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Spiritual fruit - part 1 Created 7 February 2014

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
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.
(John 15:1-8)

Much or all of the Church wants to be delivering spiritual fruit. The biblical passage above is enough to spur on many church-goers to an ‘active Christianity’. Although the idea of being ‘cut off and thrown into the fire’ has, over time, come to mean a ‘harmless exercise of divine disapproval’ this is not how Jesus’ hearers would have understood it, and this is not how I believe we should hear it today. Many amongst us believe that we/they do not fall in this category. Why? Because we/they all believe they are delivering sufficient spiritual fruit.

But is that so? First, Jesus made it clear that this will not be so: Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. (Matthew 7:13)
You might say that Jesus was actually referring to a world that does not know Him. No so! Clearly, Jesus is referring to a branch that is in Him – the vine. Therefore, Jesus is talking about those who already know Him – people like you and me. His warning, in John 15, therefore, is both shocking and stark, but it is consistent with Matthew 7:21-23 where, again He is talking to those who will have prophesied in His name and cast out demons in His name, yet without Him knowing them (note the order: He never knew them).

We already know that spiritual fruit is not necessarily prophesying or casting out demons. Yet, that does not discount these deeds. If they were worthless acts, then God would not have given them as “gifts” as recorded in 1 Corinthians 12. Note, it is by a deliberate and wilful act that the Spirit of God give His gifts: But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (v 12)

So, does delivering spiritual fruit refer to any one of the following:

Well, they may be. But I do not believe they are the primarily things Jesus is referring to in John 15. Instead, I believe 1 Corinthians 12 gives us a clue. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all (vv 5-7). From the above verses there should be no doubt that spiritual fruit is delivered when:

Therefore, spiritual fruit is delivered when you and I are:

So, why are you not seeing these gifts happening amongst normal congregational members in addition to church staff alike? Because the Spirit of God is not (fully) represented there. Forgive me for being so blunt, but, from the Scripture we have examined, that is the only reasonable explanation.

Important to note from the above: if this is true for you, you are not getting what is due to you from the Spirit of God himself. That is not a good situation, particularly with serving God effectively in mind.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all

And, more importantly, perhaps, you are not giving what you ought to be giving on behalf of the Spirit of God. That says what? You are not delivering the fruit the Father is looking for on you.
What can you do about it?:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

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Please consult the Bible and test what is written here. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area. Keep that which is good and reject that which is not Scriptual. Should you come to a different understanding than I please let me know - perhaps I can learn from you.

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