The most well-known passage that speaks of believers “bearing fruit” is John 15:1-5. It reads, “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. As a 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.”

We will attempt to answer two questions: 1) What does it mean to bear fruit? and 2) How can we bear fruit? To “bear fruit” is to live for God’s glory and thus to glorify God in all that we do or say. It is not something we do to be saved, but something we do because we are saved. A good passage that explains what will be true of us if we are bearing fruit is Galatians 5:22-23, “The FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” If we are truly living for God’s glory this “nine-fold cluster of fruit” will be on display in our lives. One has said that this passage gives us a “portrait of Christ.” If we are living for God in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be manifesting the very life of Christ to the world around us!

The words of Jesus in John 15 make it abundantly clear that we can’t bear fruit in our own power or strength. He said, “without Me you can do nothing.” I have made the point many times that we are as powerless to bear fruit for God as we were powerless to save ourselves. We needed Christ to save us from the penalty of sin (i.e. Hell), and we need Christ to give us the power to manifest His character in our lives. He gave the disciples a simple and beautiful object lesson to demonstrate this truth by speaking of “the VINE and the BRANCHES.” The purpose of a vine is to bear fruit but in order for this to happen the branches must be attached to the vine. If they are, the life-giving nourishment from the vine will flow through them resulting in fruit. So, believers (the BRANCHES) must be abiding in Christ (the VINE) so that His life will flow through us! To “abide in Him” is to “remain in Him”; that is, to remain in constant fellowship with Him through prayer, studying and obeying His Word, fellowshipping with other believers, and witnessing to the unsaved. If we do “abide in Him” we WILL BEAR FRUIT!

Before we close, let’s take a closer look at verse 2. Jesus said, “Every branch in Me, that does not bear fruit He takes away.” What does that mean? I believe this speaks of a believer who is out of fellowship with the Lord and because he is not bearing fruit the Father may have to take him home to glory. This is a solemn truth, but it shows us that the main reason we are left in this world IS TO BEAR FRUIT. If we refuse to abide in fellowship with Christ and bear fruit, the Father may just remove us from this scene. I would encourage you to read 1st Corinthians 11:20-33 to illustrate this, for there were saints at Corinth who were living in unjudged sin and because of this the Father took them home (verse 30).

The next part of the verse says, “And every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” What does it mean when it says “He prunes?” The word “prunes” means “cleanses.” In order for a believer to “bear more fruit” there will be the need of constant “cleansing.” This cleansing is “by the Word of God,” as we see in verse 3, “You are already CLEAN BECAUSE OF THE WORD WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU.” We are walking through a very dirty and defiling world and we will need to CLEANSED DAILY in order to remain in fellowship with Christ and to bear fruit. Ephesians 5:25-26 speaks to this, “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and CLEANSE HER WITH THE WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD.” What a privilege we have to BEAR FRUIT FOR GOD, but let’s remember the words of our Savior, “Without Me you can do nothing.” (323.3) (DO)