Title: Who am I? (part 1)
Purpose: Teach Christian who they are so they can remove obstacles to bearing fruit

Intro:	1.  Story of man in accident
		a.  Keeps calling for a minister
		b.  Rabbi comes up, offers to help.  Rabbi lives behind a church and hears liturgy 
		     throughout the week, maybe he can offer something to help
		c.  Policeman agrees.  Rabbi kneels next to man and says -”B-1, G-32, I-54”
	2.  Sometimes that is what you think of with some churches.   They have forgotten who 
	     they are and what they are about.
	3.  When that happens - Not growing, discouragement, fighting, impotence
	4.  The reason is we have forgotten who we are.
	5.  New series on our identity.  If don’t know who you are, you wont face the world well.
	6.  Bible describes who we are both individually and collectively
	7.  Acts 11:26 says first called “Christians” in Antioch
		a.  Word is Christianos
		b.  Name was a nick-name given by non-Christians
		c.  The “ianos” at the end means “belonging to the party of”
		d.  Ceasarianos - “Belonging to the party of Ceasar”
		e.  Christianos - “Belonging to the part of Christians” 
	8.  So, who are Christians?

I.  Disciples.
	A.  Some Bibles translated this “student” or “pupil”
	B.  We are starting with this one because it is the most common word for us in N.T.
		1.  “Student” does not convey the meaning very well
			a.  Student/Teacher conveys image of class room
			b.  Student gets info and leaves
			c.  The teacher’s personal life is often a mystery
			d.  The relationship is based on the information given
		2.  “Disciple” is the best way to translate this
			a.  Some think it is too radical, but notice (Luke 6:40)
			b.  A disicple imitates his teacher. may even call him Master
			c.  A disciple is well aquainted with his teacher’s personal life
			d.  Relationship not just based on information, but on the teacher himself
		3.  As disciples of Christ, we are not to just listen to his teaching but imitate him
			a.  2 Peter 2:21 - “For you have been called to this purpose, since Christ 
			    also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His 
			b.  John 13:15 - “I have given you an example that you should do as I have
			    done to you”
	C.  ILL:  Younger brother James
		1.  Followed me around when little
		2.  Imitated everything I did, used to look up to me.
		3.  He wanted to go to school so bad, when he got lunch box, he held it like me
	D.  Our passion should be to be like Jesus, that was Jesus’ passion.
		1.  Jesus himself was an exact representation of God
			a.  Heb 1:3 - “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation
			    of his nature”
			b.  John 14:8-9 - “He who has seen me has seen the Father”
			c.  If you know Jesus, you know God
		2.  It is simliar in our case
			a.  Rom 8:29-“For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to become conformed
			    to the image of his Son”
			b.  Not exactly like Christ because we haven’t seen him (I John 3:3)
			c.  However, people should at least be able to see Christ in us
			d.  Can’t do that if not a disciple, imitating his master
		3.  Song:  “I want to know Christ” (from Phil 3:10)
			a.  Christ poured out his life and submitted to the FAther’s will
			b.  Have you poured out yours and made Jesus’ passion yours
			c.  Read, pray, practice
			d.  W.W.J.D.

II.  Clay Vessels
	A.  This emphasizes submission to God’s will
	B.  2 Timothy 2:20-21
		1.  God has set you aside for his special use
		2.  You are to be “prepared for every good work”
		3.  You must “cleanse yourself” in order to be a vessel for honor’
			a.  I Corinthians 6:19 - Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit
			b.  You are to glorify God (worship God) in your body
			c.  6:13 - Body not for immorality, but for God
			d.  STAY PURE - Some have a hard time with this, why?
		4.  Reason have hard time is because haven’t been shaped by God’s hand
			a.  Romans 12:1-2 - Living Sacrifice, give up your will
			b.  Not conformed, but transformed.
			c.  Maybe you keep crawling off of the altar
	C.  A vessel in the process of being shaped
		1.  Wait, what are you doing to me, that hurts.
		2.  Runs away, will never be anything more than a lump of clay, or block of wood.
		3.  Must submit to the Master’s will
		4.  It might be difficult, it might even hurt.
	D.  If we are vessels for special use, what does God use us for?
		1.  Filled with the Spirit (Temple of Spirit)
			a.  By the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh
			b.  We produce the fruit of the Spirit
		2.  2 Corinthians 4:4-7 - We are filled with the Gospel
		3.  God wants us to serve others the Gospel.

III.  Branches of the True Vine
	A.  John 15:1-8
	B.  Jesus makes several points
		1.  Branch cannot survive if it is not in the vine
			a.  Apart from me you can do nothing
			b.  Wood from a vine cannot build houses or such, but is just burned
			c.  Must keep in contact with Christ
		2.  A branch will bear fruit if it is in the Vine
			a.  We must abide in Christ, and Christ in us, to bear fruit
			b.  A branch has one purpose and one purpose only - to bear fruit
				- The wood from a branch not used to build houses or sculpture
				- It is thrown on trash pile and burned
				- If you are not bearing fruit, you will be cut off of the vine
		3.  Much fruit glorifies God (v.8)
			a.  It takes a process of pruning the branches
			b.  Anything that causes you to bear less fruit is cut away by God
			c.  What is fruit?  In the New Testament, “fruit” is used several ways
				- Mt 3:8 - Fruit of Repentance
				- Mt 7:16 - You shall know them by their fruit
				- Gal 5:22 - The fruit of the Spirit
				- Col 1:6 - All over the world this Gospel is bearing fruit
				- Heb 13:15 - Sacrifice of praise - the fruit of our lips
				- Mt 12:33 - A tree is recognized by its fruit
	C.  If I show you
		1.  A red fruit with stem - you can see, taste and touch, know it from apple tree
		2.  A small green juicy fruit - you know it from the grape vine
		3.  Can people tell by your fruit that you are from the true vine?
	D.  Get where the rubber meets the road
		1.  If you are not bearing any fruit, what is the conclusion?  You are not living in 
			a.  Can’t be in proximity to the vine and bear fruit
			b.  It’s time to become one with him, be his disciple, be a vessel
		2.  If you are not bearing MUCH fruit, what is the conclusion?
			a.  Some pruning needs to be done
			b.  Have you submitted to God’s pruning shears?
		3.  What is keeping you from bearing fruit?
			a.  If it is your job, get another job
			b.  If it is friends, get other friends
			c.  Boyfriend or Girlfriend, get rid of them
			d.  If it is money, give it away
		4.  What stands between you and bearing fruit?  Get rid of it!

1.  If you recognize your identity and live up to who you are, you will be filled with joy and growth
2.  We have seen this morning that we as Christians are:
	a.  Disciples - Imitators of Christ
	b.  Clay Vessels for special use - Conformed into his image and make his purpose ours
	c.  Branches of the True Vine, living in Christ and bearing Fruit

3.  Is this who you are?

4.  It’s not to late, repented, be transformed today!