Jesus declared that His Father chose and appointed us to bear an abundance of lasting fruit for His glory. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” (John 15:16 NKJV). The presence of fruit in our lives is evidence that we are children of God and Christ’s disciples. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8 New American Standard).
In the New Testament, we read of “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23 and “the fruit of righteousness” in James 3:18. Though both references clearly allude to the character that is to exemplify the true Christian, there is, a more profound definition. We learn from nature that fruit is the visible manifestation and expression of the invisible life that is in the tree or vine.
As Christians, it is imperative that we understand the very life of God is in us. Peter says we have become “…partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:4). As a result, we have not only the responsibility, but also the capability to manifest the life of Christ to our world. Jesus said that “…every good tree brings forth good fruit…” (Matthew 7:17). It is not the fruit that makes the tree good, but the tree that makes the fruit good.
In the natural, the secret to ensuring a harvest of rich, luxuriant fruit is the health and vitality of the root system. This is also true for our Christian life. “…And if the root is holy, so are the branches” (Romans 11:16). In John chapter 15, Jesus shares with His disciples the key to a fruitful life: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…” (John 15:5 emphasis added).
Never once did Jesus lay the responsibility of producing fruit on His followers. This is where many well-meaning Christians err. They fail to grasp this powerful Kingdom principle: bearing fruit is the promise; abiding is the process. The Holy Spirit will produce the fruit as the believer abides in Christ. The word “abide” speaks of staying connected or remaining intact. As the branch stays attached, the vine’s inherent life flows into the branch resulting in the manifestation of fruit. As you abide in Christ, the same will happen to you. The righteousness of Christ will begin to take root and your life will begin to manifest the fruit of the Spirit.
Jesus came to implement a better covenant – a covenant of grace! Through His shed blood on the Cross our sins were forgiven and the Holy Spirit who is also called the Spirit of Grace (See Hebrews 10:29) was sent to affect a profound work in conforming us in the image of Christ Himself (Romans 8:29; Eph. 4:24). The end result is a transformation of the heart and a renewal of the mind that is in fact accomplished by no effort of your own. This is true grace! The New Covenant teaches, “…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). The grace of God when received will allow us to become partakers of the fullness of Jesus’ life! “And of His fullness we have all received and grace for grace” (John 1:16).
The Prophet foretold of the work that would be accomplished by Holy Spirit in the people of the Lord. “They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.” (Jeremiah 32:38-40).
As you abide in Christ you will experience first the root, then the shoot, and lastly the fruit! Beloved, be of good cheer! You are part of the Last Day’s remnant of the Lord that will display and demonstrate His life to the nations of the world! “And the remnant…shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward” (2 Kings 19:30).
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of the Lord!
For the Kingdom,