  It is different for each person, but ultimately comes down to this; He’s asking you to give up the rest of your life, wants, desires, and live instead with His wants and desires, and His very Spirit will give you a new life, this is what it means to be grafted into Him, as our Vine.  This is why it is that God is the Gardener and once we get grafted in He works through us so that our fruit comes out true and always honors Him.  But you cannot produce the new grapes of the kingdom without the Holy Spirit.


Jesus has already made the down payment for the contract, He laid His life down on the cross.  He hands you the pen and asks that you sign over the rights of your soul (which the devil already has because of sin entering the world).


He asks that you sign the rights of your immortal soul over to Him.  That’s what this whole thing is about.  The only possession you have worth any value, in the end, is your immortal soul.  It has a destination already assigned to it.  That destination is a place without the presence of God.  “I offer you mercy, I will grant you eternal life with me, but that means you have to live the rest of your life for Me. I came in the body of my Son to show you the way, and I will give to you my Spirit to lead and guide you to bring honor to the Son.  I will never leave you, I promise.”


The Holy Spirit is that very Seal which God grants to each believer so that he not only knows about salvation, but in fact knows it in his own spirit.  The Holy Spirit confirms to our own spirit that we are in fact sealed.  We are in fact Children of God.  The Holy Spirit will confirm this to every Born Again believer (it’s how we know we are Born Again).


If you do not have this Blessed Assurance, then reread what you just read above until you get Assurance.  Once you have it, you will find an insatiable appetite to seek other Born Again believers.


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