Do we ‘bear fruit’?

I once rented a home that had a grape vine in the front yard.  I had no clue how to take care of it.  By pure nature, grapes did appear (turns out they were champagne grapes).  However since I was not skilled at caring for the vine or the branches, the fruit that was produced did not taste that good (nor was it very plentiful).

Questioning the fruit we bear in life is a question we often ask about ourselves (or even other Christians). We seem to judge ourselves and others by the fruit we or they bear. However Jesus says in John 15 that we are the branches and He is the vine. The branch has absolutely no responsibility to bear fruit. It’s ONLY responsibility is to remain in the vine to receive its nutrients. As long as it remains ‘in the vine’ it will bear fruit. As long as we continue to ‘abide in Christ’, we will bear fruit… there will be evidence of the fruit of the spirit.

Jesus further says in v2 (after referring to the Father as the vinedresser) “… and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  This means that as remain in Christ, we will bear fruit, and as we bear fruit, God will prune us.  Just like in the vineyard, this act of pruning increases the strength of the branch, therefore increases the fruit it produces.  Again, the branch does nothing but remain in the vine.  It is the vine (Jesus) that provide all that we need.  It is the vinedresser (God) that prunes us to be more fruitful.  It is NOT the branch (us) that produces anything by itself or under its own effort.

So don’t seek to bear fruit.  Don’t stress when you are pruned.  These are not actions under your control.  Instead focus your effort on ‘abiding in Christ’ (the vine) so that through His power, you will naturally produce fruit.

Abide in Him and you will bear fruit… and the Father will prune you to improve the quality and quantity of that fruit.

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