John 15:1-5

ABIDING IN THE VINE

(July 19, 2021) Geraldine Brandt shares from her heart graciously on a vital issue…

Jesus made it clear in John 15: 1-2,4-5 that the Father wants his children to be fruitful… ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine and you are the branches.  The one who remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.’

We tend to skip over ‘while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes …’! But three things are outstandingly clear –

  • If we remain (abide, an action verb!) in him, we will bear fruit.
  • Although bearing fruit, the Father will prune us so we’ll be even more fruitful. 
  • A twice-mentioned warningremain in him otherwise we cannot bear fruit, do nothing!

More abundant than before
Have you ever seen a pruned grape vine? It is quite brutally cut back to the main trunk so that it would appear there are no branches at all remaining, just the main trunk.  You would be forgiven for thinking the pruning was too much, the vine dresser had gone too far and there would be no fruit for the coming hasrvest season.

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THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

(July 17, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a question linking with our The Wigglesworth Challenge article and Geraldine Brandt’s Abiding in the Vine

Dear Dr Robert
You’ve encouraged me to trust the Holy Spirit. Please explain about the fruit of the Spirit. Mitch

Hi Mitch

Most happy to share on this… but it means writing a full article!

Firstly, fruit grows and is meant to be enjoyed.  ‘Fruit’ is karpos, usually used in connection with the vine (See John 15:1-5’s requirements!). Singular in source, it’s collective multiple manifestations are as if the first mentioned love – is the fruit that contains all the rest.

In Galatians 5:25, Paul urges us to follow the Spirit. Follow is stoicheo keeping in step, walking virtuously and orderly in respect to flowing in the fruit of the Spirit, thus displaying the character of Jesus, not the works of the flesh.

To simplify Galatians 5:22-23’s declaration of the love aspects of the Spirit’s fruit, let me quote Donald Barnhouse’s definition: ‘Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.’

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