“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit” (John 15:16).
Many sincere Christians think bearing fruit means simply to bring souls to Christ. But to bear fruit means something much larger even than soulwinning.
The fruit Jesus is talking about is Christ-likeness. Simply put, bearing fruit means reflecting the likeness of Jesus. And the phrase “much fruit” means “the ever-increasing likeness of Christ.”
Growing more and more into Jesus’ likeness is our core purpose in life. It has to be central to all our activities, our lifestyle, our relationships. Indeed, all our gifts and callings—our work, ministry and witness—must flow out of this core purpose.
If I am not Christlike at heart—if I’m not becoming noticeably more like him—I have missed God’s purpose in my life.
You see, God’s purpose for me can’t be fulfilled by what I do for Christ. It can’t be measured by anything I achieve even if I heal the sick or cast out demons. No, God’s purpose is fulfilled in me only by what I am becoming in him. Christlikeness isn’t about what I do for the Lord, but about how I’m being transformed into his likeness.
Go into a Christian bookstore and read the titles on the shelves. Most are self-help books on how to overcome loneliness, how to survive depression, how to find fulfillment. Why is this? It’s because we have it all wrong. We aren’t called to be successes, to be free of all trouble, to be special, to “make it.” No, we are missing the one calling, the one focus, that’s meant to be central to our lives, to become fruitful in the likeness of Christ.
Jesus was totally given to the Father and that was everything to him. He stated, “I don’t do or say anything except what my Father tells me.”
So, do you want to bear the “much fruit” that springs forth from becoming more like Christ? We fulfill our life’s purpose only as we begin to love others as Christ has loved us. And we grow more Christ-like as our love for others increases.
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love” (John 15:9). His command is clear and simple: “Go and love others. Give to others the unconditional love I have shown you.” We grow more Christlike as our love for others increases. Simply put, bearing fruit comes down to how we treat people.