Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18 KJV)
As the Great Gardener, the Lord delights in fruit and dislikes unfruitfulness. We will briefly review three types of spiritual fruit that delight the Father’s heart: believers, character, and works.
Above everything else, God delights in His people. The believer in Christ—new heart, having God’s Spirit, new creation, God’s child—is the first fruit the Lord awaits as a farmer looks forward to harvest season. We are God’s firstfruits in Christ (James 1:18).
The first fruits (the people) become trees that subsequently bear fruit in their character and works. Character virtues define the Christ-like postures of our hearts and personalities; many of us know about the fruit of the Spirit, such as love, peace, joy, kindness, and patience (Galatians 5:22). We bear fruit when these virtues are present in our character.
Our works are the third type of fruit, after the lives and the character virtues. Paul says: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work…” (Colossians 1:10 KJV). Our works typically represent our words and actions, including the works of our hands and the effects of our deeds on other people. For example, when I teach the Word and strengthen you spiritually, I bear spiritual fruit through my ministry. As expected, the fruit of our works overlaps with the fruit of character.
God delights in fruitfulness. He dislikes trees without fruit, especially those that have only leaves without any fruit (Mark 11:13-14).
Why does God use the term fruit (something we know well) to describe godly character virtues such as love?
Apply the Word
Consider that you are a tree, God’s beloved tree of righteousness in Christ. What does God see when He looks at your branches? Hopefully, not only leaves but healthy leaves and fruit. Bear fruit, for our fruit, pleases Him.
Ask the Father to help you always bear fruit in your character and your works.
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