As we recognize the death and resurrection of Jesus who died and became the FIRSTFRUIT ( 1 Cor. 12:20), it is important to assess what his death means to US: The death of the natural man so that the spiritual man might come forth. We are to emulate the life and character of Christ but manifesting that nature cannot come unless we die (not literally) to ourselves in order to let the spirit of the Lord reign in us. And note that by the grace of the Lord, like Paul, we can actually bear fruit. We are to assess our own lives introspectively by identifying wether we are bearing the FRUIT of the SPIRIT that is described in:
God desires for us to be Fruit bearers even as we have received the seed of his spirit. But then again bible said unless a wheat FALLS (to abase one self) down to the ground AND dies (yield to the Lord), it abides alone but if it dies (dies in its carnal human nature and yields it’s all to the Lord) then it brings forth much fruit! (John 12:24)
Jesus himself died and became the FIRST FRUIT. it is the FIRSTFRUIT that sanctifies the rest of the harvest. In the old testament, the first fruit was an offering to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 26:1) Essentially Christ has become an offering to the Lord for us. Because the Lord is appeased with christ as the perfect offering, we then glorify Christ by being like him, coming to an experiential knowledge of him and manifesting his very character of love, gentleness, meekness, self/control, long-suffering etc. Remember the whole purpose of the “pruning” so that we may become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
Bearing Fruit is so important for any believer so much that once Jesus was looking for fruit on a fig tree covered with leaves (on the fig tree leaves appear at the same time as fruit- Amplified version Mark 11:13) but on this particular tree it had leaves but NO fruit. Many of us carry the Name of Jesus but not the NATURE of Jesus but we cannot confess christ and not be like him: To say one thing and Be one that thing are two different things. But thanks be to God who has enabled us by the help of the holy spirit to bear fruit in Christ! Remember it is he who causes the increase! But we have to die and yield to him otherwise we abide alone. Actually, think about this: fruit is a sign that the “sacrifice of death (of the seed)” has been received by the earth; it is almost counter-intuitive that the seed has to die to come alive but the way of the Kingdom is as such: To be exalted, one must actually humble themselves. To receive, one gives etc. Fruit of the spirit is the product or should be the product of the truly resurrected life! But the seed must die to self to bear this fruit else it abides alone!
TWO Kinds of FRUIT EXIST
Romans 7:4-6 says “In the SAME way, my friends, you have DIED to the law (self and carnality) through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that WE may bear FRUIT for God! While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law , were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
(Wow, so it means we can bear fruit all right but it could be a wrong fruit! Revenge feels like a “nice fruit” from the seed of anger. Manipulation and contention feels like a “nice fruit” from the seed of egotism. But remember this is not the fruit that glorifies God! We need discernment because the tricky thing is, all kind of seed seem to be growing in the “garden of the earth”- both good and bad seed and it is because God is patient hoping all would turn to him. But eventually there will be an “assessment of fruit” That is why Jesus says in the parable that let all seed (both good and bad grow together but at the TIME of the HARVEST, the TRUE FRUIT will be separated from the FALSE FRUIT.
What Fruit Am i Bearing in my Christ-life? What Fruit are you Bearing in your christ- life? #Re-AssessingFruit
Had the opportunity to preach this message I’ve summarized at the National PIWC Easter Convention @ Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, PA (Young Adults Session) under the Leadership of my District Pastor and his wife. The full message is about 1 hr long but only half an hours worth could be taped. The full message is on audio