Fruit-Bearing Christians

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2)

As Christ emphasized in His parable of the vine and the branches, it is vitally important for a Christian to bear fruit. There are, in fact, many types of spiritual fruit mentioned in Scripture.

Perhaps the most important fruit, produced in one's life by the Holy Spirit, is that of a Christlike character. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance" (Galatians 5:22-23). "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:9).

Holiness--the seal of a life dedicated to God--is a particular spiritual fruit. "Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness" (Romans 6:22) and are "filled with the fruits of righteousness" (Philippians 1:11). This entails also the fruit of good works performed in the name of Christ, "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work" (Colossians 1:10).

The habit of giving thanks and praise rather than complaint and criticism is a valuable Christian fruit. "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Hebrews 13:15). Generosity is another important fruit. Paul commended the sacrificial giving of the Philippians: "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account" (Philippians 4:17).

Finally, one vital fruit of a Christian witness is fruit borne in other Christians' lives. Paul's great desire was "that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles" (Romans 1:13). HMM

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