For a long time in my Christian walk, I wanted to make sure that I was obedient and productive. I often wondered if I was in the right place doing the right thing.
Then I finally understand the gracious freedom that every believer receives by the power of the Holy Spirit:
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of
the flesh." (Galatians 5: 16)
How do I do that? By faith:
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is
evident: for, The just shall live by faith." (Galatians 3: 11)
Not by trying to do right do I fulfill the law. The righteous that man seeks but can never get through his own obedience, he must receive as a gift through the death of Jesus Christ:
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God
sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin
in the flesh:
"That the righteousness
of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
Spirit." (Romans 8: 3-4)
This righteousness is a gift (Romans 5: 17), one which transforms us completely, one in which we become one and inseparable with and in Christ:
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)
So, I am the righteousness of God in Christ! Therefore, I bear the fruits of righteousness:
"Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto
the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1: 11)
The fruit of righteousness, the works, are already in every believer:
"For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2: 10)
The source of this fruit of righteousness is above, not from us, but from God in us:
"For where envying and
strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and
easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and
"And the fruit of
righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3: 16-18)
Paul is more explicit about the origin of the fruit of righteousness in our life:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5: 22-23)
Read closely, for Paul writes, "The fruit of the Spirit," not "The fruit of the believer", not "The fruit of our pastors or church leaders," not "the fruit which we must seek by our efforts."
Still not satisfied? Still convinced that there is a part which you must play? Jesus tells His believers what they must do:
"Then said they unto
him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him
whom he hath sent." (John 6: 28-29)
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
"I am the vine, ye
are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth
forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15: 4-5)
Abide in Him, rest in Him, for He work within us (Philippians 2: 12-13), for He is our peace (Ephesians 2: 14) and our glory (Colossians 1:27)
The Holy Spirit is bearing fruit in every believer. Only when we try in our own efforts to keep God;s law, not letting His life live within us, only then do we frustrate the fruit bearin in our life:
"I am crucified
with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the
life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who
loved me, and gave himself for me.
"I do not frustrate
the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is
dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)
"or I testify again
to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
"Christ is become of
no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen
from grace." (Galatians 5: 3-4)
Are you trying to bear fruit?If you are walking in the Spirit, living by faith in the conscious love of God for you (Ephesians 5: 8), then you are already bearing fruit, and His Spirit will quicken you through His peace in your heart what He wants you to do!