November 21, 2022

How to be a Fruitful Christian

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. John 15:4


The major difference between being an unfruitful or fruitful Christian is whether or not we abide in Christ. We tend to make the idea of abiding complicated, or treat it like something mysterious when it’s actually very simple. First, we need to recognize what fruit-bearing is not.


The problem most of us run into is that we try to be fruitful, but that’s not what Jesus said. In fact, God’s expectation for us to bear fruit has nothing at all to do with our effort. Jesus said the exact opposite, “for apart from Me you can do nothing” (v5). Jesus didn’t say we wouldn’t try to do something, but that we wouldn’t succeed.


Of course, people accomplish things without Christ all the time. However, anything done in our own strength to accomplish our own agenda is not spiritual fruit. Jesus is talking about doing things that make an impact for His kingdom, which means they have eternal value. So, Jesus isn’t asking us to try to be fruitful; He’s telling us how to be fruitful, “Abide in Me.”


We grow fruit as we manifest His character. Remember, as a Christian you have the nature of God within you. The apostle Peter describes this as being, partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Jesus didn’t become human in order to know what we’re like, but so we can know what God is like. He doesn’t expect us to manufacture results but to manifest His righteousness.


So, how do we abide in Christ? It starts by engaging Scripture with your mind and meditating on its meaning. Dwell on Him—on His words, His character, and His commands. What verses offer guidance in your current situation? Which of God’s names or traits are most comforting right now? Which biblical commands are you ignoring? As you do this consistently, spiritual fruit begins to grow.


Are you a fruitful Christian? Or, are you doing things in your own strength, to accomplish your agenda? Bearing spiritual fruit has nothing to do with your personality, your talents, or your natural abilities. It has everything to do with your new nature—the divine nature of Christ. So stop trying and start abiding!