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 15:16 KJV)
John 14-17 is from Jesus’ last message and prayer before the crucifixion. John 15:1-17 is dedicated in trying to making the disciples understand the principles and importance of bearing fruit. If you read it carefully you will understand that Jesus is not talking about having a successful ministry or about reaching out. He is talking about bearing fruit in our character, he is talking about love, he is talking about laying down our lives. He is asking us to become so much Christ-like that the Father will trust us and give ANYTHING we ask for, just like he gave an open heaven to Jesus. There is a general misconception among us Christians that bearing fruit is about winning souls or about doing some kind of success in ministry. In a way it’s true, bearing fruit includes winning souls, reaching out and doing business with the talents God has entrusted us with.
The Greek new testament uses couple of terms for the English usage of the word fruit. The term used the maximum number in NT is καρπός transliterated as karpos (66 times) and καρποφορέω transliterated as karpophoreō (17 times). Karpos implies the plucked fruit and karpophoreo implies being fertile. (Strong’s Greek Dictionary) Most references of the word karpos implies fruit in our character. While many references of karpophoreo indicates fruit in the ministering (Col 1:4-6). And what we are talking about is the term karpos; about bearing fruit in our character.
In this blog, we will discuss two essentials in bearing or cultivating karpos (fruit) in our character. Now if I want to learn guitar, going to a preacher or a counselor wont help! I have to go to someone who is expert in playing guitar. Likewise the only person you should turn to, to learn from, should be the person whose character is perfect! If you look up to people around you, verily, verily I say unto you that they WILL fail you!! Cause all of them including you and me are just working on our lives and characters to become like Jesus Christ. None of us are perfect. If you imitate people, you will also imitate their weaknesses. Instead if you follow the Lord, you will never go wrong. So turn your eyes to the Lord Jesus Christ and the life he lived here on the earth. Remember what Jesus said “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4 ESV) And remember the fact that it’s not you who decided to become like Jesus, nor where you appointed by your pastor or mentor, but it is HE who chose you to bear fruit and to become like him!
The second thing you need to understand is that Galatians 5:22 says the “fruit of the Spirit is…” It is the fruit of the spirit. If you have to cultivate the fruit of the spirit, you need to be born of the spirit, filled of the spirit and continually growing in the spirit. Note what Jesus said, “I have chosen you and ORDAINED you”. Not only has he chosen you but he also has ordained you with his spirit to bear fruit. The role of the Holy Spirit is to work as a catalyst in helping you to bear fruit. Please read Ezekiel 47:1-12 of a strange experience that Ezekiel had. An angel of the Lord leads him into the river and takes him deeper and deeper step by step. It comes to a place where Ezekiel loses control off of his walking and starts to swim in the river. Moments later when he comes out of the river he is surprised by the trees grown up on the banks of this river (v7). The trees that takes years altogether to grow, had come up within the few minutes when Ezekiel was swimming in the river. This is the point that many has missed today! I have seen people struggle for years with issues. As a matter of fact, if we just stop struggling and let the Holy Spirit control us completely like the river flow controls the swimmer, we will see breakthrough in every area of our character. The character traits that takes years altogether to be developed, will start showing up in minutes when you are filled and led by the spirit of God.
“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.” Chosen by the expert Master and Ordained by his Holy Spirit are the two essentials in bearing fruit! Those are the convictions that should guard your heart in your pursuit to bear fruit that will last. Let me conclude by placing a couple of questions before you. Who is your role model in your Christian life? Is it the perfect Master or his imperfect followers? What is the trait in your character that where you are struggling to exhibit the fruit of the spirit? How much deep are you in the river of the Holy Spirit? I want to invite you to go deep enough to loose control off yourself and start swimming!!