“…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ…”
This is such a difficult concept yet it is profoundly simple. You must produce fruit. The Bible is clear about that. 1 John is replete (full) of examples of this great truth. Jesus often spoke of those who do not produce fruit being “cut down”. Yet Jesus is equally stern in reminding us that “Apart from me you can do nothing”. (John 15:4) And it is at this point that we so often get confused in the way we live our lives. The Christian is called to produce fruit, yet we in our own strength can NOT produce this fruit, yet in Christ Jesus we WILL produce this fruit of righteousness. As Paul’s prayer states, “the fruit of righteousness THAT COMES THROUGH Jesus Christ”.
How do you have fruit in your lives? It is by being attached to Jesus Christ, by abiding in the vine, that you will bear fruit. If you are not producing fruit then it is because you are not in Christ. Sadly, in our modern “churchianity” we have made up a third type of person. We have erroneously used Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians to create a “carnal Christian”. We have told people that there is a “Spiritual Christian” and there are people who are “Carnal Christians”. These carnal Christians are those who are not following after the Lordship of Christ. They perhaps are not filled with the fruit of righteousness. By their own stubbornness and sinfulness they refuse to abide in the vine (although they did make a decision for Christ at one time) and therefore they do not bear fruit. We are told that we cannot question their salvation, because they sincerely believed in Christ, yet they produce NO fruit! Biblically speaking there is no such thing as a “carnal Christian” as defined above. There is no such thing as a Christian that ultimately does not follow after Christ as Lord. There is no such thing as a Christian that does not produce fruit.
The point for us to understand from today’s passage is that Christians are expected, yea commanded to produce fruit! Yet, this fruit is not something we in ourselves can produce. It “comes through Jesus Christ”. Therefore, we must cling to Christ all the more. We must trust in Him to produce this fruit of righteousness.
Ask yourself today?
- Is the fruit of righteousness (check Galatians 5:22) evident in my life?
- Am I trusting in Christ to produce His fruit in and through me or am I trying to produce fruit by my own flesh?
For more information on the unbiblical notion of Carnal Christianity please read:http://www.wayofthemasterradio.com/pdf/ElvisCarnalChristian.pdf
If you would like resources on “producing fruit” check out the following resources:
Even though it does not specifically deal with “producing fruit” John Piper’s book entitled “Faith in Future Grace” is an excellent resource for “living the Christian life”.
Many of the articles at the following address will help in your “sanctification”: