Summary: A biblical definition of the spirit filled life
1 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 one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now you are clean through the Word, which I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. And they gather and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.
8 In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples.
We have here, a graphic illustration of the Christian life. Jesus is the vine, the root of our salvation, by no other name can a man, or woman, be saved. It is His death and resurrection that enables the Spirit to flow through us with power and grace. It is through this formula that believers are able to live a victorious, consistent life, and be witnesses for the entire world to see. The Father is the creator of the vineyard, and the owner of all. The individual is a part of that vine. Everyone who names the name of Christ is a branch of the vine.
How does a person become a part of this vine? Jesus said; “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus replied; “How can a man be born when he is old?” Jesus reply was, “Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Verse 2 states: Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
If there is life on the inside, it will show on the outside. If there is life, then that life will have growth and produce effects that are distinguishable to those it comes into contact with. A rose bush without roses is no more than an ugly vine with instruments of pain on every branch. So it is with the Christian, if there is life inside, it will show.
Not long, after we begin this new life in Christ, we come to the realization that there is another force working within, trying to extinguish this new life. It is the carnal mind, the self-life that enjoys everything going its way. Paul says that it is enmity with God. The branch reaches a point where its growth is hindered, and its ability to produce fruit is effected. The fruit here mentioned is not the fruit of soul winning, it is the fruit of the Spirit. This is where God’s purging is to be accomplished. The fruit is found in Galations 5:22 & 23.
• Love: This is an intense desire to please God, and the ability to put another person’s feelings and desires, on a plane equal to, and even above your own on occasion.
• Joy: This is the exultation that arises from a sense of God’s mercy communicated to the soul in pardon of iniquities, and the prospect of that soon coming eternal home.
• Peace: The calm, quiet, and order which take place in the justified soul. Instead of doubts, fears, and dreadful forbodings.
The three mentioned are the immediate rewards of accepting Jesus, and are constant, as long as we maintain fellowship with Him. The remaining six are fruit that develops and increases with maturity and adversity.
• Longsuffering: Submitting cheerfully to every dispensation of God’s providence, and thus deriving benefit from every occurrence.
• Gentleness: This comes from growing & maturing.
• Goodness: The perpetual desire and sincere study, not only to abstain from every appearance of evil, but to do good to the bodies & souls of men to the uttermost of our ability. Which at times requires a reverse gear in our actions.
• Faith: Here it is used for fidelity – punctuality in performing promises.
• Meekness: Patient suffering of injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge. An even balance of all tempers & passions. The entire opposite of anger.
• Temperance: Continuous, self-government, or moderation. “The Christian life is a disciplined life.” Pray, read, tithes, self-evaluation. In other word; to keep under my body, and bring it into subjection. 1 Corinthians 9:27.