By Christopher L. Scott
“Yummy, yummy, strawberries” my two-year-old son often says when walking out onto our back patio. He knows mom’s garden is just around the corner where ripe strawberries await him. He looks for the red ones and eats them as fast as he can pick them. When they are all gone he smiles with strawberry juice dripping from his chin onto his shirt. He’s happy with the fruit from mom’s garden.
Every person on this earth produces fruit and God wants there to be good fruit in our Christian lives. The apostle Paul talks about the fruit of Christians in Romans 7. The Greek word for fruit is karpophoreo and it’s used in two ways in the New Testament. One use is as literal fruit (see Mark 4:28) and the other is a metaphor for conduct, which is used in Romans 7:4, 5.
Before becoming a Christian the fruit of following sinful, passionate desires was death, “For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death” (Romans 7:5, NIV).
The New Testament Greek scholar, A.T. Robertson, called this the “seeds of sin working for death” because the non-Christian doesn’t know God and he’s controlled by his sinful passions. Those sinful passions lead to sinful activities, and the fruit of those activities is death.
But when we become a Christian those sinful passions die and are replaced by God’s presence in our lives. This is described in Romans 6:4: “We were therefore buried with him [Jesus] through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Now we are united with Christ. “For if we have been united with him [Jesus] in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5).
This was done so that we could bring forth fruit. “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God” (Romans 7:4).
The fruit is showing love to others when they don’t deserve it. It’s sharing our faith with others and telling them about the gospel. It’s being kind to someone that is mean to us. The purpose of our Christian life is “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
God is happy when He sees fruit in the lives of His people. He looks at them and says, “yummy, yummy” for His people are pleasing to Him.
Christopher L. Scott, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a pastor and freelance writer. Learn more about his writing ministry at ChristopherLynnScott.com.
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