Union and communion with Christ are two of the least understood and among the most important doctrines in the Christian life. Many people in my experience get confused about only resting in Christ to the neglect of still actively working out their salvation with fear and trembling. How does the Christian bear fruit that glorifies God? In his helpful new book A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ Pastor Stanley D. Gale seeks to help readers understand the grace that stimulates the fruit and maturity of a sanctified life comes to God’s people is through Jesus Christ.

The book is an extended look at John 15 where Jesus teaches about the Vine and how we as the branches, must live and grow to bear the fruit of a grace-grown life. Along the way the author provides helpful examples from his own life and ministry experience that help the reader understand what he is teaching.

The author comes time and time again back to the biblical text and to the work of the gospel. In this book there is no confusion between what Christ has done and what God’s people are commanded to do. We are living in a day when confusion exists between what Christ has done and what God’s people are to do. The end result of this is that many slip into the living however they want to live. When this occurs we do what Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned about namely succumb to cheap grace instead of costly grace. We have been won to Christ at the price at the cost of the Son of God and Son of Man Jesus Christ. We are called to put our sin to death because of the finished work of Christ. We abide in Him who has already won the victory and yet will triumph at the final Day over Satan and his host. In other words, A Vine-Ripened Life will help you understand the already/not yet of our salvation.

A Vine-Ripened Life is a very helpful treatment on an important topic. Christians need to understand how to abide and work out their salvation with fear and trembling. We rest and we work but neither for our salvation but because we’ve been saved through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

A Vine-Ripened Life is an excellent book that will help readers understand our union and communion with Christ. I recommend this book for every Christian but in particular new Christians. Read this book slowly. Digest what the author has written. You may just find like I did that what he says will help you to not only grow in Christ but to rest in and enjoy Him all the more.

Title: A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ

Author: Stanley D. Gale

Publisher: Reformation Hertige (2014)

I received this book for free from Reformation Hertige for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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