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What Does It Mean For A Christian To Bear Fruit?

Updated on January 13, 2012

Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ: It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives IN me..."

Years ago I read about a Christian man who was a tremendous testimony to all the people who knew him. He had a daily Bible-reading booklet; and if he did not get a chance to witness to someone each day, he would write, "No fruit" in the margin of that particular day.

At that time I was under the impression that to bear fruit Christians should always be making an effort to verbally share the Lord. Bible verses such as John 15:8 ("Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples") were taught to me in Sunday School and from the pulpit. I felt that unless I was witnessing, I was not a fruit-bearer. Neither was I glorifying my Father, nor was I a good disciple. Hearing continually that we, as Christians, have a "work to do" made "bearing fruit" an absolute necessity - and a bondage.

It is true many Christians are able to openly share the Lord, as evidenced by ministers, evangelists and even Christian laymen. However, does this mean that other Christians are not bearing fruit?

I believe the answer lies in the realization that I am only a vessel, meant to contain Jesus Christ. He produces the fruit, not I. Fruit is a manifestation of the Christ within-inner faith produces outer action. Faith is the substance, not us. We are just the vessels that are being used by God. To be the container of Jesus Christ is to allow Him to do the producing.

A fruit bearer is not what a person does. It is what a person is. The real me is actually "fruit" coming forth. It is the result of what I am in Him. The Father in me will produce His works, as my efforts cease.

To be given the chance to share God is a wonderful opportunity, as He brings about the circumstances to do so. However, there is nothing more awkward and phony than a Christian who is witnessing because he thinks he has to.

Personally, I am not a Bible thumper, nor do I knock on doors, or try to witness to people on the street. It is NOT my gift. Rather, I share my faith through writing and public speaking...only when invited to speak to a Christian organization. I believe one of the greatest testimonals of a Christian is to have someone say to that person, "You seem to be at peace all the time, no matter what is going on in your life. I don't know how you got through this ordeal! I want what you have. What is it?" If asked, my answer has always been, "My faith in God." Quite often, a door is opened to share my story.

I have never seen a fruit tree struggle or sweat. An apple tree that appears to be dead in January is covered with fragrant blossoms within a couple of months. In the Fall, it is full of delicious apples. It stands there tall, beautiful, spontaneously producing what it was made to produce by its Creator.

One of the most wonderful mysteries of vesselhood (Christ living in those who have accepted Him into their lives) is our uniqueness: all of us are containers of the same Person, but each of us is different. I love to read, and I recently stumbled upon the fable of the mountain and the squirrel by Emerson. "Talents differ," the squirrel says, "all is well and wisely put; if I cannot carry a forest on my back, neither can you crack a nut."

Therefore, our uniqueness frees us from TRYING to be like our Christian brother or sister. Christ bears fruit through us, in a way that we actually enjoy, He being the Joy in us. We also discover that even though we find ourselves doing things we never thought we could do, we can of our own selves do nothing! Christ in us causes us to live our lives His way without out struggling, as we continually recognize our union with Him.

Sincerely, Sparklea

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    • Sparklea profile image
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      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Regina, your having been blessed is a great blessing to me, and I so appreciate your taking the time to read this hub and for your very kind words. God bless you always, Sparklea :)

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      Regina 2 years ago

      This has blessed me indeed please keep it up. God bless you reachly

    • Sparklea profile image
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      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you Tim Hightower. More and more I am learning it is not my talk but my walk that ministers to others. As our fruit manifests itself, I believe it attracts the right people at the right time to hear about being the Lights of the world. Thank you for taking time to read this hub. Blessings Sparklea :)

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      tim Hightower 4 years ago

      Very well said . Bearing fruit is being who called you to be and living out your purpose

    • Sparklea profile image
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      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Faith Reaper and Dream On THANK YOU for taking time to read this, and Faith, how great...a small tapestry of the Fruit Of The Spirit in your foyer...a wonderful reminder. Dream On, it means so much that you have read a few of my hubs. Blessings to both of you, Sparklea :)

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      Looking forward to reading more....

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Beautifully written!!! Speaks to His truths no doubt.

      Thank you for this thought-provoking hub here. I like to do what I call a heart check before I walk out of the door in the mornings to start my day, as I have a small tapestry of the Fruit of Spirit placed right in the little foyer leading out to my garage. It really does help me to stay focused on what it means to bear that fruit---as the words coming out of our mouths are sure to reveal our true hearts. This is especially important if we are going to call ourselves Christians, as all can tell by the fruit.

      Voted way up+++ sharing

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Sparklea profile image
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      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Michael Tully: Thank you from my heart for reading this hub and for your feedback. I truly appreciate it. Grace and peace be with you also, dear brother. We just have to remember that as we allow His Light in us to manifest Itself through us, it will affect those around us in a positive way. God bless you real good, blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 5 years ago

      Thanks for a delightful and uplifting article, Sparklea. You have spoken to the hearts of many Christians who, because they have not been gifted with the aptitude for overt evangelism, are made to feel guilty of neglecting the Great Commission. This is a beautiful commentary on I Corinthians ch. 12.

      Grace and peace be with you, dear sister.

    • Sparklea profile image
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      Sparklea 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you Dhula for your feedback, really appreciate it! Blessings, Sparklea :)

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      Dhula 5 years ago

      Sumtin lyk dis quote was sent 2 me by my girlfriend cos i asked 4 sex but now i understand d message shes trying 2 pass onto me

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      Sparklea 5 years ago

      To Searchinsany, THANK YOU for your lovely comment. It means a lot to a fellow Christian. You are so correct about Christians being accused of becoming lukewarm.

      Thanks from my heart.

      Blessings, Sparklea :)

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      Sparklea 5 years ago

      Charlotte, Thanks from my heart for your comment, so very much appreciated! My hope is that I can encourage others to KNOW how much they are truly loved by God and He does NOT intend we live a life of bondage. Blessings, and thanks again.

    • searchinsany profile image

      Alexander Gibb 5 years ago from UK

      How true!

      In my opinion, so many Christians are encouraged by their peers to be active in 'the work' to the point of exhaustion, and when they are 'burnt out' they are often accused of becoming lukewarm.

      The Christian Faith is about 'being' rather than 'doing'. By getting our priorities right, everything else will fall into place.

      Gal 5:22-23 KJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

      I'm glad I read this! Thank you for this encouragement. God bless!