What does it really mean to “BEAR FRUIT”?

John 15:1-8 THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES

“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 that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must be in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Galatians 5:16-18 LIFE BY THE SPIRIT

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

Galatians 5:22- 25 FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

THE MESSAGE VERSION OF GALATIANS 5:22-25:

– But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others (LOVE), exuberance about life (JOY), serenity (PEACE). We develop a willingness to stick with things (PATIENCE), a sense of compassion in the heart (KINDNESS), and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people (GOODNESS). We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments (FAITHFULNESS), not needing to force our way in life (GENTLENESS), able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (SELF-CONTROL).

 23-24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

Galatians 6: 7-9 REAP WHAT YOU SOW

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN:

So many times I hear people say (myself included)…”I need more patience. I wish I had better self-control.  I’m so stressed, where’s the peace?  I’m depressed, I need to be more joyful.”  The misconception about possessing these traits is that we can attain them on our own, if we just tried harder.  News flash:  no matter how hard you try, YOU will never develop these traits on your own.  They are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and are produced only as a result of living a life connected to Christ.

John 15 says, “…Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must be in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing….”

Our true nature is a sinful nature.  Galatians 5 says, “… For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want…”

How many times have you gotten so frustrated at yourself because you continue doing the same thing over and over again that you don’t want to be doing??  You keep trying, out of your own fleshly attempts, to change…and just can’t!  It is not you who will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control.  It is the Holy Spirit living and working in you that will manifest these fruits.

Jesus tells us that he is the TRUE VINE, and his Father is the GARDENER.  We are the branches.  A branch will not produce apples, or blueberries, or peaches, just stuck in the mud all by itself.  It if is cut away from it’s life source, the vine, it stops producing fruits and ultimately withers up.  When we are no longer connected to Jesus and stop going to him for our life source, we aren’t able to produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  That branch, apart from the vine, can do nothing.  Just like us, when we aren’t ‘abiding’ (living) in Christ, we can do nothing.

My favorite part about this comparison is that God the Father is the gardener.  A gardener tends to his garden, helping it grow by watering it, fertilizing it, and pruning it.  If weeds are growing around the garden, he pulls them up and throws them out.  If branches aren’t producing fruit and just taking up space, he cuts them off and then prunes the ones that are bearing fruit….so that branch will produce more.  You see, God wants us to be the branch that produces fruit.  He wants us to continue growing and produce more and more and more fruit.  In order for that to happen, he prunes us by cutting off and trimming back areas in our life that are interfering with our production of more fruit.  These areas could be things like time spent on the internet, hours spent on our job, friendships that aren’t helping but hurting, selfishness in our heart, and pride, etc.

LET’S SUM IT UP:

I am the 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 that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must be in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

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