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FAITH: Bearing Much Fruit



After having been a Pastor for fifty years, I recall that there have been many times in the past when people would ask me a particular question.  To them, it was the most important question that ever came to their mind.  Every question of life was important to them but this question superseded all others and it needed to be answered. All of life would be at rest if they could simply be assured of the one question that haunted them.  What was that question? These people would look at me with trembling lips and tears in their eyes and say: “Brother Bill, how can I know if I am really saved and going to heaven.”  Ultimately, that was the most important thing to them.  Family was vastly important.  Financial security was of vital importance.  One’s profession was considered to be of supreme importance because the ability to do just about anything in life was tied to it.  But, something had intervened in their life which made them think a little deeper and there they were asking me about how to be assured of eternal life.

When faced with someone who asked me that vital question, I was always very careful how I answered them because of two things.  First, I didn’t want to give them a sense of false hope in any way.  Second, I was careful not to say anything that might discourage them and make them even more miserable about life after physical death. I wanted to help them; not make their situation even more troublesome. 

The Lord gave us some information on this most important question concerning eternal life in heaven.  In John 15:1-8, Jesus tells us of a way for us to discern the answer to the question many ask concerning whether one is really saved and what happens to them after physical death.  Jesus tells us about the vine and the branches which is a most important thing for us to understand.  It gives us a mental vision of what is going on with this spiritual life.  The Lord said, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” 

I think anyone who reads what is told to us in John 15:1-8 will be able to understand what Jesus is saying.  We all know that the fruit of a plant grows on the new growth.  It grows on the branches.  And, Jesus tells us that the way to know we are saved is that we produce fruit.  In verse 5 He says: “I am the vine you are the branches.  He that abides in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”  That is pretty clear.  If one is saved (in Jesus) and if they live an obedient life guided by the Holy Spirit, they are going to produce much fruit.  That is a clear sign that they are in the Lord and that He is producing fruit through them.  So, if a person has Jesus living inside of them (saved) they will produce fruit just like a branch which is attached to the grapevine.  There is no question about it at all.

Different people produce varied kinds of fruit.  Jesus determines what is fruit that is produced by one’s spiritual attachment to Him.  Good people can do good things, but only saved and abiding people can produce fruit and Jesus says that a sign one is saved is that they “produce much fruit.”  It becomes a natural thing for them to do in their lives.  They will not only live a good life but they will also produce a fruitful life.  Things will happen that they are not even aware of that will be considered a fruit for the kingdom of God.  I offer this example:  I am often asked to do funerals for people who were a part of my ministry years ago.  Recently I performed a funeral service for a family and God blessed that funeral effort more that I could have ever imagined.  A couple of weeks after we had the funeral, I took the original manuscript to the daughter of the person who had died.  Often, I will take the original manuscript, sign and date it and give it to the family of the deceased.  They can keep it for historical purposes.  While I was talking with the daughter of the deceased, he said she had something she wanted to tell me.  It seems that her son, who was not saved, told her that he had gotten saved at his grandmother’s funeral service.  His mother had witnessed to him over the years but he had not settled his spiritual condition with Jesus.  He told her that while I was preaching that something came over him.  He realized that he needed to be saved and he trusted in Jesus to save him while he was listening to what I was saying in the funeral sermon.  That was fruit!  It was fruit from his mother who, as a Christian, had witnessed to him many times without success and it was fruit the Lord gave us as I preached.  Neither one of us thought something like that would happen by that graveside that day.  His mother and I both bore fruit and the Lord got the glory for it.

People who are saved and part of the vine (Jesus) will automatically produce fruit and if they don’t, they obviously are not part of the vine.  It’s just as simple as that.  A lot of people say they believe in Jesus.  They go to church and Sunday School.  They even tithe their money to the church but none of those things we do can save us.  They are a part of a saved life but they, themselves, have no saving power.  Only Jesus does.  And, when He saves someone, He attaches them to the vine where they can Bear Much Fruit.  And, He gets the glory for it all.

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  1. Thank you for this so much, very timely for me. My earnest desire is to produce fruit and to let others see the difference in me. Your message has challenged me to rededicate myself to obedience and to bear much fruit!

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