Glorifying the Father
June 7, 2022
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples (John 15:8).
How is the Father glorified in our bearing much fruit? The word is edoxasthe, from which we get the word ‘doxology’; ‘to praise’ or ‘to honor’. God the Father is praised and honored when we, as His spiritual children, are conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, when we surrender completely to the Christ-life, when we die to self and allow Jesus to live in and through us.
There are 4 dynamic relationships delineated in our union with Jesus Christ: (1) life in Christ Jesus is salvation, (2) life with Christ is fellowship, (3) life by Christ is fruitfulness, and (4) life for Christ is service. In these four relationships we affirm that we are disciples of Jesus Christ and we live honoring and praising God the Father. As we continue to persevere in this union with Jesus, the more we are able to bear fruit. In John 15:2 we ‘bear fruit’, then ‘more fruit’, and here, ‘much fruit’. As the Father ‘prunes’ us (to cleanse; sanctify), we are able to bear more and more fruit. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred (Mark 4:20). In this the Father is praised and honored.
(John 8:31), Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” Continuing to live in the Word of God, and continuing to let the Word of God live in us, is not the condition of discipleship, but the evidence of discipleship. Bearing much fruit makes our discipleship manifest, a powerful reality. Good fruit does not make the tree a good tree, but identifies it as a good tree. Christians prove themselves to be Christian disciples by living the Christ-life, or rather, by allowing Jesus Christ to live His life in them unhindered.
This is a true test of Christian character. It is not by one’s profession (for even Judas Iscariot professed to be a disciple of Jesus), but it is by a holy life that the character of the disciple of Jesus Christ is tested. This is a test which is easy to apply, and one which decides the matter conclusively. It is worthy of note that Jesus said those who bear much fruit are those who are His disciples. This is designed to excite us to press on to the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12), and to muster our resources to do the work which He has saved, called, and gifted us (Ephesians 2:8-10).
No one should take comfort or have confidence in the belief that he is a Christian who does not aim for this lofty goal - to bring honor and praise to the name of God the Father by being conformed to the image of His Son, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostles obeyed this command of the Lord, and spent the rest of their lives preaching and teaching the Gospel to all men everywhere, with the goal of bringing all men to the knowledge of the truth. Amen.