DAY ONE—JOHN 15:1–8
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
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. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“The fruits of the Spirit are Christological fruits; that is, they are signs of the closest relationship with Christ. Jesus said, ‘Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.’ (John 15:5), and again, ‘My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.’ (John 15:8)…Jesus Christ is the vine; his disciples are the branches; the Holy Spirit is the life-giving sap by virtue of which branches, the disciples, bear much fruit. One of the ancient spiritual writers says that Christ as a gardener tends the soul so that it may produce ‘the good fruits of the Spirit.’ His gardening tool is the cross, and he uses it to break up the hard soil of the arid soul, to prepare it and to plant in it the Holy Spirit’s garden of delights, to grow all kinds of fruit, sweet and most pleasing to God.”