June 17, 2022
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit . . . (John 15:16).
As stated earlier, the fruit that Christians are to bear is Jesus Christ living His life in every believer without limitation or restriction. It would include those spiritual characteristics mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23, but is not be limited to them. Ultimately, it is full conformity to Christ, which is the goal of being a Christian in the earth. (Romans 8:29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. It is Christ-likeness in every aspect of our being and life - His affections, dispositions, graces, attitudes, etc.
In John 15:16, Jesus stressed that God’s grace not only chooses us for salvation, but also appoints us to go (as we go) and bear fruit. As we live, we are to be daily conformed to the image of Jesus Christ; we are to surrender our will to His that He might live His life in and through us. (Galatians 2:20) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Christians are to be productive - our lives are to engage in the life and work of God’s Kingdom on earth. (Ephesians 2:8-10) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. What work am I to do? That is directly connected to the spiritual gift(s) of ministry the Holy Spirit has blessed you with. The spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit are unique skills and abilities He gives faithful followers of Jesus Christ to serve God for the common benefit of the body of Christ, the church.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 mentions the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in languages, and interpretation of languages. Spiritual gifts are not to be confused with spiritual officers and leaders in the church mentioned in Ephesians 4:7-13 (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastors, and teachers) who are gifted to perform those various functions.
Isaiah 11:2-3 mentions the spiritual gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, the ability and authority to execute God’s plans, total and complete loyalty to the Lord, obedience, justice and equity. Romans 12:3-8 adds the spiritual gifts of humility, wisdom, prophecy, ministry, teaching, encouragement, benevolence, leadership, mercy, and love.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are simply God empowering faithful Christians to do what He has called us to do. (2 Peter 1:3) . . . His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. Amen.