Fruit | Week 1: Self-Control
Parents say to their children, “eat your vegetables” not because they taste good but because they are nutritious. Unless we drink water and eat food that is good for us, we will be unhealthy and eventually die of dehydration and malnourishment. Our spiritual health is no different. Unless we are nourished by the Word of God, will not bear fruit and we will eventually wither away. Our lives in Jesus are like fruit. We start off as a bud, then a flower, leading to fruit set, and finally becoming mature fruit. The Holy Spirit leads us on the path of sanctification where we grow in holiness. Contrastingly, God is fully mature and holy. When we are nourished by Jesus, we become the mature and holy people of God.
Read John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
READ those verses again and consider these related questions.
Branches on grape vines are expected to do something specific. What is it?
We, as Christ followers, are expected to bear fruit. What kinds of things prevent us from doing so?
There are two embedded promises in this verse. Describe why they are both important to consider.
Read John 15:1-3
1. In what ways does God “prune” us? Is being pruned ever painful?
2. What is the intended result of being spiritually pruned?
3. To add to the obvious answer in #2, read Matthew 25:20-21. What else is expected?
Read John 15:6-8
4. Look at verse 7. How does remaining in Jesus and his word bring about a positive outcome to whatever is asked of him? Does it really mean “anything”?
5. How does it glorify God if we benefit from bearing fruit and receive what we ask for?
Read Psalm 1
6. Staying connected to the vine requires deliberate action on our part, how is that on display in this Psalm?
7. Point out the similarities in Psalm 1 to what is found in John 15:1-8.
8. In what ways does Psalm 1 point us toward the message of the Gospel?