Fruitfulness is an evidence of true discipleship or sonship.
Text: John 15:1-17, Colossians 1:10
Anyone who invests in a business, whether it be farming, trading or education does so for the purpose of getting a return for an investment. That return which usually comes by way of profit is indicative of fruitfulness. Any investor who does not get the expected return for his/her investment does not continue such venture because it was not profiting.
God has invested in us as His children and as such, expects us to be fruitful for Him. As long as we remain in Him like the branches are to the stem, we will never have difficulties in bearing fruits.
In this study we shall be considering how we can bear fruits and the types of fruits we are to bear.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand what is fruitfulness
- To understand the conditions for fruit bearing
- To identify the type of fruit we are expected to bear
- To identify the dangers of not bearing fruit
- To know the benefits of bearing fruit
Q1. WHAT IS FRUITFULNESS?
Simply put, fruitfulness is bearing fruits. It is reproduction of one’s kind. If a farmer plants yam in his farm, he expects to get another yam of the species he planted at a particular period. The yam he expects at the appropriate time is most often bigger than the one he planted all things being equal. So, fruitfulness is the ability to reproduce after one’s kind or ability to increase in number.
Q2. WHAT IS THE CONDITION FOR FRUIT BEARING? John 15:7-10, 15
John 15:7 gives us the condition we must fulfill in order to be fruitful. The condition is that we must abide in the Lord who is the true vine. Naturally, any branch that remains in the vine has no difficulty bearing fruits because it receives all the nutrient it needs to be productive. But once the branch is severed from the vine, it ceases to produce and dries up. In the same way, we will be fruitful as long as we remain in the Lord (and His spirit remains in us) as His disciples. It means therefore that the only requirement for us to bear fruit is to stay attached firmly to the Lord as the branch is to the vine.
Q3. WHAT TYPE OF FRUIT ARE WE EXPECTED TO BEAR? Galatians 5:22, 23
The statement of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:15-21 makes it clear that we have two kinds of trees, the good tree and the bad tree. This also implies that there are basically two kinds of fruit, the good fruit and the bad fruit from the bad tree. The Christian who is the good tree is expected by God to bear good fruit. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.
Note how these nine qualities are referred to as fruit and not fruits. It means therefore that as Christians, we must produce these character traits which are found in the nature of Christ. If any of these is missing from the fruit we bear, then the fruit is not complete and efforts should be made to cultivate the others that are lacking.
Before the Lord ascended to heaven, He left us with the command to preach the gospel to every creature. This is the only assignment to every believer and He expects us to be diligent in doing it. If the sole purpose of our salvation was heaven, the Lord would have taken us out of this world immediately after we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. He left us here on earth so that we can help others to come to His saving knowledge. If we fail in this all-important assignment, then we are spiritually unproductive.
Q4. WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF NOT BEARING FRUIT?
John 15:2, Mark 11:12-14, 20-21
When a farmer plants a farm with his crops, he expects a good harvest after he has labored to tend the farm. If at the expected time of harvest, he fails to get the desired result, what do you think will happen to such a farm? (the class should discuss this). That is what happens to any unfruitful Christian. In John 15:2, we read “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; …” Branches that do not bear fruit are cut off from the vine and cast away. Such branches are worthless and can deprive the rest of the tree nourishment if allowed to remain on it. Any Christian who is unfaithful is as good as dead and will be cut off and cast aside. They will be cut off from the flow of life and in the life to come they will be damned.
Q5. WHY SHOULD WE BE FRUITFUL?
John 15:8, Daniel 12:3
Everybody who invests in any business does so because of what he expects to get in return. A student who is pursuing a career has a determination to be great in the future. As soon as he begins schooling, a determined student would do everything to achieve his aim. If such a student loses sight of his aim and focus, the only option he will be left with will be failure. As Christians, we should understand the responsibilities that our confession lays upon us to live up to our calling in Christ.
Just like a student who made sacrifices to succeed becomes a pride of his parents, so is the fruitfulness of the Christian a source of pride to God and causes joy in heaven. When we bear fruit, God is glorified and he does everything including sending daily or regular rain and sunshine to make us remain nurtured and blossom. Secondly, the fruit bearer will shine as stars, and the soul won is delivered from hell.
Daily Living Application
Fruitfulness is a proof of our profession of faith and sets us apart as believers, to serve God with all that is in us. God’s purpose of choosing us is that we might be fruitful for Him.
God expects us to walk worthy of Him, and be fruitful in every good work, and increase in the knowledge of Him.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing”.