Updated: Sep 3, 2019
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).
As a Christian, whether you're new to Christianity or have been a Christian for some time, you must grow! In Part 1, we discussed the importance of growth and producing results for God and in God. If you haven't read it, I kindly recommend that you do so.
The Lord Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned." (John 15:1-6 NKJV).
As a result of reading these words, one of the very important questions we need to ask is, "What is God referring to when He says 'fruit' here?" We need to ask this question if we want our life, walk, and relationship with God to be successful, effective, fulfilling, joyful, and meaningful! The answers to this question are in many places in the Bible. Let's take a look at some of them.
In Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul said, "...the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." (ESV). These are some of the characteristics that God wants and expects you to express as His child, and He metaphorically refers to them as "the fruit of the spirit", letting us know what some of the fruit the Lord Jesus was referring to are when He said what He read in John 15:1-6.
Remember, as a Christian, you're the very offspring of God; you have His very life and nature in you. In Galatians 5:22, when the Apostle Paul says "the fruit of the spirit is...", he's referring to your recreated human spirit; the spirit that has been born again. This immediately lets you know that you have the ability and capacity in you to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control because that's the nature you now have in your spirit; the nature of God! He calls these characteristics "fruit", and fruit has the capacity and ability to grow and develop; likewise, these characteristics can grow and develop in you through your deliberate actions, such as: reading and studying the Word of God, meditating on the Word of God, learning what those characteristics are and applying them in your everyday life by acting according to their definitions and descriptions.
The Lord Jesus, later on in His teaching about the Vine and the Branches, said: "My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples." (John 15:8). This is a great honour and privilege. He shows us that there are different levels of discipleship, and He lets us know that when we produce much fruit the Father is glorified and we are walking and functioning as true disciples!
Share this Divine Update with someone else today and help them to live in the liberty and beauty of God's love, blessings and provisions.