This is a three part section on pruning. This is after we have been planted and have grown into a young sapling. Technically this is still part of the sapling part of our growth but it is so important for us to learn that it is anointed its own lesson. This is the first section explaining God’s purpose for pruning.
Prune: To lop or cut off the superfluous branches of trees, to make them bear better fruit or grow higher, or to give them a more handsome and regular appearance.
• Superfluous – more than is wanted; rendered unnecessary by superabundance; more than sufficient; unnecessary; useless
o Superfluous epithets rather enfeeble than strengthen description. If what has been said will not convince, it would be superfluous to say more.
• What are superfluous branches? That which belongs to the sin nature and not to the spirit man. We wish to cut off all nourishment to those areas which God finds to be useless.
o Ephesians 5:15 “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
• Why does he want them gone? We cannot be an effective witness if we are a friend of the world. We cannot shine the light of Christ if we darken it with things/habits/preferences of the world. It is not about us, it is about His glory, being shared with all people so that everyone might be saved.
o Ephesians 5:8-14 “For you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
• Bearing better fruit: our fruit of the sin nature is only death.
o Romans 6:15-23 v.16 “whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness” v.23”for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
o Galatians 5:22-23 “The fruit of the Spirit”, that which God wants us to bear because it is better, “is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” There is no law – meaning there isn’t even now, it is a current statement from God. It will never be made for naught.
o Proverbs 10:6, 11, 16, 29, 31, 32 – all verses of the benefits – both from the Lord for our blessing but also the fruit that affects other people
• Grow higher: He doesn’t want us stunted or stuck in one place
o 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory now and forever! Amen.”
• More handsome/regular appearance
o Isaiah 61:3,10-11
o Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them”
o Psalms 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”