A simple statement says to bear fruit is to see God produce Christlikeness in you.
It was an amazing time in John 15. Jesus has basically began his walk to the Garden. He has walked out of the South Gate into the vineyard and has started teaching. There was a path below the city walls and he was trying to stay hidden as he and the disciples walked to Garden of Gethsemane. Our pastor taught me years ago that Jesus often taught what he saw. Thus the vineyard and the branch. As we continue to read through the scripture as he speaks about Gehenna. Gehenna (Valley of Hinnom) was on the way to the garden. In ancient times children were sacrificed there…it continued to be an unclean place used for burning trash from the city of Jerusalem. Jesus used it as an illustration of hell.
So Jesus is walking and talking. He is speaking to the disciples about fulfilling their purpose in life. What was going to happen and how they were…should live their life in their mission to fulfill what he had started. Obviously this is going to take time.
It takes time for fruit to grow. So don’t despair if you don’t see all of these qualities fully developed in your life yet. But if you are a Christian, you should see growth or progress in these things. You should be in the habit of obeying Christ. You should see the fruit of the Spirit increasing in your conduct. You should be hungering and thirsting after righteousness with increasing intensity. You should be looking for opportunities to tell others about the Savior. If you’re not seeing these fruits growing in your life, you need to figure out why not. Growth in Christlike fruit should be the normal experience of every Christian.
Also, the fruit that we produce will vary in amount and in kind according to our spiritual gifts. In the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:3-8), the good soil representing true believers bore fruit, but it varied: some bore a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. The soil that didn’t bear any fruit represents those who did not truly believe in Christ. Also, we’re all given different spiritual gifts and so our fruit will vary in kind. Determining your spiritual gift helps you to know where you should concentrate your efforts in serving the Lord. Those gifted in service will bear fruit that is different than those with speaking gifts. Both are vital. But we all should exercise our gifts to glorify God
So the overall point is both clear and important: God saved you to bear fruit for Jesus Christ. If you profess to be a Christian, but you aren’t bearing fruit, you need to examine yourself and make some course corrections before it’s too late. I guess should point out the obvious. Either you bear fruit or you don’t. Those branches wither and die because they are not attached. Some go through a pruning more so than another but their preparation is for a great stewardship.
The point of today is not are you fulfilling your purpose but simple where are you in the process of starting or what stage are you in at the moment. You see we are all called to bear fruit. The process is different for each one of us but we are all called. Problem is some of us (me) didn’t realize it till late in life. I think we will always have regrets in the Christian life. But realization, and action still yields a great reward. God will still say one day to us “enter into my house thy good and faithful servant”. Some will have done more for sure…but the reward…it will still be there.
By his grace…its never too late.