“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
God desires that we live fruit-filled lives. When we do, He is glorified and we are blessed. A fruit-filled life is marked by the characteristics of Christ. In Galatians 5, Paul listed many of the “fruits” that God desires us to bear. These are inward qualities that are a result of being transformed by Jesus.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self -control. Against such there is no law.”
When our lives are filled with these qualities, God is glorified, others are drawn to Him, and we are blessed. Think about it. Don’t you want to be filled with love, joy and peace? Isn’t life better when you are patient and kind? Jeremiah contrasted two lives. He spoke of the one who departs from the Lord, being like a shrub in the desert; while the one who trusts in the Lord is like a tree by the waters bringing forth fruit (Jeremiah 17:5-8). I don’t speak “tree”, but if I did, I think I would hear the trees longing to be by the water’s edge where life is better, and fruit is abundant.
The key to living a fruit-filled life is abiding in Christ. The word ‘abide’ speaks more of a condition, than an action. We abide in Christ when we believe Him and receive Him. At that moment, a miracle happens. Our sins are forgiven, we come alive to God, and we are placed in Christ; where the life of Christ begins to flow into our lives. Jesus contrasts the branches that are in Him, with the branches that do not abide. He tells us the branches that are not abiding, or not connected, are cast out, withered and burned; while the branches that are in Him, are lifted up and pruned, in order to bear more and more fruit (John 15:4-6).
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are attached to the life-giving vine. The more time you spend with Him, the more His life will be produced in you. Take some time today allowing the vinedresser to lift you up, that you may become more fruitful.
Questions for John 15
- Jesus gives the analogy of the vine and the branches to describe our relationship with Him. Fruit can only come when the branches are attached to the vine or tree. How many times is fruit mentioned in this chapter?
- List all of the things that this chapter teaches us about spiritual fruit?
- What will clean us from the inside out? (verse 3) Look up Psalm 119:9
- How did Jesus love His disciples? (verse 9)
- Although the warning about branches that do not bear fruit can be frightening, what was Jesus’ purpose in telling us these things? (verse 11)
- Read verses 12-15. How is Jesus relationship with the disciples changing? How do you think they felt about this change? Read 2 Chronicles 20:7 and Isaiah 41:8.
- Read verse 18-20. Why would Jesus be telling this to His disciples? What advantage might it be to know these things? Read 1 Peter 4:12-13, and compare with these verses.
- When the Holy Spirit comes what will He do? (verse 26)
- Consider verse 16. What are some of the things that God does for us?