The Fruitful Believer

Life on the Vine  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What is the fruit of abiding in Christ

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As I wrote this message, it is clear that things are not right in the world. There are the ongoing struggles as a result of COVID-19 and the response by politicians and globalists. These last two years have brought tremendous uncertainty, pain, and has divided people over masks and the use of mandates to intimidate and pressure people into getting the so-called experimental vaccine.
These draconian mandates have divided further our country already strained politically and racially which has largely been instigated by these same politicians. In Atlanta, there is a church that requires church goers to show proof of vaccination before they can attend services and in Nevada a church is holding separate services for the unvaxxed and the vaxxed, and in Canada pastors are being thrown in prison for speaking out against these mandates to their congregation. The truth about these events over the last couple of years have been largely skewed and even hidden. This past week, the CDC quietly released that the death rate among 18-49 year olds was up 40 (not related to COVID). There is a massive propaganda push against those who chose not to be a part of the experimental vaccine. While cruise ships entirely full of vaccinated passengers and crew experience outbreaks of positive tests and over a half a million people have made official claims of vaccine injury to the CDC.
A little closer to home, the struggle of life can be overwhelming. We have lost family members and close friends. Our dollar buys less at the store. Travel is difficult. Pain is real and life can be hard.
Isaiah 8:12 ESV
12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.
To put a finer point on it, I think Jesus had all of this in mind (and more) when he told his disciples, John 14:1 “1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Jesus told his disciples this because their hearts were troubled and had reason to be troubled. In fact, Jesus himself found reason to be troubled in heart during his ministry on earth (John 12:27; 13:21). The fact of the matter is this world will give you plenty of reason be troubled and Jesus warned his disciples that they would experience troubles in this world.
Isaiah 7:9 “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.”
But Jesus wasn’t just telling his disciples to live a “don’t worry, be happy” kind of life. Jesus is warning his disciples not to let the troubles of this world shake their faith in him but live a life of ever-increasing faith. What we need to hear today from the Lord is we need to cultivate our faith more than ever. Faith banishes distress and Jesus knew that this world would give them plenty of reasons to be distressed.
It is against this backdrop that Jesus speaks the words of John 15:1-11: Chapters 13-16 of the Gospel of John are words given to Jesus to his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. They had just shared the passover meal, Judas has left to go betray him, and they are on their way to Gethsemane and these are the words of Jesus to his disciples to not allow their hearts to be troubled and their faith vanquished:
John 15:1–11 ESV
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

We are Created for Fruitfulness

We are talking today about abiding in Christ and fruitfulness. Jesus provides us an image of what the fruitful believer looks like. Jesus likens Himself to a vine, and the Father is the one for cares for the vine. The believers in Christ Jesus - the ones who are alive and receiving life from the vine - are the branches of vine with the purpose of bearing fruit. The way you bear fruit is through abiding in Christ. To abide means to dwell with the Lord in close communion and fellowship. The basic idea is “active cultivation by every professing Christian of a living spiritual relationship to Christ.” (Gordon Keddie)
Paul put it this way: “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). He explained, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Every believer in Christ bears fruit. It is the natural overflow of relationship with him. It is the evidence of a true disciple. If there is no fruit, then there is no life on the vine of Christ. That fruit is the outward evidence that we are alive in Christ.
Matthew 7:22–23 ESV
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
What was the difference? Fruit. The main outcropping of that fruit is eternal life. Eternal life is not separate from God because no man can receive eternal life with out God. That’s why Jesus said, John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Psalm 3:8 (ESV)
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
Salvation is having the life of God in you - the eternal life of God in you. That means that if we are alive in Christ and he is our eternal life, there will be natural and spiritual results of that life.
2 Corinthians 4:10 tells us that the life of Jesus is manifested in our bodies. 1 John 4:15 “15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:16 “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” These are amazing statements found over and over again in Scripture.
The fact that you possess eternal life doesn’t just mean you will live forever. Unbelievers will live forever in a kind of everlasting death. To have eternal life means the One who is eternal life lives within you. So when somebody asks you, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” you tell them it means that the God of the universe lives within you.
After that, it will be the fruit of Christ manifested in your life that will attest to that claim. So life on the vine has two overriding results: the first is salvation and the second is a fruitful life. Matt 7:16 “You will recognize them by their fruits.”
Therefore, let’s identify some of these fruits. This isn’t an exhaustive list but it highlights some biblical ideals


First of all, the fruit of a life in Jesus is genuine repentance. Repentance is a genuine sorrow over sin and the consequences of sin.
2 Corinthians 7:8–10 ESV
8 For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. 9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Most people are sorry about the consequences of sin, but not about the sin itself. When you are grieved over the sin of your life and the world, that is a godly sorrow. A godly sorrow over sin leads to repentance. So when we talk about fruit and we look at our lives and ask, “What is fruit?” The first thing we should identify is repentance. It is repentance that leads to salvation, but it is also an ongoing repentance as the Spirit of God continues to refine and sanctify us.
There is a progression in our lives, a progression related to abiding in Christ and the fruit and more fruit Jesus is talking about.
Colossians 1:9–10 ESV
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Philippians 3:14 ESV
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
To laugh off or minimize the sorrow and consequences of sin is foolishness and demonic deception. Living and abiding in Christ is a battle. It’s spiritual warfare that requires the believer to actively engage in the daily walk of being fruitful. That’s fruit that proves you’re a true disciple.

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22 ESV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Those are the spiritual characteristics of the person with the life of Christ in them. Those aren’t acts, outlooks, stances, or behaviors. They what’s behind the life of the believer. All of them were perfectly manifest in the life of Jesus Christ. So we could say it is fruit manifest in us the very characteristics of Christ.
Ephesians 5:9 says, “for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true” How do you know if you’re a Christian? One way to know is you love goodness, you love righteousness, you love truth. So we could say the first fruit is sorrow over sin (and to confess it) and the second fruit is the characteristics of of Christ as demonstrated in Galatians 5.

The Fruit of Praise and Adoration

So first we have a genuine repentance of sin, the a manifestation of Christ-like characteristics, and third is a continual and genuine adoration of praise to God from the believer.
Hebrews 13:15 ESV
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
That’s worship. Worship in the manner of deep and continual adoration for our Lord Jesus. You can’t worship until you’ve been redeemed and when you are redeemed you can’t worship enough. William Temple defines worship as “the submission of all our nature to God; the quickening of conscience by His holiness; nourishment of mind by His truth; purifying of imagination by His beauty; opening of the heart to His love; and submission of will to His purpose. All these gathered up in adoration is the greatest expression of which we are capable.”
True praise adoring God of all His attributes revealed in Scripture. You are loving and adoring God for who He is as revealed in His Word. That’s what’s missing is much of modern worship. The more you know the Bible, the more you know about His nature and character and the more you are able to truly worship

The Fruit of Generosity and Giving

A fourth fruit is a spirit of generosity and giving.
Matthew 6:21 ESV
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Proverbs 11:24–25 ESV
24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.
1 Timothy 6:18–19 ESV
18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
If you have a giving problem, you have a spiritual problem. Jesus talked more about money than any other topic. Why? Because the person who is constantly counting their pennies and worried about their money (or lack thereof) will only have one foot in the door of heaven.
I’ve hear people tell me that they can’t afford to tithe. They have too many bills or don’t make enough money to make ends meet. I tell them that they can’t afford NOT to tithe. It is a critical part of the believer’s spiritual victory. I have never met a person that tithes persistently that lives in regret of their giving discipline.
Malachi 3:10 ESV
10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

The Fruit of Love

A fifth fruit is love.
John 13:35 ESV
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In the church of Corinth they were a church in chaos. They were engaged in spiritual disorder and chaos and thought that they were ultra spiritual. Paul writes to them and sets them straight on their attitudes. The fruit of their faith wasn’t found in chaotic worship. That’s how the pagans worship. No, the real fruit was observed in their love for each other.

The Fruit of Truth

Next we find the fruit of truth. If want to be fruitful, then say things that edify. Share that which blesses others, that instructs. Pray, teach counsel, discipline, but let it always be there to lift people up in truth.
Acts 17:11 ESV
11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
When you communicate truth to someone, that’s fruit. When I preach to you, that’s the fruit of the life in Christ in me.

The Fruit of Obedience

Philippians 1:11 ESV
11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Colossians 1:10–11 ESV
10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;
If the life of Christ is in you, you will want to live and walk in a way that pleases him. It will be a burning desire that will manifest more and more in you as you grow in your faith.
Ephesians 4:30 ESV
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
This is the ultimate fruit of the life of the believer: doing what we know will please our Lord who saved us, redeemed us, and who lives within us giving us life.
John 15:8–11 ESV
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Will you come to him today and will you allow Him to bear His fruit in your life?
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