Big Ol’ Bags Of Holiness

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I like grapes. A lot.

My parents had grapevines—so I grew up harvesting grapes each year in September.

And I like vineyards. There’s just something beautiful / peaceful / romantic about them.

I’m pretty sure Jesus has a thing for vineyards too.

Jesus said,

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. —John 15.5 NLT

Several times in this passage, Jesus emphasizes his desire for us to produce fruit.

In fact, He even says,

(The Gardener) prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. (John 15.2 NLT)

So He wants us to be fruitful…

His plan is that we would bear MUCH fruit.

OK. Gotta ask the question though—what is fruit?

I know grapes and bananas, pears and pomegranates, raspberries and lychee.

And I know about those vegetable-fruits, you know—the vegetables that are technically classified as fruits…

Tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, peppers, okra, and potatoes.

But what I’m asking is:

What does Jesus mean when he says we ought to produce much fruit?

There are two ways of looking at “fruit” when we’re talking about Christians…

First, there’s the “fruit” of the Spirit (Galatians 5) – things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Another way to describe this would be “evidence” of God’s Spirit at work within you.

Is this what Jesus was talking about?

Was He saying something like this:

I want you to produce lots and lots of fruit. I want you to have tons of evidence to carry around. You need big ol’ bags stuffed full of holiness so everyone knows how good you are. The bigger your bags, the better!

Hmmmm. I don’t think so.

We do need the evidence of God’s Spirit (the fruit of the Spirit) in our lives for sure.

But the “vine and branches” teaching isn’t just about that.

The second kind of “fruit” has to do with reproduction…

Check out this definition of fruit:

In botany, a fruit is part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which these plants disseminate seeds.

Wow. Now we’re talking ovaries and seeds and stuff.

Jesus wants us to produce. Actually, He wants us to reproduce.

That’s right—through us, more people will have life in Him. The kingdom expands, the church grows.

There is a harvest, and it’s bumper crops.

Jesus assures us that as we live in him, we will produce much fruit. It’s natural. It just happens.

And just like there is a harvest season for grapes, NOW IS THE TIME for more lives to be added to God’s kingdom.

You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested! —John 4.35 GNT


straight up g for web

I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

1 Comment to Big Ol’ Bags Of Holiness

  1. “As we live in him, we will produce much fruit. It’s natural. It just happens.”

    No more straining & forcing things to happen. Producing fruit is standard when living life with God.

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