by Rob Parlante
Many Christians after coming to Christ (See Blog – Why Don’t You Just Try Coming to Christ), understand that they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, received a regenerated life and are in union with Christ, but seem to struggle to bear fruit. They struggle to experience changes in their lives and to experience spiritual rest for their souls. As a newer believer I often associated fruit only with soul winning, but later discover fruit in one’s life encompasses so much more. I like to categorize fruit as being either internal or external. In other words, fruit can be (Gal 5:22) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control etc which deals with the heart internally. Or it can be fruitful works (Eph 2:10), walking in good works God has prepared beforehand to walk in, which is external. Both are fruit.
The last thing the evil one wants to see is a believer bearing fruit. His ploy is to keep believers fruitless and paralyzed. Satan figures, I lost the salvation battle, but I will continue the attack and render the believer fruitless and ineffective. After salvation, Satan heavily attacks believers in this area. This is his game plan. He doesn’t what the outside world to see Christ in You. He doesn’t want believers to reflect Christ to the lost world. So as believers, how do we counter attack Satan? What should our primary plan be? I want to look at what many churches recommend, and what Jesus recommends.
What Many Churches Recommend as a Battle Plan
The church has devised theological systems over the centuries to try to produce fruit in one’s life. Right off the bat, this is a red flag. Why, because systems don’t have any spiritual power. Fruit producing systems are works of the flesh. The systems produce a lot of activity, which may externally look good, but don’t produce lasting fruit. Many churches try to offers some solutions to bear fruit in one’s life: Here are some of the churches solutions: 1. You need the gift of tongues 2. You need to submit and commit yourself to the Lord 3. You need more faith 4. You need to keep the law (10 Commandments) 5.You need to pray to receive Christ again 6. You need to do blank (Fill in the Blank). Our humanistic nature wants to do something, this appeal to our flesh. Doing something appeals to our self reliance and self dependence. If this battle plan worked, the church wouldn’t be on the decline, but sprinting forward with vibrancy and effectiveness.
What Jesus Recommend as a Battle Plan
Jesus gives us the simple answer on bearing fruit in one’s life. Jesus tells us to Abide in Him and you will bear fruit. That’s it. Just Abide in Him. Wow, you mean I actually don’t have to do some activity or develop a fruit bearing strategy. Yes, you got it. Just Abide in Me is the answer. That’s the answer many of us miss. This is all spelled out for us in John 15:1-8. Jesus in the passage is addressing the apostles, but this applies to all believers. Jesus says when you Abide in Me, you bear fruit. Real fruit only comes when one is abiding. What is the definition of abide?
Abide – means to continue and remain in a close intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Abiding has nothing to do with ones salvation. This is secure and can never be lost. Believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Once sealed, always sealed (Eph 1:13). Abide also doesn’t mean to be believe. Believing comes before abiding.
Believers can reject the offer to Abide in Me, or yield and Abide. This is a choice every believer makes daily. You can’t by-pass abiding, and somehow produce fruit on your own. It just doesn’t work, if it did, you wouldn’t need Christ.
How one Abides in Christ is between you and Christ. What you do to continue and remain in a close intimate relationship with Christ, is between you and Christ. There is no cookie cutter formula. I can only offer suggestions, but having a quiet time with Christ seems to be a good start.
Why Don’t You Just Try Abiding in Christ?
If you would like to learn more about the truths described here, come join us at Grace Christian Church, currently meeting at the Freehold VFW, every Sunday at 9:30 am.
Elder / Grace Christian Church