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Living a Christian Life


By Marilyn Pritchard

“I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5). “…You, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root…” (Rom. 11:17b).

“Abide in me, little branch,” Jesus says to each of us. “Allow my Lifeblood to flow through your veins. You may need pruning, which can be painful at the time, but I will use it for your good. If you remain in me, you will bear much fruit, fruit that will last for eternity.”

This is what living a Christian life is about—knowing your power comes from Christ and letting Him transform you into His likeness. How do we do it? This passage in John 15:1-17 suggests three principles to apply:

Abide

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, abide can mean to wait for or endure, but it also suggests acceptance without resistance or protest. That is how I would describe a surrendered life — accepting that apart from Christ we can do nothing (verse 5) and surrendering our will to His, even if it means we must endure suffering for awhile (verse 6), knowing He is molding us into His image.

Obey

“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love…” (verse 10). Before you go back to the Old Testament and start counting all the ways you’ve messed up, remember that Jesus summed up the entire Law in these two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39). But even when you do mess up (and you will), remember that your sins were already paid for on the cross (Rom. 4:4-8).

Bear Fruit

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (verse 8). Just as a branch will not produce grapes without being attached to the grapevine, we cannot cultivate the fruit of the Spirit unless we are connected to Christ. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23a). They are not called fruits of the Spirit, but fruit, singular. In this passage, Jesus mentions only love and joy (verses 11-12), but they all go together. If we cultivate one, the rest will follow.


This may be oversimplifying how to live a Christian life, but it definitely is a start. Once you’ve surrendered your life to Christ, you can begin to abide in Him, obey His commands, and discover the fruit of the Spirit blossoming in your heart. There are many resources to help you along the way, first and foremost the Bible, which will teach you more about what God desires for you. Just Between Us (JBU) has also listed some articles here that will provide insight into living a Christian life. We pray you will feel His blessing as you begin and/or continue your journey. 



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