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Abiding Fruit

What Is Our Fruit?

Genesis 3:5-6
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
NIV

As a term, fruit is used over 100 times in the Old Testament. It is used some 70 times in the New Testament and occurs in 24 of the 27 New Testament books. While many of these references refer to real fruits, grapes, apples, figs, the analogy to fruit is powerful. Both sin and righteousness are compared to fruit.

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.

This is the outward fruit of the growth towards Christlikeness and holiness.

As the Proverb reflects, righteousness itself is a fruit. This is part of becoming more and more holy. But the Proverb also reflects another great truth - there are outward signs of the inward fruit.

Scripture provides several examples of these outward signs of the fruit.

First, and perhaps foremost, is our ability to truly praise God!

Hebrews 13:15
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Notice that it is "by Him" that we are able to accomplish this praise. We bring glory to God because we abide in Christ.

Second, we bring converts to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 16:15
I urge you, brethren--you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints--

Romans 1:13
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Third, our overall conduct becomes more and more Christlike. We come to recognized that we should help to feed the hunger, cloth the naked, and help those in trouble.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Ephesians 5:9
For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth

Colossians 1:10
That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God

This is all for the purpose of producing the fruit of righteousness

Philippians 1:11
being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Romans 6:21-22
21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

This is evidence we have learned the real lesson of fruit bearing. The ultimate fruit is holiness - bringing glory to God (v8).

 

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December 15, 2019

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