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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Importance of Fruit
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 it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:1,2—NIV)
Bearing fruit is so important in the Kingdom of God that the believer who does not bear fruit is cut from the Vine, removed from Christ. The reason fruit is so important has to do with God's purpose in calling out the members of the Church from the ranks of mankind.
The purpose in calling the Israelites of the old covenant from among the other nations of the earth was that they might be the guardians of the moral law, the Ten Commandments. The purpose in calling Israel (the members of the Church) under the new covenant from the ranks of mankind is that they may portray in themselves the eternal moral law of God. The fruit God is looking for is Christ in the saints. Christ is the eternal moral law of God made flesh.
The Lord Jesus Christ tells us that He is the Vine God has planted. God the Father is the Farmer.
Then the next thing the Lord tells us is, "He cuts off every branch in me that does not bear fruit."
When you think about this for a moment you can see the gulf between the Christian religion and the Kingdom of God. Our religion presents ideas concerning how we are saved. However, the Lord tells us what God regards as supremely important when He says, "If you plan on being part of Me you must bear fruit."
Because of the current unscriptural emphasis on making proselytes to our religion, some are teaching that the fruit of which Christ is speaking is "getting souls saved." Getting souls saved is not the fruit of the Christian. This would be to say that the fruit borne on the branch is more branches.
It is true and scriptural that when we bear the fruit of Christ it is a tree of life for other people, and the result is, other people are drawn to God. This is the meaning of the following:
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30—NIV)
A parallel passage is found in Daniel:
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3—NIV)
In fact, the purpose of God in the Church is that it might be the moral light of the world. The Lord told us when people see our good works, the good works proceeding from Christ, the Fruit who is being formed in us, they will glorify God.
So we win souls to God and to righteousness, not primarily by convincing them to join our religion but by abiding in Christ so they may see the overflowing Life of Jesus in us. How does that sound to you?
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (II Corinthians 4:11—NIV)
To be continued.