5 September 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #174, 5934 AM
Teshuvah #28 Fruits I
We are Expected to Produce Them
Continued in Part 2
Yah'shua has commanded every believer to not only bear fruit but to bear fruit abundantly, and that in doing so we fulfil the measure of our creation which is to bring glory to Yahweh our Heavenly Father. But what exactly is the "fruit" we are supposed to bear? Four fruits in particular are identified in the Scriptures - let's take a look at each of them in turn:
"I 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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments (mitzvot), you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another" (John 15:5-17, NKJV).
These are four categories of "fruit" mentioned in Scripture. Anything you do to the glory of Yahweh, which is lawful and in His will, which the "Vine" would have done, is therefore authentic "fruit". There are, of course, other fruits that I have not mentioned but these are the chief ones which appear spontaneously and abundantly in the one who is grafted into the Vine, our Master and Deliverer, Yah'shua the Messiah.
- 1. Winning Souls and Discipling Them. "Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles" (Rom.1:13, NKJV). One of the characteristics of a branch bearing fruit is that it produces a product identical to itself. Accordingly, the first way a disciple bears fruit is by producing another disciple like himself and helping him grow spiritually.
- 2. Sharing With Those in Need. "But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the set-apart ones (saints). For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain" (Rom.15:25-28, NKJV). This is, of course, one of the three tithes we are commanded to pay in addition to supporting the ministry and making provisions for the festivals. "For you know the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ), that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (2 Cor.8:9, NKJV). It need not be our wealth that we share but our gifts, talents, labour and other things that the Father has bestowed on us. Since the "Vine" (Yah'shua) did this, then naturally the "branches" connected to the Vine will do the same thing: "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of Elohim (God) abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:16-18, NKJV).
- 3. Developing Character Like Yah'shua's. "But the fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Gal.5:21-23, NKJV). An easily recongisable fruit is the development of the graces listed here by Paul and one who abounds in such qualities is producing fruit abundantly and growing in knowledge of the Messiah: "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ)" (2 Peter 1:5-8, NKJV). This fruitfulness is the proof that we are being renewed in the image of our Creator: "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Messiah (Christ) is all and in all" (Col.3:8-11, NKJV).
- 4. Praising Yahweh and Giving Thanks. "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to Elohim (God), that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name (Yahweh)" (Heb 13:15, NKJV). This is to be expected of the "branches" since that's exactly what the "Vine" did too: "In that hour Yah'shua (Jesus) rejoiced in the Ruach (Spirit) and said, 'I thank You, Father (Yahweh), Master (Lord) of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight" (Luke 10:21, NKJV). "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Yah'shua (Jesus) lifted up His eyes and said, 'Father (Yahweh), I thank You that You have heard Me" (John 11:41, NKJV). Can we, the "branches", do any less?
If these are not our fruits, then we urgently need to make teshuvah or repent by finding out what it is preventing us from getting them and then doing something about it.