In John 15:1-2 Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful”
Fruit? What are fruits? The dictionary meaning of fruit is: the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed. Of course we know the Bible talks spiritually but what does it mean by being sweet and fleshy product containing seeds? Often we tend to think the fruit in our life can be the materialistic gifts we receive or own as a result of working hard for God in building His kingdom. Often we analyse other Christian’s life and sought out for the works they do to be blessed in the same measure. Our comments may sound something like this: “Oh! He is blessed with an Audi because he was a faithful servant of God.” Having materialistic properties can definitely be a blessing but certainly is not the ‘fruit’ that Jesus talked about in John 15:1-2. We also interpret bearing fruits is equal to having a large church compare to another church. It is again, a blessing to worship the Lord with a large congregation, but is that the fruit that Jesus was talking about? So what are the fruits that Christ wants us to bear?
1. Fruits of Spirit
In verse 5, Jesus says, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”. Referring back to the dictionary meaning of fruit: ‘the sweet and fleshy product of a treeor other plant that contains seed’, we know that the fruit has to be “of a” tree. We cannot replicate a fruit from another tree. In Galatians 5.22-23, it says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Jesus says in John 15 to remain in Him to bear fruit. To bear Christlike fruit, it is important that we remain and abide by His love. We are to replicate the these fruits in us as we reside [as branches] in the ‘true vine’ – Jesus Christ
2. Praising the Lord
Hebrews 13:15 says “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” I guess this verse is self explanatory! When we praise and thank God with a Spirit of worship through our mouths, it is a fruit. When we lift up our hands and exalt His Holy name and confess with our mouths, fruit is present. Note that all this is done through Jesus and not just by us.
3. Good works
Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” In the letter to Colossae, Paul talks about bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Doing good work doesn’t stop after a ten or twenty. We have to continue doing good work as our God fills us with His wisdom and knowledge to act according to His will and purpose – to bear fruit.
4. Winning others to Christ
The last, but certainly not the least is winning others to Christ! Yes, we discussed earlier about having larger churches. Winning others to Christ is not to increase the population of your church but to increase the number of souls enjoying the eternal life. Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” In Mathew 28:16-20, we have all been assigned with an assignment – The great commission – to bear fruits for eternal life. It is our duty and privilege to proclaim the good news and win fruits [souls] for eternal life.
Referring back to the dictionary meaning of fruit: – the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed. The ‘seed’ is the Word of God that is inside us, dwelling in us that helps us to bear fruit through the help of Holy Spirit.
Also, referring back to the verse from John 15: 1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener, He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful”, we understand that when we bear fruit, we go through pruning [a painful process] to bear even more beautiful fruit. It is not an easy task to bear fruit but it certainly is rewarding and sweet. Are you ready to be pruned to bear even more beautiful and sweet fruit?