The Secrets of the Vine: Bruce Wilkinson has an excellent study of disciples bearing fruit and what that really means.
- The Secrets of the Vine Introduction
- Authentic Disciples Bear Fruit
- From No Fruit to Bearing Fruit
- From Bearing Fruit to More Fruit
- From Bearing More Fruit to Much Fruit
The Secrets of the Vine (Bruce Wilkinson), teaches that if we are a follower of Christ we are to bear fruit; it’s not an option.
The Foundational Illustration:
- The vine is Jesus Christ – John 15:1a
- The vinedresser is God the Father – John 15:1b
- The branch is the believer – John 15:2a, 5b
- The fruit is the result of good works – John 15:16b
What is Fruit?
- Fruit generally means good works – Titus 3:14
- Fruit can only be produced by those in Christ – John 15:2a
- Fruit is a good work done with a God-honoring motive
- Fruit is any action by a believer that pleases God – Colossians 1:10a
- Fruit is the result of your effort and labor – Philippians 1:21-22a
I am not responsible to bear fruit because God bears the fruit.
- Productive: You have been appointed to bear fruit – John 15:16a, Romans 7:4b, John 15:2a
- Partnership: You have been empowered by God to bear fruit – Philippians 4:13, Colossians 1:28-29
The Principles of Fruit Bearing:
Every believer bears fruit at one of the four fruit-bearing levels, like moving your fruit between four baskets: 1. No fruit, 2. Fruit, 3. More fruit, 4. Much fruit.
- Every believer bears fruit at one of the four levels at all times.
- Every believer is to grow to the “much fruit” level.
- Every believer should increase fruitfulness as they mature.
- Every believer has been created to do specific works prepared by God:
A Word about Works:
- Good works cannot earn eternal salvation since it is a gift – Ephesians 2:8-9;
- Good works have been prepared for us by God in advance – Ephesians 2:10a;
- Good works prepared by God is where we are to focus our energy – Ephesians 2:10
Every believer increases fruit by Three Secrets of the Vine:
- From “no fruit” to “fruit” God takes away – John 15:2a
- From “fruit” to “more fruit” God prunes – John 152b
- From “more fruit” to “much fruit” God abides – John 15:5b
The Fruit Bearing Process:
We are made for a purpose and for certain tasks that God wants to accomplish through us. He has gifted each believer. God is calling us to stand in the gap, and if we do not do it, there is a huge hole in the wall.
- Process # 1– Bear fruit through good works that are private – for growth – Titus 3:8
- Bear fruit by your private charitable deeds – Matthew 6:1-4
- Bear fruit by your private prayers – Matthew 6:6
- Bear fruit by your private fasting – Matthew 6:17-18
- Process # 2– Bear fruit through good works that are public – for others (this may appear to be a total opposite of the previous point, but we are to look at our motivation. We do things FOR the public, not to be recognized BY the public).
- Public good works are to be purposefully displayed – Matthew 5:14-16
- Public good works should cause non-believers to give God glory – 1 Peter 2:11-12 (we do not want people to look at US or even at the WORK, but to say, “Thank God for that church down the street”).
- Public good works require personal involvement and sacrifice – James 1:17
- Process # 3– Bear fruit through good works that are personal.
- Bear fruit in your neighborhood and marketplace – 1 Timothy 5:9-10
- Bear fruit in your family and marriage – Ephesians 6:4, 5:33
- Bear fruit by using your gifts in church and missions – Hebrews 10:24-25
The Fruit Bearing Precept:
God commands all believers in Jesus Christ to fulfill their eternal destinies by devoting their lives to bear much fruit by doing good works to the glory of God.
Conclusion: Acts 9:36, Hebrews 13:20-21