What does it mean to be fruitful for God according to John 15? First, here’s a look at some of the key verses:
2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “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.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Here are some observations:
- God will prune us so that we will bear more fruit
- We can’t bear fruit apart from remaining (abiding in Him).
- Bearing fruit brings glory to God
- Bearing fruit is a proof that we are His disciples
- It is God’s desire that we go and bear fruit
- It is God’s desire that our fruit will remain
Here are some Greek definitions for “Fruit” along with a few of my personal edits:
Fruit: That which originates or comes from something, an effect, result. A work, act, or deed. Fruit is the “product,” “result,” “gain,” of the working out of a matter for God’s purposes. Bearing fruit is also a “consequence,” “result,” or “profit.” John the Baptist and Jesus speak of the acts of men as their fruits. The requirement is that they should bring about good fruits, Mt. 21:43. Good works are a test of the genuineness. The acts of men, as their fruits, are signs by which to know fruit or their inner nature. As the value of a tree is tested by its products, so the righteousness displayed in one’s life and actions is the standard for testing one’s fruit.
Here is a working definition of Fruit:
Fruit is the visible outward manifestation of a changed life along with the invisible inward peace, joy, and assurance that is both seen and felt in the believers’ life. Fruit that lasts is a result of remaining (abiding) in Christ moment-by-moment, under the power of the Holy Spirit.
What does fruit look like in everyday living? Here are some characteristics:
- We have a desire to read His Word regularly, looking for His direction. Allowing God to infiltrate deeper into our heart and mind.
- We trust God enough that we don’t take the burdens of life upon our shoulders. We give God our every concern through regular prayer.
- Our self-image and significance is found completely in Him. We understand all God has done for us through Jesus; therefore we do not need to perform for anybody for acceptance. We’re secure in Him.
- Internal fruit is seen in what you think about in the privacy of your room, what you say verbally as you communicate to others, not being anxious about the issues of life but trusting Him with a heart-felt commitment.
- Fruit is seen by what you do and where you place your priorities. Using some of the available time in your day to encourage others, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel message, discipling and mentoring others. Allowing yourself to be mentored and discipled by others, gathering regularly with other believers for fellowship, and leaving a positive impact in other peoples lives.
- Because of 1-5 above, people around us whom we’ve had a chance to influence positively for Christ, will still be bearing fruit for God even when we’ve graduated and gone. Our fruit remains.
Be cautioned, lasting fruit may not always be evident immediately. Be faithful and remain in Christ and in due time people will say:
“I want to be like ____________ (insert your name), they have been an example of what fruit looks through their life and influence.”
Never grow weary in doing the right thing. Bearing fruit for God is our main goal while we live on this earth.