SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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How Is Spiritual Fruit Produced in Christians?
How is spiritual fruit produced in the life of a Christian? Let us consider plants . . . have you ever seen a branch or leaf that could survive once severed from the stalk of the plant? NO! That is not the way it works!
Have you ever seen a child . . . right after birth that cares for himself and feeds himself and clothes himself? NO! No way! That is not how it works.
John 15:1-6 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (KJV)
There has never been a ‘Christian’ that was healthy and vibrant in the faith, and produced fruit that was completely self-sustaining.
To whom does this passage apply? It is for believers in Jesus! Jesus is here speaking to the 11 disciples, and the context of this Passage is the abiding of believers in Christ as they live here on Earth. Jesus is speaking to those who are in Christ, those who are TRUE followers of Christ.
As we think about the teaching of Christ here, it is important to understand that this is NOT about how you become a Christian! It is all about how you LIVE after you are a Christian!
In this Passage, Jesus uses imagery of the branches of a vineyard being maintained by the vinedresser. To those in Jesus’ day this kind of thing was common and well known. But in today’s world, it is an image (symbol) that is not familiar to us, unless we have worked in a vineyard.
I think that the purpose of this Passage, is to show us how dependent the branches are on the vine. The branches are believers, and completely depend upon the Vine, which is Christ Jesus.
There are two things about this DEPENDENCE that you should consider . . . for these two things are vital to our really living as believers. The believer depends on Christ.
- The Vine and branches have a life giving AND life receiving connection. Christ gives life and believers grow in Him. Believers have absolutely NO power in and of themselves to do what is required of them by God. Verse 5 makes that clear when Jesus says, for apart from me you can do nothing. Think about this . . . what good is a branch without a vine? It is dead!
- We must have complete dependence on Christ. Our abiding in Christ (staying connected to the Vine) is our primary aim for if we do not stay firmly attached to the Vine we cannot do anything . . . for without me ye can do nothing. Again, I say that this is for believers, those who have truly trusted in Christ Jesus, and placed their faith in Him. I say that because in verse 3 Jesus says: Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
For those in Christ, the purpose for which God has them here on Earth is to be productive, fruit bearing Christians. That does not nor cannot happen without our staying connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ. That’s why we see in verse 2, the fruit bearing branch God prunes so that it will be even more productive. Those who abide in Christ, those who seek fellowship with Christ, will bear fruit. And what that fruit looks like will vary and will likely be of many different sorts. God’s Word makes that clear . . . in the life of a believer there will be several kinds of fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
A Godly and Christ-like character is fruit. Loving others is fruit. Faithful and cheerful serving is fruit. Leading others to Christ is fruit. Faithful and cheerful Christian giving is fruit. Working for God to be glorified is fruit. There are many others.
The basic Truth is, that those who stay connected to the vine will grow, and flourish, and produce healthy, obvious fruit. And that fruit in a believer’s life points to the health of the relationship with Christ.
Holy Spirit Empowers Believers
Fruit, How It Is Produced
Fruits Are Spiritual Attributes
Fruits of the Spirit
Fruits, How to Live a Holy Life