Read the Scripture passage here: John 15:1-17
Jesus uses the example here that if we are in Christ, we must bear fruit. What does it mean to bear fruit? The Bible tells us that the fruit we should bear is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [or patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. He commands us that we must love each other.
The cool thing about these fruits is that they can be freely given without money. We talk about "works" and how they do not get us to heaven, but the bible clearly points out that without them, our faith is dead. The passage we read today, clearly points out that without works, we are in danger of being cut off from Christ. So what "works" are we expected to do.
We are expected to produce fruit.
Love unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another
Joy a source or cause or feeling of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
Peace freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions and harmony in personal relations
Longsuffering (patience) suffering for a long time without complaining : very patient during difficult times
Kindness the quality or state of being kind or a kind act
Goodness the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something
Faithfulness having or showing true and constant support or loyalty and keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do
Gentleness mildness of manners or disposition
Self-Control restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires
I don't know about you, but as I take a look at the fruit I am suppose to be producing, verses what I'm actually producing, I'm a little taken aback. I have some of these qualities, some of the time. I have a very long way to go, and feel like I should be keeping this list in front of me. If Jesus were fully alive in me, he would be stronger than my human error. I'm not about to use excuses that we will never be perfect or that we are only human, because ultimately I'm giving myself the ok that doing other than producing the fruits of the spirit is ok. It's forgivable, but not ok.
I suppose if we take a look at why we aren't producing this fruit, it is because of things like pain, hurt, sorrow, bitterness, jealousy, envy, hatred, and simply not getting our way. Those emotions are easy, I don't even have to work to try to get them, they just are. I'm confident that God doesn't cause these emotions.
I think it's safe to say that we have some work to do....as God's people.