Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. John 12:24 (NKJV)
Jesus explains that unless He dies He will remain alone. However, if He dies then there will be a tremendous amount of fruit produced. Just as the seed has to die before it can produce the fruit it is supposed to produce, Jesus would have to die to produce the fruit of saved souls. This was the very reason that He came into the world.
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:10-11 (NKJV)
Through the sinless life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection of Jesus, there has been a tremendous amount of fruit produced all over the world. His death paid the penalty for the sins of the world, making it possible for people to be saved. The only reason anyone can have their sins forgiven is the sinless life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. Fruit from His death has been produced for thousands of years. It will continue to be produced as long as time goes on.
The lesson for us as followers of Christ is that if we want to live a fruitful life, we must first live a surrendered life. We cannot be fruitful apart from being surrendered. However, once we have surrendered our lives to Christ, we can be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. Surrender to Christ is the only path to fruitfulness in the Christian life.
A seed may stay safe in the barn for many years but it is useless there. It doesn’t reproduce and it isn’t good for food. Only when it falls into the ground and dies does it brings forth fruit. There are two facts about fruitfulness that we absolutely must get. First, God wants every follower of Christ to bear fruit. Secondly, every follower of Christ should bear fruit. Before Jesus left earth, He emphasized the importance of being fruitful for the Kingdom of God.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8 (NKJV)
When we read these verses, we cannot miss the importance of bearing fruit. There are several things about bearing fruit we see in this passage.
Those who do not bear fruit are cut away, and those who do bear fruit are pruned so they can bear more fruit. Those who raised vineyards were committed to making sure their vines were as fruitful as they could possibly be. This meant cutting off any unfruitful branch so that it could not take away important nutrients from the fruitful branches. This also meant doing whatever needed to be done to the fruitful branches so that they could bear more fruit.
Our fruitfulness is dependent on our connection with Jesus. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit if it is separated from the vine, we cannot bear fruit if we are separated from Christ. Our ability to produce fruit is completely dependent our relationship with Christ.
Bearing fruit should be a natural part of our lives. This may be the most important piece of information for us to understand today. Each and every Christian should be fruit bearing Christians. If we are not bearing fruit this should be a sign to us that something is wrong with our spiritual lives.
God is glorified when followers of Jesus bear fruit. Since we know that God wants to be glorified in the entire world, we know that it is God’s will that we bear fruit.
There are various kinds of fruit that will be born in our lives, but when we are connected to Christ, there will be fruit. Every Christian should be able to look at their lives and see something, some sort of fruit, that is being produced in their lives because of their connection to Christ. Fruit that is born through our connection to Christ is one of the greatest proofs that we are followers and not fans.