Jesus tells us:
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. ~ John 15:5
So what does this really mean in practical terms.
How can I get the ugly fruit out of my life, and begin to bear good fruit?
How can I turn a mundane ‘Christian’ life into one marked by the kind of fruit Jesus walked in?
The first answer that jumps to our Christian trained minds would be – read your Bible and Pray. Isn’t that what ‘abide in Christ’ means? Good answers both, and critical to any life as a Christian.
But I know lots of Christians who are very consistent with their devotional life, but are still frustrated with the fruit that comes from their lives.
So what’s a Christian to do?
Paul has much to say about this. He takes up this fruit conversation in Galatians 5. In the last half of this chapter he talks about the ungodly fruit of the flesh, and the world famous ‘Fruit of the Spirit.’
Strangely, he does not suggest that if we read our Bibles and Pray we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Here is what he suggests:
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. ~ Galatians 5:16
He goes on to describe some of the ugly fruit evident in a life not connected to the vine and then gives us a wonderful description of the fruit borne of abiding.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23
In the Greek – as I understand it – fruit is singular. We are not talking here about 9 different varieties in a Christian cornucopia. Nope – we are talking about one fruit marked by 9 traits. It might be better to say 1 fruit marked by 8 traits.
The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, and that LOVE is remarkable because it is joyful, peaceable, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and under control.
And this love is not the product of discipline, but the product of “Walking by the Spirit.” [Tweet this]
Have you ever tried to stir up patience and found yourself screaming?
I really believe it is not our job to strive in each of the nine areas to do better. Our job is simply to “walk by the Spirit.”
See you then