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Hey everyone I’m Gary Hoban and welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This month we are going to look at Lessons from the Upper Room

Today we are discussing Upper Room Lessons on Relationships.


John 15:5 (AMP)

5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

Scripture Reading

John 15 (AMP)


Father, you loved us even before we were born.

We thank you for loving us through our earthly family and through your church.

We thank you for sending your Son to show your love by dying on a cross for us.

We thank you for your Holy Spirit who draws us closer to you.

We thank you for bringing us this house of worship today that we might worship you and receive the blessings you have for us.

We come bringing our offerings as tokens of our love and expressions of our desire to share with you in your work of blessing people everywhere. 

In Jesus name we pray.



Slip into the upper room where Jesus and His disciples are spending their last moments before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.

First, put yourself in Jesus’ place.

Suppose you are about to leave your disciples and you must give them last minute instructions on how to carry on your work, and they are slow learners.

What would you say to them?

Or imagine you are one of the disciples and you are heartbroken at the thought of your Lord going away.

You are confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed by all that is happening.

In the upper room, Jesus tells His disciples that they must not only understand the meaning of love, but they must love one another as He loved them.

He promises them a home forever with Him.

In the meantime, He will be with them every step of the journey.

In their future hours of discouragement, they will remember His gracious promises.

He wants them to comprehend the blessings, privileges, and responsibilities resulting from their personal relationship with Him.

  1. The disciples’ relationship with Christ.

John 15:1-11 (AMP)

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches

15 “I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. 

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. 

4 Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. 

5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. 

6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 

7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. 

8 My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples. 

9 I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you]. 

10 If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 

11 I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing.

  1. Jesus used many metaphors to illustrate Himself, His work, and His relationships.

For example Light, in John 8:12, Door in John 10:17, Shepherd in John 10:11, and Vine in John 15:1.

B. Jesus said “I am the Vine; you are the branches.”

He wanted His disciples to understand that no external qualifications can set a person right with God, only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can do that.

Grape vines are common in Israel.

Each year the vines are cut back to conserve the plant’s life and energy.

Branches not bearing fruit are cut off.

The main point Jesus wanted to get across was that His disciples had to draw strength from Him and Him alone.

He said “apart from Me you can do nothing.”

In verse 7 He indicated that those who abide in Christ and have Christ’s words abiding in them may ask what they want and it will be done, simply because they will ask nothing out of accord with the mind of Christ.

Jesus then called them to remain in His love and keep His commands.

C. What are some results of this vine-branch relationship?

  1. Bear much fruit (verses 4-5)

2. Receive prayer power (verse 7)

3. Glorify the Father ( verse 8)

4. Obey His commands (Exodus 20 and Matthew 5-7)

5. Become full of joy ( verse 11, John 1:1-4 and John 2:1-6)

Our happiness can reach no higher than when we share the joy that Christ felt because of being loved by His Father and doing His will.

For Christians, all of life’s relationships must grow out of our personal relationship with Jesus.


2. The disciples relationship with one another.

John 15:12-17 (AMP)

Disciples’ Relation to Each Other

12 “This is My commandment, that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another, just as I have loved you. 

13 No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. 

14 You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. 

15 I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. 

16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. 

17 This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.

The disciples had a common tie, Jesus.

  1. They were chosen by Christ (verse 16)

We are God’s people.

Later the apostle Peter, who was in the upper room that night, wrote to discouraged Christians, 1 Peter 2:9 (AMP)

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

B. Their relationship was characterised by genuine love (verses 12, 13, 17.)

In the New Testament, individual Christians could not describe their lives without the term “one another”.

They were to bear one another’s burdens in Galatians 6:2.

They were to admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in Colossians 3:16.

They were to comfort one another in 1 Thessalonians 4:8.

Exhort one another in Hebrews 3:13.

Pray for one another in James 5:16.

And love one another in 1 Peter 1:22.

For enrichment and stability, you must experience the fellowship of your local body of Christ, your church.

C. Their relationship was characterised by obedience to Christ (verse 14.)

D. They were friends, partners with Christ (verse 15)

E. They were continuous fruit bearers (verse 16)

3. The disciples’ relationship with the world.

John 15:18-27 (AMP)

Disciples’ Relation to the World

18 “If the world hates you [and it does], know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 

19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own and would treat you with affection. But you are not of the world [you no longer belong to it], but I have chosen you out of the world. And because of this the world hates you. 

20 Remember [and continue to remember] that I told you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 

21 But they will do all these [hurtful] things to you for My name’s sake [because you bear My name and are identified with Me], for they do not know the One who sent Me. 

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have [the guilt of their] sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 

23 The one who hates Me also hates My Father. 

24 If I had not done among them the works (attesting miracles) which no one else [ever] did, they would not have [the guilt of their] sin; but now [the fact is that] they have both seen [these works] and have hated Me [and continue to hate Me] and My Father as well. 

25 But [this is so] that the word which has been written in their Law would be fulfilled, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

26 “But when the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me. 

27 But you will testify also and be My witnesses, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

Jesus knows what lies ahead for His disciples, and He warns them.

Jesus tells His people what they can expect.

The Gospel of Mark records just a sample in Mark 13:9-13 (AMP)

9 “But be on your guard; they will turn you over to courts, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand [as accused] before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 

10 The gospel [that is, the good news regarding the way of salvation] must first be preached to all the [Gentile] nations. 

11 When they take you and turn you over [to the court], do not worry beforehand about what to say, but say whatever is given to you [by God] in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit [who will speak through you]. 

12 Brother will betray brother to [be put to] death, and a father [will hand over] his child; and children will rise up and take a stand against parents and have them put to death. 

13 You will be hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name, but the one who [patiently perseveres empowered by the Holy Spirit and] endures to the end, he will be saved.

Jesus told His disciples that the world hated Him first in John 15:18 and 22-25.

He explained that the worlds hatred of them was proof that they were not of the world in verse 19.

He further conveyed that they were sharing their Master’s lot.

Later Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:12-13 (AMP)

Share the Sufferings of Christ

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. 1

3 But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [filled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy.

Then Jesus told His disciples that their suffering would bear good witness to Christ in John 15:27.

The time would come when Christians would be called to burn a pinch of incense and say “Caesar is Lord.”

But they would refuse to do this.

Instead they would testify, “Jesus is Lord”.

And persecution would follow because Christians put Christ first.

Jesus knew that if people were permanently bonded together by Him, He could trust them with His work until He returned.


Go to your spiritual upper room and learn the lessons Christ Jesus has for you to learn!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings


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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia


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