I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. John 15:5 AMP
Have you ever wondered when and if God will make you more fruitful? I mean, where is the fruit? I certainly do! Although I strongly desire to be full of fruit, the results are sometimes not there. Have you ever felt this way? Why would that be?
At the same time as I have pondered this question of fruitfulness, the concept of being UNITED WITH CHRIST has been emerging like giant neon letters flashing in front of me. I had never really paid much attention to this term before the past year, mainly because it seemed obvious what it meant. But lately, I have begun to wonder if I have entirely understood the fullness of being united with Christ. I may have been missing something keeping me from this fruitfulness I desire.
Recently, my husband read me a paragraph from a book he was reading for Bible study. (Seek First by Jeremy Treat) He was excited about it and wanted to share. The topic was all around this idea of union with Christ. The author made the point that union with Christ has two facets. And this idea hit a loud chord within me. TADA! Two facets? Hmmm?
The first facet he said is that Christ is in me. Oh, this is one I can hold onto with great vigor. Yes, yes, yes, I know Christ resides in me. Even from the time when I came to know Jesus as a 7-year-old, I have never doubted that Christ lives in my heart. I love Ephesians 3:17a, “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.” What a truth, “Christ in me,” this truth has been born out repeatedly in the lives of believers worldwide and through the centuries. And I can certainly attest to this in my own life.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.”Ephesians 3:17a
The second facet is that I am in Christ. This is also a wonderful truth to be treasured. No longer am I in Adam, but as a believer in Jesus, I am now in Christ. Being “In Christ” speaks to the renewal or regeneration that comes when we know Christ as Savior and Lord. You know, “The old is gone, and the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17) This means there has been an identity shift. Being in Christ speaks to having a new perspective, a new Christlike way of thinking and living.
So, this combination of being in Christ and Christ in me is what union with Christ looks like. So simple, yet so profound and potentionally life-changing.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, WILL PRODUCE MUCH FRUIT. For apart from me, you can do nothing.”John 15:5
Okay, so what is it about this combination that is so BIG? A lot! Jesus, in John 15:5, said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, WILL PRODUCE MUCH FRUIT. For apart from me, you can do nothing.” Often this verses takeaway is the “remain in me” portion. You know, abiding in the vine, which is an important aspect of this verse. But, according to John 15:5, who is it that has much fruit produced in their life? According to Jesus, it is the one who is in Christ and has Christ in them. So, a fruitful life is a product of Christ in my heart and my life in Christ. The complete “Christ immersion” of a life is what union with Christ is all about.
Jesus said this union with Christ is essential to a life producing much fruit. It is being born again AND being renewed. It is this two faceted union.
The concept of abiding is not restricted to our abiding in Jesus; it also includes His abiding in us (and I in him). It is a mutual dynamic that expects our life to be spiritually and practically in vital connection with Jesus, and that expects Him to indwell us in an active, real way. In no way is the responsibility for abiding only upon the believer.David Guzik
So, you may be thinking, what is so significant about this? So, here is what I am thinking: when we take hold of our union with Christ, we begin to look intently to him for everything we need and do. We set our sights on him- we desire to meet with him and please him; we want to serve him, and all of this occurs when we are looking vertically to him. We also begin to sense the Holy Spirit within us, nudging us to move this way or that. And in obedience, we move. Acts 17:28 says, “In him, we live, move, and exist.” This is how UNION acts, living, moving, and existing in Jesus!
“In him, we live, move, and exist.”Acts 17:28
Okay, here is where we get to the nitty-gritty for the child of God- you and me! First, we must set our minds on the things above. We must stop gazing at the things of the world. A fruitful life for Jesus is one that is LOOKING UP. Secondly, we must understand that we are complete in Christ and a work in progress, and Jesus will complete what he started. Thirdly, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us to the full- EVERY SINGLE DAY! Union with Christ is the answer to fruitfulness, along with relying on the Holy Spirit who is the inexhaustible power that produces and fills our lives with fruit. And this is how fruit is produced, moving, living and existing in Jesus while surrendered fully to the Holy Spirit.
What a glorious truth! Let’s stop asking where the fruit is, dig in deep, and begin seeing fruitfulness born in our lives.
3 thoughts on “Where is the Fruit?”
Excellent! Thank you!
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Thank you Anne. You bring clarity and real meaning to the Word! May God bless you for following your calling.
Thanks, Anne, for providing food for thought o the wonderful truth of fruit-bearing.
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