Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Review: A Vine-Ripened Life by:Stanley D. Gale
About the Book:
Paul spoke of laboring among the Galatians that "Christ might be formed in them." Later, he speaks of the development of Christian character in their lives, what he calls the "fruit of the Spirit." The question is, how is Christ like character cultivated in our lives? The contention of this book is that such fruit is produced naturally and organically through abiding in Jesus Christ.
The starting point is not Galatians 5, but John 15. There Jesus informs us that it is as we abide in Him that we bear fruit much fruit, fruit that will last. After laying the groundwork of God's grace to us in Christ as the Vine of life, we will see how our Father tends us for the production of fruit in our lives. We will explore each fruit, gaining insight into its makeup and looking at practical application for its outworking in our lives through abiding in Christ.
About the Author:
Stanley D. Gale serves as senior minister of The Reformed Presbyterian Church, West Chester, Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books and articles, leads seminars on various topics, and is the founder of Community Houses of Prayer.
I learned something in the study that I had never really gave much thought to. The author referenced Galatians 5:22, in it Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit. It reads like this "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,..." In this verse the word Spirit is singular and I never noticed that before, so needless to say the fruit of the spirit is wide and vast and only available to you through the vine.As you move along throughout the book you are introduced to each of the different types of fruitfulness and it is taught in a way to bring you closer to the act of "abiding" in Him.
First and foremost we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to receive the full embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit. It isn't something that we are gifted with upon birth such as you are the gifts of the Spirit for example the gift of service or maybe the gift of music. It is something grown in you over time that you allow the Holy Spirit to grow and cultivate in you.
The premise of the book, I believe is to show us how to abide in Him as the verse from John 15 states. In order to live in Christ we have to become more and more like Him in every area of our lives. The author explores each fruit and examines it to show those of us lacking in these areas just how we are to become fully sanctified and living a life full of God's grace for us and towards others.
If you are interested in learning more, you can purchase the book at this link.
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Cross Focused Reviews.