Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meditation on Fruit

JK asks

ust 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



  1. Yes. I agree with you, in the flesh we cannot produce anything of value. John 3 says flesh produces flesh, but the Spirit produces after the Spirit. Fruit is a natural byproducted of being connected to the Spirit of God or the vine. I am learning that the best thing we can do as believers is to get out of God's way and trust Him completely for any and everything. My desire is to enter into God's rest and abide under the shadow of His wings. Like you said, everything else just causes frustration. Enjoyed your article. Blessings, Rhonda Jones,

  2. Steve,

    I had to think of this one. It is a very good question. However after several days of travel and thinking I believe I have an answer.

    It is true that we have a carnal nature BUT we are supposed to be growing out and away from the OLD nature and toward the NEW nature. That said, if we abide in the vine, if we are in His Word, prayer, fellowship and worship then I think it only natural (spiritually natural) for us to try and make use of every opportunity. I belive that we need to be in prayer first, have our walk be Christ filled, then "try hard" (your term) to bear much fruit.

    Also remember from John 15 that we need to be bearing fruit, more fruit and much fruit. Those who bear fruit will be pruned (v2) in order to be able to bear more fruit. Also the branch cannot bear fruit of its own UNLESS it abides in the vine (Christ). Then the text continues in v5 "he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears MUCH fruit, for apart from Me you can do NOTHING" emphasis mine.

    There you have it. We are called to bear much fruit. But the text is clear that it will only occur if we abide in Him. As a side note I believe "fruit" here is people. But we can discuss that in another forum.