“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
All throughout the Scriptures we see that salvation is of the Lord. The apostle John was given a vision of a great multitude in heaven crying out, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:10). We are saved by grace, through faith, not because of anything we are or anything we have done or will do. Yet after we are saved, we are responsible to report for duty, and that duty is to bear fruit, not behave like nuts!
When Jesus raises us from death to life, He renews the mind, recalibrates the heart, and realigns the will. In other words, the grace that saves us is the same grace that sanctifies us and empowers us to live a life that is pleasing and acceptable to the One who has so graciously saved us.
Now, if we see our salvation more as a religion than a relationship, we are likely to become a little nutty. When I say “religion,” I am speaking about empty rituals and ceremonies that come from the imagination of man, not the revelation of God. It is the kind of life many religious leaders were living at the time of Jesus, and their sanctimonious behavior deeply angered and disappointed Him. They kept God at a distance because their religion had replaced their relationship with God. And that, beloved, is nuts!
We bear fruit when we live in a surrendered, submitted relationship with Jesus Christ, living for His glory and for the good of others. As we engage in expanding the cause of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, we are bearing the lasting, eternal fruit we were saved for.
In our verse for today, Jesus used the the metaphor of a vine and its branches to give us a vivid picture of a real and right relationship with our Lord. When we are abiding in Jesus, we are connected to Jesus. We are committed to Jesus. We are controlled by Jesus. As we remain in Him, we soak up His life-giving, supernatural Spirit that causes us to bear fruit that will last.
How would you describe your current walk with Christ? Is it more fruity? Or nutty? Inasmuch as we all have a combination of both in our lives, we will be far more fruitful when we fix our focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, regardless of the circumstances we face in life.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!