The Lost Art Of Abiding
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Bearing fruit is something Christians spend significant amounts of time talking, writing, preaching, and arguing about. For many, it has become a wellspring of vexation. We ask, “How is my fruit? Am I bearing enough? Is it the right color and shape?” Sadly, we create all kinds of stress and insecurity out of something which is supposed to bring us comfort and peace. Fruit bearing is a promise from God we wrongly take upon ourselves to try and make good on.
Want a low-pressure statement? “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
If you can get past the initial offense of being pathetic, this statement from the lips of Jesus is incredibly freeing. I don’t care how bad you want to bear some sanctified fruit, apart from Christ it isn’t going to happen. The fruit of the Spirit is called “The fruit of the SPIRIT” for a reason—it’s His fruit.
Jesus calls Himself “the Vine.” That is, the only thing you must be connected to in order to have life. He and He alone is the source of any good fruit in anyone. And He says, “whoever abides in Him WILL bear much fruit”—it’s a promise, an absolute certainty.
So the question isn’t, “Am I bearing fruit?” Your question should be, “Am I trying to do something (anything) apart from Christ?” Lack of effort isn’t the sworn enemy of fruit bearing. Self-sufficiency is.
Abiding in Christ is the only way fruit grows. And we try to turn it into a work we perform—which is the exact opposite of abiding. So you ask, “What does abiding look like?”
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