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The grace that stimulates the fruit and maturity of a sanctified life comes to us through Jesus Christ. We bear much fruit only as we abide in Him. In A Vine-Ripened Life, author Stanley Gale points us to Jesus, the Vine of life of John 15, in whom we, as branches, must live and grow to bear the fruit of a grace-grown life. He explains, “Having begun in Christ we remain in Christ, continuing to draw our life from Him and maturing in grace.” With pastoral sensitivity and an engaging style, Gale teaches readers both about the fruit of Christian character and how to cultivate it. Questions at the end of each chapter make this an ideal study for individuals or groups.
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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 (www.CHoPministry.net).
“A Vine-Ripened Life will encourage, empower, and equip you to be all you can be in Christ so you are able to produce fruit in accordance with God’s Word and will. Stan Gale has whet my appetite, and I look forward to devouring his next publication!” — Leslie Montgomery, author of The Faith of Condoleezza Rice and Redemptive Suffering
“Faith, the writer of Hebrews insists (11:1), comes with evidence. You can see faith as it flowers, comes to fruition, and offers itself to others for their benefit. The fruit of faith comes from the indwelling Spirit of Christ, who, working with the Word of God, anchors us in the glory of the Lord and transforms us into the image of Jesus. The result is glorious spiritual fruit to bless the world. What’s our role in this? Simply put: abide. Abide in the Vine, whence flows the spiritual nourishment and renewing water to enable us to realize our potential as ingrafted vine-dwellers. Intrigued? Then read this book. Stan Gale knows a thing or two about abiding in the Lord Jesus, and this little volume brings his profound, winsome, and penetrating insights to entice, enrich, and enlarge your experience of Jesus Christ, our Vine.” — T. M. Moore, principal, The Fellowship of Ailbe, and content manager for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview
“Looking for a Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered vision for spiritual growth and maturity? That’s what you will find in A Vine-Ripened Life. In this compelling and challenging book, Stan Gale guides us through a study of the fruit of the Spirit that connects our active growth in Christian graces to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus had a reason for calling Himself the vine and us the branches. This fine volume explains why. If you want to grow in your walk with Christ, a prayerful and attentive reading of A Vine-Ripened Life is an excellent place to start.” — Rhett Dodson, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Hudson, Ohio
“An authentic Christian is ‘rooted’ in Christ, the Vine, and the result will be ‘fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.’ If there is a root, there will be fruit. Nurturing a growing, fruit-bearing life is called discipleship. Here is a volume that not only outlines and defines the ‘vine-ripened life’ in Christ but also provides an effective disciple-making tool. With no hesitation and with great anticipation I recommend this biblically accurate and discipleship-friendly volume thoughtfully prepared by Stan Gale for the reader and the disciple-maker.” — Harry Reeder,pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and author of Embers to a Flame
“This was too important to read just once. The possibilities for growth were too good to pass up, so I read it again. So consider reading it this way: go through it slowly, try to do it with someone else, read it aloud, and pray together as you go. Blessing and growth will follow.” — Edward T. Welch, counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) and author of When People Are Big and God Is Small.
“In his book A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ, Stan Gale helps the duty-driven believer find freedom to grow in spiritual fruitfulness by abiding in the Vine. He does this by showing how the familiar ‘fruit of the Spirit’ is rooted in God’s grace. And that’s good news: ‘Love, joy, peace . . . ’ is not merely a string of positive character traits or social strategies, nor should anyone suppose these spiritual attributes are willpower projects to impress God. A lifestyle of fruit-bearing is, in fact, the overflow of God’s prior saving and sustaining work in His people’s lives. Just as the branch has its very life by abiding in the vine, so too the believer lives and thrives by communing with the living Lord. To put it differently, John 15 (‘I am the vine, you are the branches’) is the soil in which Galatians 5 grows (‘the fruit of the Spirit’).
Christians who are spiritually ‘stuck’ or feel overwhelmed by the high call of following Jesus will find encouragement in these pages. Pastoral experience and insight abound, and practical wisdom from a life of Scripture study oozes from the pages. What’s more, discernment regarding both the similarities between and the uniqueness of each spiritual fruit is in good supply. Further, Gale offers countless word pictures and vivid illustrations to help key theological truths hit home. All kinds of practical aid is provided for believers seeking to grow closer to Christ and stronger in their faith. A very helpful, encouraging book—and great for individual use or group study. Highly recommended!” — Peter Nelson, senior pastor, Goshen Baptist Church, West Chester, Pennsylvania, and author of Spiritual Formation: Ever Forming, Never Formed.