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Sam Tan• Timely Word •

What Does it Mean to Bear Good Fruit?

By 26 October 2013September 26th, 2017No Comments

We need to be fruitful (John 15:1-17) but we also need to be watchful of the type of fruit we bear. In the manufacturing world, quality control (QC) is a standard process done by fulltime QC engineers on goods produced to ensure they meet its predefined quality standards. Similarly, we need to continuously do QC on the fruit we bear (Matt 7:15-27).

There are three key features of good fruit:

i) Loving God, seen in how we love our friends the way God loves us (John 15:12-13). Out of His love, Jesus considered us His friends and died for us. Love is characterized by giving up self for others. The highest order display of this is sacrificing ourselves for our friends.

ii) Increasing Christ-likeness

Growing conformity to the image of Christ – Rom 8:29 
Pruning to more fruitfulness – John 15:2
Increasing Fruit of the Spirit – Gal 5:22-23
Flourishing love – 1 Cor 13:4-8
Useful salt and guiding light to others – Matt 5:13-14
 
The emphasis here is not whether we have arrived at such a state but on whether there is a trend of growth in these areas and if yes, by how much. Growth must be regularly assessed personally. The Body of Christ, especially those closer to us, must help through affirmation. As we grow in Christ-likeness, we will increasingly be a blessing and joy to those we relate to in our daily lives.

iii) Abounding in good works

  • We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand for us to do (Eph 2:10, Heb 13:16, Matt 5:16, Luke 4:18, Gal 5:6, Gal 6:2, James 1:27).
  • Our works must depend on the grace of God –begin with grace and continue in grace.
  • Good works always involve the sacrifice of our primary personal time, efforts and energies, not out of our excesses.
  • We will be personally judged if we know and do not do them (James 4:17). It is bad belief to say that all we need is an entry to Heaven. How we live in our years on earth will determine how we spend eternity because our works will be judged for rewards or losses (2 Cor 5:9-10, 1 Cor 3:11-15, Col 3:23-24).
  • Our good works will have its outcome in salvation, deliverance, healings and/or blessings on the recipients (Rom 1:16), to the glory of the Father.
  • There will be a day of accountability of our lives (Dan 5:24-30, Matt 25:14-46).
  • Salvation is through believing Christ Jesus alone as Saviour (John 3:16). Good works alone do not earn us salvation, but good works prove our belief.

Peak seasons are most stressful on a manufacturing line. QC engineers would be busiest, reject rates at its highest. Similarly, the best time to do QC on the fruit we bear is to watch ourselves during the most stressful part of a day when multiple demands are placed on us. This is when our true self shows up.

During the most stressful time of the day, how many of the above three features are prominent in us? Over time, will these been seen in increasing, stagnating or decreasing amounts?

Let’s persevere on, by God’s grace, to bear good fruit in increasing measure!

By Sam Tan, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 26&27 October 2013)