Just running this up the flagpole to see if it flies. Comments?
The other day I was meditating on the idea of “fruit” as used in the bible especially the New Testament. The term “fruit” is generally used as a synonym for “deeds”. Jesus stated that a good tree (a righteous person) produces good fruit (good deeds) while an evil tree (unrighteous person) produces bad fruit (evil deeds).
He also said that the way to produce proper fruit was to abide in the Vine (John 15:4).
Now here is my question. Should the goal of the Christian be to produce good fruit? Should a Christian expend great effort on producing such fruit?
I think not. Because trying to produce good fruit from a bad tree (our carnal nature) just won’t work. All it is going to do is produce frustration. It’s the wrong focus. Instead the Christian should focus on staying rooted in the ground of Truth and being nourished by the Light of the Son and the Living Water of the Spirit.
The branch must stay attached to the Vine of Christ or it will wither and die. If that is done a Christian will naturally produce good fruit without any effort. Such fruit will nourish others and spread the seeds of righteousness all around.
Fruits are generally categorized as either:
1) "Action" fruits - Basically the use of our spiritual gifts in the service of others (especially for the household of God)
2) "Attitude" Fruits - Heart felt peace, love, joy (which is really the fruits of Jesus that flow through us)
Every heart and mind is going to abide somewhere, either in the world through the flesh..or in the word of Christ by the Spirit.
Not abiding in the world, but remaining rooted and grounded, does require the activity of the will as we, for example, actively apply our spiritual armor (Eph 6)
We do have an active role in weeding the garden (repentance, confession, spiritual armor) and positioning ourselves (e.g. forsaking not the assembling together, subjecting ourselves to the instruction and example of elders, study of God's word and prayer) so that we as God's vessels can realize His power of transforming minds with His attending peace, love and joy. But you're essentially correct because it's His mind and His "attitude" fruits that He is actively producing in us.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Phil 2:12