Summary: Dealing with the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives...are we non-producing, partially producing or over producing?
What Lies Beneath
1I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
2Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.
3You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].
4Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
5I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
6If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.
7If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
8When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
Pruned if you do and pruned if you don’t!
22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [ that can bring a charge].
Love and Self Control serve as bookends for the rest of the fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit in our life parallels our thoughts, attitudes or actions. The fruit from our life is how God receives His due honor and glory on earth. The fruit is a direct reflection of Him.
You can’t experience the “flavor” of any fruit until it is – crushed, peeled, stepped on, cut, bitten…etc.
7However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.
8We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair;
9We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed;
You can’t get wine out of a grape until it is “crushed,” “stepped on” or “mashed.”
We have that “De-vine Wine” IN us and the only way to see what’s really there is to go through that same process.
Information about grape vines:
1. The life force of the vine and branches is the sap, which is not seen. What takes place on the surface isn’t nearly as important as what is happening on the inside.
2. New branches have a tendency to trail down and grow along the ground, but they don’t bear fruit down there. When they grow along the ground, the leaves get coated in dust. When it rains, they get muddy and mildew. The branch becomes sick and useless. The vine dresser searches out these branches in the vineyard, lifts them up and washes them off. He then wraps them around the main vine. Pretty soon they are thriving. For Christians, sin is like the dirt covering the grape leaves. Air and SON can’t get in.
Left to itself a grape vine always favors new growth over more grapes. From a distance it looks impressive but up close you discover and under producing plant.
Remember the fig tree that Jesus cursed.
And as He saw one single leafy fig tree above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it (seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves.) And He said to it, Never again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once.
Jesus cursed the fig tree b/c it was a FAKE! It looked like it had fruit b/c it had leaves…it looked like it had “growth” but up close it had none!
Four principles of pruning:
1. To remove dead growth
2. To allow sunlight to reach all branches
3. To increase size of fruit