Bearing Fruit

John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.”

This saying must be understood in its immediate context (vv. 1-11)—Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, and we must abide in Him. There are two types of branches/people, He says: those who bear fruit and those who do not. If you abide in Him, you will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and God will prune (remove) all things that would impede your fruitfulness; He cuts away sin. If you don’t abide in Him, Jesus depicts Hell in that you will be cut off from the Vine (Christ), gathered up with all the others, and cast into the fire to burn.

Jesus chose the disciples for the purpose of bearing His fruit among others; they did not choose Him. The same is true for us. We did not choose Him; He chose us. We did not “make a decision” for Jesus or “accept” Him, for we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), and dead people cannot choose to do anything; rather, He chose us and raised us from death in sin to life in Him (Romans 6:3-4, 10-11) in order to abide in Him and bear His fruit among others.

This fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Without Christ—without His Holy Spirit—we cannot bear these fruit and have them be fruitful and pleasing to God (Hebrews 11:6).

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