The Proof Is in the Fruit

Daily Devotional: Day 123

I [Jesus] am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NKJV).

Bearing good fruit is not optional for Christians. If there is a discrepancy between your life and the life of Jesus, there is one of two conclusions: either Christ is not in you, or you are not plugged in to Jesus. Jesus says He is the Vine, and we are the branches. This means Jesus’ job is not to bear fruit. His job is to fill us with His life; our job is to show – by our fruit – that Jesus’ life is in us. Tree, branch and fruit must, therefore, agree. If there is a mismatch between the Tree, the branch and the fruit, either Jesus is not a True Vine or we are not true branches of the Vine.

It is impossible to have a True Vine and its branch mutually connected, but producing no vine fruit.

The fruit Jesus is speaking about refers to the fruit of repentance and godly behavior (cf. Matthew 3:7-8Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus is Holy and Righteous. If you are connected to Him, it means His holiness is running through you. Logically, you can’t help but produce holy fruit and display His righteous character. If you are producing fruit of sin and unrighteousness, you are connected to something other than Jesus.

According to Jesus, how can you tell that someone is abiding in Him? Answer: By the person’s fruit. Jesus says, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Notice carefully two key ideas in Jesus’ statement. First, He says there is a mutual abiding. That is, Jesus abides in you and you abide in Him. This creates a supernatural union between you and Jesus. The inevitable outcome of this union is that you will bear much fruit.

Second, notice Jesus doesn’t just say that you will bear fruit. He specifically says you will bear much fruit. Much fruit and fruit look similar, but they are not the same thing. Jesus is a Man of precise words. He doesn’t say you will bear a little fruit or occasional fruit. He gives you the guarantee that, if you abide in Him, it is impossible not to bear much fruit. If, for example, you have been a Christian for about a year or more, and you are not bearing much fruit, don’t look far for an explanation. Jesus has already given you the explanation: You are not abiding in Him. When Jesus talks about abiding in Him, He means keeping His commandments (cf. John 15:9-10).

Not abiding in Jesus is another way of saying Jesus is not your Master, and therefore, you are most likely not born again. If this describes you, now may be the opportune time to turn from your sins, ask Jesus for forgiveness, and abide in Him always; because as Jesus says, “without Me you can do nothing.” He means it; without Him, you can do nothing. But with Him, you can do all things that God wants you to do, including bearing much fruit of holiness. Abide in Jesus.

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today. Amen.

Pray to the Father about this message that has come to you.

For further study: Colossians 3:1-17

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