Is Their Good Fruit In Your Life?
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 11/9/03
Text: John 15:1-17
The Westminster Short Catechism asks this question: What is the chief end (purpose or goal) of man? The answer given is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I believe the catechism is correct!
What does glorify mean? In the New Testament the word translated glorify is normally the Greek word doxazw doxazo (dox-ad’-zo; 1392) which come from the word doxa doxa (dox’-ah; 1391). This is where we get the word doxology. To glorify means to esteem, praise, honor and magnify. When we look at the word in context, we, as those belonging to God are to esteem, praise, honor, and magnify God. That is what the Bible teaches.
Turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." This verse indicates that you glorify God with our bodies and with our spirits (that is with our mind, will and emotion).
Next, turn with me to 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
There is another facet of glorifying God that will be the focus of this message and that facet is revealed in John 15:8 "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." Bearing fruit glorifies God! That is what Christians are to do! At first glance you might think that this verse is saying that bearing fruit makes you a disciple. NO! It is clear from the context that fruit, good fruit, shows that you are a disciple, a genuine believer. True believers bear good fruit!
Turn to John 15:5 -- "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." Who is the vine in this verse? Jesus Christ. No one can produce good fruit, lasting fruit, who is not a believer. Only those who are born again, born of God can produce good fruit! This is evident in Matthew 7:14-21.
John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
Look at the word ordained. It is a translation of the Greek word tiyhmi tithemi (tith’-ay-mee; 5087) which means to appoint, to set or to establish something. What God has established or ordained is that those who He has called out to be His children will "bring forth fruit" and that fruit will remain or last. Let me state it clearly: God children will bear good fruit. Good fruit identifies us as God’s children.
Let me ask you a question. Are you bearing good fruit?
The first fruit that we are that is produced in the life of the believer is holiness. Romans 6:22 says, "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Holiness is a fruit of freedom from the bondage of sin. Because our Lord is Holy, those who are in Him will be holy. I like what Noah Webster says about holiness in his1828 Webster’s Dictionary – "We call a man (or woman) holy when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts. Hence, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good, pious, godly. Is the fruit of holiness evident in your life?
The second fruit that is to grow in the Christians life is "the fruit of our lips, giving thanks" to the Lord. We see this in Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
For years I worked secular jobs at the same time I pastored a church. One of the things that bothered me the most was how people used foul language and took the name of the Lord in vain at work. Instead of using foul language and cursing in the name of the Lord, a believer uses his lips to praise and thank the Lord. How about you? What comes out of your mouth? Is it the good fruit of praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord, or the corrupt fruit of foul language and taking the Lord’s name in vain? Remember, "…by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20 When unsaved people hear you talk, is it clearly recognizable that you are a believer? It should be! Titus 2:8 puts it this way; "Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
The third fruit mentioned good works. Turn to Colossians 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
The phrase "walk worthy of the Lord" is to walk by faith in Him; to follow the leading of His Holy Spirit, and live your life according to His Word, and in His ordinances. The result will be that you will do the Lord’s will. You will be serving the Lord and helping others. The believer’s life is to show "a pattern of good works." (see Titus 2:7; Ephesians 2:10). How about it? Is the fruit of good works obvious in your life? How are you serving the Lord? How are you serving or helping others?
The fourth fruit that I have found is seeking to win others to Christ. We find this in the words of the Apostle Paul recorded in Romans 1:13-15 "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also." A genuine Christian is concerned about the eternal estate of those they come into contact with. They are soul conscious. They seek to plant the Gospel seed, or water that seed in the hope that they will have the opportunity to lead that person to Christ. One of the evidences that a person is a believer is their burden for and witness to those who are lost.
While this fruit list is not exhaustive,
there is one more fruit that we will consider in this message and that is
the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no
law." The believer’s life should be characterized by these…
Joy -- chara (khar-ah’; 5479): calm delight that finds its source in the Holy Spirit, knowing that God is in control regardless of outward circumstances.
Peace -- eirene (i-ray’-nay; 1515): Harmony between individuals. Metaphorically it means peace of mind which arises from reconciliation with God.
Longsuffering -- makrothumia (mak-roth-oo-mee’ ah; 3115): Self-restraint before proceeding with action; patience with difficult people; slowness in avenging wrongs.
Gentleness -- chrestotes (khray-stot’-ace; 5544): Not harsh but having a kind disposition.
Goodness -- agathosune (ag-ath-o-soo’-nay; 19): Uprightness of heart and life.
Faith -- pistis (pis’-tis; 4102): Firm persuasion, conviction and belief in the truth of God’s Word.
Meekness -- praotes (prah-ot’-ace; 4236): Humility; This meekness does not blame God for the persecutions and evil doings of men.
Temperance -- egkrateia (eng-krat’-i-ah; 1466): self-control; The virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites.
These nine traits are the fruit of the Spirit! Do you see this fruit in your life? Or is your life closer to the works of the flesh as revealed in Galatians 5: 19-21. My point is this. If there is no good fruit in you life, likely, you are not abiding in Christ. Inspect your own life. If there is not good fruit I believe you need to follow 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"