God Wants Us To Bear Fruit
"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.... 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." (John 15:5,16)
"These are the best apples in the world!" exclaimed Savannah.
"You like those, eh?" asked Grandpa Gooberman.
"Yes, I do!" replied Savannah, with bits of apple flying out of her mouth.
With a twinkle in his eye, Grandpa Gooberman said, "Yup. Sure was a good harvest. I picked them right off of the pear tree this year."
Savannah stopped chewing, mid-bite. "You did what?"
Grandpa Gooberman took out his red handkerchief and appeared to be blowing his nose. "I picked them off the pear tree!"
"How could you get apples from a pear tree?" asked Savannah.
"Why do you ask? You don't think it's possible?"
"No, way! That's impossible!"
Of course, Grandpa Gooberman did not pick the apples off a pear tree. But why would he tell his granddaughter that? It was because he wanted to teach her a lesson about her relationship with God. Grandpa Gooberman asked Savannah to run and go get his Bible. As she opened the old, worn Bible, she saw that it was full of verses that were underlined and had lots of notes in the margins.
Grandpa Gooberman turned the pages to the book of John. He wanted to show her two verses. The first verse was John 15:5. In John 15, we are described as branches and Jesus is the Vine. Jesus was using this description as a way of teaching that if you really do have a relationship with Him, you will produce a certain kind of fruit. Just like an apple tree produces apples, and just like a pear tree produce pears, a Christian must and will produce fruit that is consistent with Christ.
The second verse that Grandpa Gooberman wanted Savannah to see was verse 16. He showed her in the verse that God has chosen people, and that He has special purposes in mind for them: to save them and to help them produce good works. He reminded her that the book of Ephesians teaches us that good works do not save us, but that, as the book of James teaches us, good works are always a fruit of salvation.
So, the whole point of Grandpa Gooberman's lesson was to remind Savannah that if she was trusting in Christ as the only way of salvation, then she should be bearing the "fruit" of good works. Just as it is impossible for a pear tree to produce apples, it is impossible for a non-Christian to do good works that please God.
God wants every believer to produce the good works that are appropriate (fitting) for a child of God.
» Am I really trusting in God for salvation?
» What "good works" does the Bible command us to do?
» Is my life marked by the fruit of Christian?
Truth In Real Life
"We are immortal until our work on earth is done.”
George Whitefield has been called the greatest evangelist of all time. His dedication to soul-winning helped turn two nations back to God during the Great Awakening!
Born on December 16, 1714, George Whitefield was the youngest of seven children, and he was only 2 years old when his father died. His mother remarried when he was 10, but the marriage was not a happy one, and young George was soon sent away to school.
At school, he quickly earned the reputation of being a good speaker, but at age 15, he convinced his mother that school would do him no good. He returned home to work. It was during this time that God began to work in his life. Every evening he read the Bible until well past his bedtime, and he felt himself willing to become a minister. Realizing more and more how important an education would be for a preacher, he returned to school and eventually finished.
At age 17, Whitefield entered college and joined the “Holy Club,” where he met the Wesley brothers, John and Charles. These men became dear friends and eventually helped Whitefield understand the Gospel more fully and to see his own need for genuine salvation.
God continued to grow Whitefield’s understanding of His Word. During his lifetime, he would preach over 18,000 sermons and would lead countless souls to Christ. It has been said that his voice was so loud and clear that he could be heard one mile away when he preached outside. Benjamin Franklin said he had a “voice like an organ.” Crowds of up to 80,000 people gathered to hear him preach.
Whitefield also gave much of his life and resources to helping orphans. He believed strongly in loving the vulnerable and less fortunate, just like Jesus did when He was on Earth. Whitefield gave to those who needed.
You may not understand everything there is to know about God’s Word, but God can save you and help you share His Gospel with others! Are you devoting all you have to serve Him however He wants to use you? Is there someone to whom you could be a blessing today?
1 Corinthians 13:1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.