To be made clean only prepares us for producing fruit. If we stand still, simply resting on our justification, the dark forces will pull us backwards.
We tend to avoid acknowledging our weaknesses, but at some point, each of us will admit our powerlessness and inability to carry out God's will on our own.
Fruit is not produced immediately; it is produced only when a plant is both mature and stable enough that mere survival is no longer its top priority.
Horticulture is not so easy as merely planting a seed and watching it grow. Tending and keeping implies continually watering, fertilizing, and cultivating.
Clyde Finklea revisits the interpretation of John 15:2 , which reads in most translations, "every branch that does not bear fruit, He takes way." This is assumed by many to mean "get rid of." Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, in his book, The Secrets of the Vine, explains that "takes away" should be more …
John 15:4-5 in the Phillips translation gives us a great deal to consider: "You can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. ...
Bill Onisick, asserting that getting grape vines to bear fruit is difficult, suggests that the production of succulent grapes is at least a two-year project, in which pruning dead wood and lateral vines that produce much foliage, but little fruit, and exposing buds to sufficient sun (by thinning the canopy) are essential. …
If we are intent on bearing fruit, we can do some things to make sure that we are not inhibiting the process. We find them in one of the fig tree parables.
Ted Bowling, drawing a spiritual analogy from the growth of a pineapple, observes that it takes a long time from planting to harvest—approximately three years for the plant to mature. At first, all that matures is the foliage. The majority of the growth or maturation takes place from within. The same holds true for our …
Jesus' cursing of the fig tree just days before His crucifixion has puzzled and even disturbed Bible readers for centuries, as it just does not seem to be something our Savior would do. However, Dan Elmore resolves this seeming contradiction by framing Christ's actions as a pointed object lesson that we would do well to take to …
Without a meaningful relationship with Christ, God's people cannot possibly bear fruit. Our responsibility is to yield to God's creative work in our lives.
John 15:2 may seem to say that the Vinedresser cuts off every barren branch, but the Greek behind "takes away" shows something else. Here is what God does.
We have learned that conversion is primarily a process, a transformation of a Christian's nature from human and carnal to godly and spiritual. ...
In the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, Jesus does not attribute tragedy directly to any person's sins as the Jews did; instead, He affirms the sinfulness of everyone.
What is the Holy Spirit? What does it do? Who has it? How does it work? What does it produce?
God's purpose is a family matter; He is reproducing Himself in human children transformed to spirit. He wants each memeber of His Family to have the same righteous character that He does. To this end, Martin Collins writes, each Christian must develop godliness through righteous behavior and service, adding virtue to their faith.
God personally communicated with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and to us through His Son. With the Scriptures, God teaches His faithful today.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
A Bible study on love, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
In Pentecostalism, speaking in 'tongues' is the worshipped sign that God has accepted a person. Yet the miracle of Pentecost was not the speaking gibberish.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that neglecting to feed the flock has been detrimental to preaching the gospel to the world. Because of this unwitting neglect, many members succumbed to the "lost in the crowd" syndrome, feeling insignificant, meaningless, and useless. The vine and branches analogy (John 15:1-6) and the body …
The Jewish converts to the Way, although having had the benefit of Messianic prophecies, did not recognize the powerful significance of Psalm 8.
Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.
Our lives parallel what Christ experienced: crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and glorification. The death of self must precede resurrection and glory.
John Ritenbaugh, maintaining that our responsibility is to yield to God's sovereignty, nevertheless suggests that God has, by giving us free will, enabled us to freely sin, but holds us responsible for governing ourselves. The word govern, derived from the Latin noun gubern?tor, indicates a regulating, as in steering a ship with …
Here are five easily neglected doctrines, which, if carelessly observed or distorted, could jeopardize the salvation of God's people.
Martin Collins, reflecting on the practice of "defriending" (or "unfriending") on Facebook, contrasts this practice with Christ's love for His called-out ones, a friending with the condition that godly fruit is born. When Paul challenged the Roman congregation to produce godly fruit, he was not looking for …
Egypt is not directly a symbol of sin, but instead the world. The Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize what God did for us, not what we did by our own power.
Government may be the most important subject in the Bible because it touches on how Christians are to govern themselves under the sovereignty of God.
The Kingdom parables allude to the process of spiritual maturity, depicting a planted and cultivated seed becoming a sprout, eventually bearing fruit.
The Branch is a well-known Old Testament prophetic figure, identified as the Messiah by most people. Yet, is there more to it than that? What does it mean to us?
In Christ's vine and branch analogy, Jesus presents Himself as the true or genuine Vine, as contrasted to the unfaithful vine (ancient Israel).
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
Imagine a man studying the Bible for two hours a day. But if he then spends his other waking hours watching cartoons, he will derive little benefit from study.
Though the American mindset does not feel inclined to serve, outgoing service to others yields the maximum joy and fulfillment one can possibly attain.
Works are not the cause of salvation, but instead are the effect of God's creative efforts at bringing us into His image—a new creation.
Jesus encouraged His disciples by promising to send the Holy Spirit to empower them for the challenges of the Christian life, making us sensitive to God.
God can take satisfaction that He is doing the right thing, and thus His rejoicing can even come from painful judgments. Sarcificing and rejoicing are linked.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that after justification, for grace to be made dominant, its influence must extend beyond justification, into the sanctification stage where the believer must yield himself to righteousness, keeping God's commandments making himself a slave of righteousness. God's grace is manifested by His giving gifts, …
Despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. We must accept God's sovereignty.