Day 12

The True Vine

from the Fruit of the Spirit reading plan


John 15:1-11, Galatians 5:25, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

BY She Reads Truth

Love.
Joy.
Peace.
Patience.
Kindness.
Goodness.
Faithfulness.
Gentleness.
Self-control.

When I read the familiar list of the fruit of the Spirit, I immediately think, YES. I want to be all those things!

Who doesn’t love joy and peace? Who couldn’t use more kindness and self-control?

It’s right to see this list and want it to be true of us—the fruit of the Spirit is good because God is good! The problem comes when we set out to bear fruit by being good, when we pretend fruit-bearing is simply a matter of our will instead of a result of our connection to Christ. The key lies in the name: the fruit of the Spirit. Not my fruit. Not your fruit. Not the fruit of She Reads Truth, or your favorite theologian, or even the Church! The fruit of the Spirit is borne of the Spirit. Period. The end.

To understand fruit-bearing in Gospel terms, there is no better resource than John Chapter 15. (Seriously – read the whole thing and then read it again! So good.) Jesus uses clear and practical imagery to explain the connection between Himself and His disciples:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”
– John 15:5 HCSB

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are not fruits we bear of our own sheer will and desire. We bear fruit when, and only when, we are grafted to the True Vine. Jesus Christ is our nourishment! His Holy Spirit in us is the fruit producer; we are simply the branches which have the privilege of displaying His fruit. Or, as I keep saying and threatening to put on a t-shirt, “We don’t bear it; we just wear it!” (I know. Thank me for that one later.)

Friends, Jesus Christ comes to make us new. He comes to redeem the dead branches that we are and give us abundant life! Abiding in Him—resting, dwelling, remaining in Him— is the only source of our strength, our goodness, our fruit. Let’s press into the True Vine together today. Let’s be about the business of abiding in Jesus, and trust His Spirit to be about the business of bearing fruit in our lives.

As we wrap up this study, let’s take a moment to reflect and share:

Which fruit of the Spirit are you most tempted to produce on your own, apart from the Vine?

How has the Scripture you’ve read over the last 12 days changed the way you think of fruit-bearing? And abiding?

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PSST – Just because our study of the Fruit of the Spirit is over, it doesn’t mean we’re done! Let’s keep reading! Keep seeking! Keep *ahem* abiding! Join us MONDAY as we begin a short, 5-day, crowd-favorite study of old Hymns and the Scriptures that inspired them! Not only will we enjoy some favorite returning guest writers (Sandra McCracken, Ellie Holcomb and more!), but this time around, we have actually been in the studio recording She Reads Truth’s very own arrangements! (More details tomorrow!!!)

So. Grab a friend or two, and plan to spend 5 days in the Word with us, with that special added layer of Scripture and worship!! WE CAN’T WAIT!!!

 

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Post Comments (111)

111 thoughts on "The True Vine"

  1. Cindy C. says:

    The fruit of the Spirit I am most tempted to try to produce on my own, apart from the Vine, is self-control. I focus on what I need to do, what I need to control, and forget that I can do nothing apart from Jesus. Instead, I should be focusing on “grafting” myself to the one true vine, Jesus, and growing in my relationship with him.

  2. Ashley Skalsky says:

    I think the Fruit I most often attempt to bear on my own is patience. I tend to think that if I just focus more on being patient, then patience will come; however, I cannot just magically conjure up patience- it is something that I can only display through God’s grace. I actually find a lot of peace in knowing that I cannot display any of the qualities on my own, nor does God expect me to. Instead, He only asks that I abide in Him and keep His commandments, then the Fruits will be apparent in my life. Basically, I am required to spend time with the God of the universe, and in turn I am gifted all of these lovely attributes- it’s truly a win-win situation.

  3. Caroline says:

    Lord, remind me that the fruit of the spirit are not borne of my own goodness, but of the spirit!

  4. Yes this has been a great reminder. Because I can be easily annoyed at times I’m often trying to control that behavior and this was such a blessing to me showing that I just have to keep diligently seeking him for anything to change. We can’t force ourselves to be gentle. That very statement seems contrary. But we have to realize it’s a process and sometimes it’s not as quick as we would like. Thanks so much for sharing this. God guided me here at the right time.

  5. Lisa says:

    This study is awesome! I’ll be revisiting this one for sure.

  6. Nikki Falvey says:

    What a wonderful study! And I am reading this on the day of Yom Kippur, the Biblical day of atonement—how fitting to read of Jesus’s sacrifice that atoned for our sins and the work of sanctification that the Spirit is continually producing in us! For the questions: I think I am most guilty of trying to produce kindness on my own. I have always been told that I am nice or kind and I, to my shame, take pride in those words. I want people to always think that I am kind, and this often leads me to be a doormat, not standing up for my morals or Biblical values when I should. It also results from me seeking the approval of ma. Rather than that of God. And all these people don’t see how truly UNKIND I am in my thoughts and sometimes my words and actions. Even when I try my hardest to be kind, I fail and am often only kind as a result of pride. Thank God for His Spirit and His Fruit!

  7. Jordyn says:

    Thank you SRT for this study and thank you Holy Spirt for giving us such wonderful fruits to abide in.

  8. Katie Jane says:

    I can fall into trying to be “good” because I want people to like me. It takes away showcasing Gods glory through me and becomes all about me. I’ve loved this study because it’s reminded me that I can continue to live this way OR I can live in the freedom of the spirit!! Then, when I display those fruits I can, with so much gratitude, say it wasn’t me, it was God :). Thank you for your encouragement through The fruits of the Spirit!

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