“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NKJV).

 

A call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is essentially a call to bear much fruit to the glory of God.

The Lord Jesus clearly explains this truth to His disciples.

John 15:

 16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (NKJV).

However, the Lord Jesus does not demand or expect His disciples to strive or struggle to bear fruit on their own. It is indeed an exercise in futility and frustration for any believer to attempt to bear much fruit to God’s glory in his own strength and wisdom.

Nevertheless, your bearing much fruit to God’s glory is not entirely up to God – it is not exclusively God’s doing in your life. Rather, it requires your active participation and cooperation with God. If you are going to bear much fruit to God’s glory, you do have a definite role to play.

The Lord Jesus points out this truth to His disciple.

John 15:

 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (NKJV).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the true vine.

The born-again believers are the branches of the vine.

What fruit are the believers expected to bear?

Why must believers bear fruit to God’s glory?

Why are many believers today not bearing much good fruit?

How do believers bear much fruit to God’s glory?

Let us explore God’s Word to find right answers to these questions.

What fruit are the believers expected to bear?

The believers are expected to bear, show forth, manifest, or demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit – the life, nature, or character of God. This is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23).

The believers’ fruit also include their good works, services, souls won for Christ and discipled for Christ, and saints edified and equipped for the work of ministry (Matt. 5:16, Philp. 4:1, John 15:16, Eph. 4:11-12).

Why must believers bear much fruit?

First, because it is our primary calling and responsibility to bear much fruit to God’s glory.

Every believer is called, chosen and appointed by Christ to be His representative or ambassador, manifesting and demonstrating Christ life, nature, character, wisdom, glory and power in the world, witnessing for Christ, and winning souls to Christ.

John 15:

 16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (NKJV).

2 Corinthians 5:

 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (NKJV).

Second, because bearing much good fruit is a proof or evidence of our salvation and identity with Christ.

The believers are identified, recognized, and distinguished from the ungodly by their fruit – life, nature, or character of Christ they manifest. Bearing much Christ-like fruit is a clear testimony and indisputable evidence to the world that you truly belong to Christ.

The Lord Jesus explains this truth to His disciples.

John 13:

 34 I give you a new commandment–Love one another; love one another as I have loved you.

 35 It is by this that every one will recognize you as my disciples–by your loving one another.” (TCNT).

Matthew 7:

 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

 17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (NKJV).

John also testifies to this truth.

1 John 3:

 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (NKJV).

Third, because it is by bearing much fruit that we bring glory to God.

We bring glory to God by expressing, manifesting, or demonstrating God’s love, wisdom, glory, power, nature or character to the world.

The Lord Jesus expressly commands His disciples to bring glory to God by their good works.

Matthew 5:

 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

 15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV).

Peter also admonishes us to bring glory to God by our good works.

1 Peter 2:

 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (NKJV).

Fourth, because it is by bearing much fruit that we are a blessing to humanity.

It is as we manifest Christ-like fruit that our lives and ministries can be a great blessing to the world. A barren believer does no good to humanity!

Matthew 5:

 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (NKJV).

John 15:

 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (NKJV).

Lastly, because bearing much fruit is a clear proof that you are abiding in Christ.

A fruit-bearing branch is a branch that is firmly connected to the vine or abiding in the vine. Therefore, bearing Christ-like fruit is a proof that you are abiding in Christ.

When you are no longer abiding or continuing in Christ, you will no longer be manifesting Christ life, nature or character.

This is why Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4 NKJV).

It is impossible to bear the fruit of Christ when you are not abiding in Christ!

Why are many believers today not bearing much good fruit?

Many believers today are not bearing much fruit simply because they are not abiding in Christ and appropriating by faith the divine resources or provisions of grace which God has made available to them in Christ.

How do believer bear much fruit to God’s glory?

Simply by abiding in Christ and appropriating, receiving, or drawing from the fullness of Christ, grace upon grace (John 1:16)!

God never commands or expects you to bear much fruit from your own resources, for the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine (John 15:4).

Many believers are barren today, not bearing much good fruit, simply because they are striving to bear fruit in their own wisdom and strength, rather than abiding in Christ and drawing grace upon grace constantly from the fullness of Christ.

The unbelievers can only live and walk in the flesh – abide in the false vine – for they are alienated from the life of God and are still dead in their trespasses and sins.

However, the believers can either walk in the Spirit or walk after the flesh. If a believer chooses to walk after the flesh by yielding to and gratifying the cravings, lusts, or passions of the flesh, he will cease to bear the fruit of the Spirit.

A believer who chooses to yield to the flesh will manifest or bear the fruits or works of the flesh Paul highlighted in his epistle to the Galatians.

Galatians 5:

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV).

Any believer who is unwilling to yield to the Holy Spirit and deny himself daily will not bear much fruit to God’s glory.

The Lord Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24 NKJV).

Beloved, you can only bear much fruit while in a viable partnership and communion with Jesus Christ, the true Vine. Every self effort you make to bear fruit in your own wisdom and strength will always result in frustration and failure (John 15:5).

Therefore, resolve today to abide in Christ, drawing and receiving grace upon grace from the fullness of Christ. You will be amazed at how you will begin to bear Christ-like fruit effortlessly and increasingly.

God said, “Your fruit is found in Me.” (Hos. 14:8 NKJV).

So, abide in Christ and depend upon and draw from His resources!

 

My Dear Heavenly Father, I refuse to be a barren branch in the true vine. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to abide in Christ and to draw grace upon grace from the fullness of Christ so that I may bear much fruit to God’s glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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