What we are so concerned about is a reflection of who we are. Your “fruit” defines your “root”. Your “root” determines your “fruit”. Then we take it some steps further and deeper, and we realize that “who” we are is much rooted in “whose” you are. Are we mastered by our Lord Jesus Christ, or are we led by another?
John 15 is a clarion call for the church of Christ to abide in Him – and only in Him. Jesus is the vine, the Father is the vinedresser, and we are the branches. Just as a branch cannot live apart from the vine, we are unable to do anything good apart from abiding in Christ. In being rooted in Him can we bear fruit. And in order to bear more fruit, we need to go through the process of pruning. Thus, we might want to further wrestle with this question: Why do we need to go through the pruning? I find two critical reasons.
- While we live and breathe, God is not finished with us yet. He is doing something in us every single day — until Christ is formed in us!
- It is a necessary journey in order for us to bear fruit — hence, glorify God!
Bearing fruit in God’s name is a mark of a genuine Christ follower. In John 15, we are given a better understanding of what kind of fruit God is looking for within us. Allow me to share five of my observations found in the life of a fruit-bearing disciple:
- A life marked by surrender to God’s will
- A life marked by obedience to God’s commands
- A life marked by intimacy with God
- A life marked by love for others
- A life marked by the “putting on” of the character of Jesus Christ (cf. Galatians 5, on “fruit of the Holy Spirit”)
Though these points are not fully exhaustive, I pray that this would lead us to an unhurried theological reflection towards a transformed life. Take it to heart that rootedness in Christ leads to fruitfulness for Him!