Monday, November 23, 2015

Bear Fruit

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Colossians 1:10
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God...

In our recent Bible study, we've been looking at John 15 and the words of Jesus to His disciples the night before He died. They left the upper room in Jerusalem where they had dined and walked toward Gethsemane. Quite possibly, they were walking right through the ancient vineyards that still lie between the two locations when Jesus said to His disciple, "I am the vine, you are the branches. I want you to bear fruit... much fruit... and even more fruit so that My Father will be glorified."

As a disciple of Christ, I realize His message also applies to me. But what does it mean to "bear fruit?" All my life I've been told this refers to sharing the Gospel with others so they may know Christ and have eternal life. Certainly that is the greatest of all deeds we can do; however, throughout the New Testament, "fruit" is associated with doing "good works." In The Secrets of the Vine, Bruce Wilkinson puts it this way, "Fruit is not something you produce to earn salvation, which is a gift you receive through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). Rather, fruit is something that you do as a Christian to meet a need and bring glory to God."

So if "bearing fruit" means doing something that helps another person and results in glorifying God, then I say to myself, 'That's easy!"

"And the one thing of which I can have the most perfect assurance is that, with Christ as my Vine, and the Father as my Husbandman, I can indeed be a fruitful branch." (The True Vine, Andrew Murray, page 22.)

Our Father,... Teach us, we pray Thee, to realize how truly this is the one object of our existence, and of our union to Christ. Make it the one desire of our hearts to be branches, so filled with the Spirit of the Vine, as to bring forth fruit abundantly." (Andrew Murray, The True Vine, page 23.)

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