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How To Abide [Plug In]

Jesus tells us:

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5

So what does this really mean in practical terms.

How can I get the ugly fruit out of my life, and begin to bear good fruit?

How can I turn a mundane ‘Christian’ life into one marked by the kind of fruit Jesus walked in?

The first answer that jumps to our Christian trained minds would be – read your Bible and Pray. Isn’t that what ‘abide in Christ’ means? Good answers both, and critical to any life as a Christian.

But I know lots of Christians who are very consistent with their devotional life, but are still frustrated with the fruit that comes from their lives.

So what’s a Christian to do?

Paul has much to say about this. He takes up this fruit conversation in Galatians 5. In the last half of this chapter he talks about the ungodly fruit of the flesh, and the world famous ‘Fruit of the Spirit.’

Strangely, he does not suggest that if we read our Bibles and Pray we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Here is what he suggests:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. ~ Galatians 5:16

He goes on to describe some of the ugly fruit evident in a life not connected to the vine and then gives us a wonderful description of the fruit borne of abiding.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23

In the Greek – as I understand it – fruit is singular. We are not talking here about 9 different varieties in a Christian cornucopia. Nope – we are talking about one fruit marked by 9 traits. It might be better to say 1 fruit marked by 8 traits.

The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, and that LOVE is remarkable because it is joyful, peaceable, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and under control.

And this love is not the product of discipline, but the product of  “Walking by the Spirit.” [Tweet this]

Have you ever tried to stir up patience and found yourself screaming?

I really believe it is not our job to strive in each of the nine areas to do better. Our job is simply to “walk by the Spirit.”

BenTomorrow we will see if we can figure out exactly what that looks like.

See you then


9 thoughts on “How To Abide [Plug In]

  1. Caddo-Jael

    I was so thankful when I got to the end, Prof--I was afraid this was going to be a "try harder" message, but it sounds like you know how futile our own efforts/works are. Great class! God bless you and the fam--love, sis Cj

    1. Ben Nelson

      I spent 20 years thinking - Ben needs to do better - and hey - guess what - it's still true, but you nailed it - no matter how well i nail it, i could do better - that is not the point. Jesus is the standard, and you can't get there from here by trying, only by dying - (i like that)

      See ya sis.

  2. Debbie

    I am loving learning here, Mr. Ben! And for some reason, I had forgotten about THIS fruit of the Spirit. Kept thinking that my life wasn't bearing much fruit. Thank you and God bless you!

  3. cshowers

    Hallelujah - Your post brought this to mind. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit... Praise God, wouldn't it be great if we were always in the Spirit? Great post as always, Ben.

    1. Ben Nelson

      Thanks Cheryl. Yes - i almost felt like putting all of Romans 8 in the post, but i am trying to keep them short enough to read - lol

      thank for the steady and faithful encouragement.


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