You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. John 15:16The New Testament revelation is rooted in grace – the free flowing favour of God. This grace is found in Christ and in Christ alone. Without it, we are nothing and can do nothing that is of lasting value.Everything we have depends on the favour of God. If God had not chosen to reveal his grace in us we would still be lost, dead in our sins – barren and unfruitful.
But God has manifested his love to us in this – not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. This is the fertile soil of grace that gives us the capacity to live for God and be fruitful.John chapter 15 describes Jesus as the True Vine. He is the embodiment of the purposes of God. Israel was called to be the vine of God and yet did not produce the fruit. Now Jesus has come to reveal God’s grace in us, impart his life to us and enable us to bear God-glorifying fruit that lasts. Abiding in the vine, means depending on God’s grace and power in Christ.
Human effort can produce nothing. It only leaves you defeated and discouraged. Religion is the worst form of self-effort because it masks the flesh and gives a false appearance of spirituality. But, true spirituality has to do with the work of God’s Spirit in our lives.As we sink our roots deep into the grace of God, we realise that we are totally accepted in the wellbeloved Son. We begin to see ourselves as new creations in Christ – filled with the righteousness of Christ himself. This life-giving revelation flows like a river and carries with it the refreshing realisation that Christ is living in us and our identity is totally wrapped up in him.
The more we look to Christ and the more we understand our perfection in him, the more we bring forth his fruit in our lives.This fruit comes from abiding in Christ and not through the works of the law, or through fleshly attempts to conform to God’s standards. Holiness has to do with Christ reproducing his life in us and through us. The Bible speaks of the fruit of the Spirit contrasting it with the works of the flesh. This means we should stop striving to obey God. Rather, we should always be thinking about God’s grace and favour, always leaning on his love for us, always resting in the full accomplishments of his cross. This is the fruit-producing soil of our faith. Fruit produced by grace is eternal. It lasts forever.