You hear it in the sermons. You hear about it from those Godly women at Bible study. You read it in the Bible. But you don’t know if you are doing it yourself. You don’t want to ask – you might sound like you aren’t the Christian you are supposed to be. Well, so you don’t have to ask, I will answer these questions that are plaguing you today! Have you ever wondered how to bear fruit in your life? Have you wondered if there is a process or instruction on being fruitful? Are there things we can do that will guarantee that we will offer abundant fruit? Yes, there is! Here are 8 Signs You Are Bearing Fruit In Your Life.
To find the answers to our questions above, we need not look any further than God’s word itself. Peter explains it well:
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9
I like the phrase “giving all diligence” – this means we are to be steady and careful in our application of what comes next in the verse. We are to be constant in our efforts of Peter’s instruction. This is active and ongoing – not just a one-time thing. Let’s work through our list of 8 signs of a fruit-bearing life.
Peter begins with faith. Faith is a sign of bearing fruit. Faith is fully relying on God for provision, strength, courage…LIFE. It is recognizing that He is in full control of every single thing that happens in the world.
Faith is usually forged in the midst of trials. So if you know someone who has incredible faith, know that they have likely experienced many opportunities throughout their life to grow their faith. Our faith is the foundation of fruit-bearing.
Faith is the first sign of a fruit-bearing life.
Peter then builds upon our faith with virtue. Virtue is defined as moral excellence or righteousness. Who is our righteousness? Who is our moral compass? Jesus Christ! We must not relinquish our morality because culture says otherwise. If we want to bear fruit, then we must hold fast to our morals, according to the Word of God. Even in the face of opposition! We live in a culture where biblical morals and virtue are fiercely opposed! Living a virtuous life is proof of bearing fruit.
Virtue is the second sign of a fruit-bearing life.
To virtue, we add knowledge. Knowledge of what? Worldly things? I don’t think so. Let’s see if we can find other verses to get an understanding of what kind of knowledge.
I want to find out which Greek word is used in this passage and look at other verses that use the same Greek word for knowledge. The Greek word used here is gnosis (knowledge, understanding). Some other references using the same Greek word are:
1 Corinthians 1:4-5 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge.
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
2 Corinthians 8:7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Colossians 2:2-3 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.
These are just a few verses that I found using the same Greek word for knowledge. I believe the fruit-bearing knowledge is the knowledge of God, spiritual knowledge, not earthly knowledge. While ‘books smarts’ is a good goal to strive for in life, if you aren’t firstly gaining spiritual knowledge, you won’t be bearing good fruit.
Knowledge is the third sign of a fruit-bearing life.
Adding to knowledge is self-control. I see many people try and justify self-reliance with self-control – falsely believing that they can overcome sin, unhealthy habits, etc on their own accord.
We read in Galatians, though, that self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit – it is by God and not our own doing or our own strength. Rely on the Holy Spirit to give us self-control instead of our own power – our own power will falter and weaken. The strength and fruit of the Holy Spirit never will.
Self-control is the fourth sign of a fruit-bearing life.
To self-control, we add perseverance. A dictionary definition of perseverance is this:
Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
What a fantastic definition! And Jesus said we would have troubles, didn’t He? That we should not be surprised when problems and obstacles come our way. He told us! And yet, how many times are we shocked to encounter crisis after crisis? Peter tells us to persevere through these trials – when we persevere, we display the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
So, keep going steadily and don’t have temper tantrums. Oh boy…
Perseverance is the fifth sign of a fruit-bearing life.
Our 6th sign is Godliness.
Godliness…so this doesn’t just happen? There is a process to obtain godliness? We must have the other 5 signs happening before we even get to Godliness!
This is both reassuring and intimidating. To reflect His glory in all that we do. What an amazing purpose for our lives! This is a GOOD thing!
Godliness is the sixth sign of a fruit-bearing life.
Brotherly kindness is added to Godliness. I find this order interesting. Establishing Godliness happens before brotherly kindness. Godliness is not added to brotherly kindness.
Maybe we need the glory of God shining in our lives in order to show kindness to our brothers and sisters in Christ. I am sure you have seen just as often as I have how many times we have not shown brotherly kindness to the family of God. How many of us have been hurt by other Christians? How many of us have experienced the warfare between Christians? This behavior does not display brotherly kindness and it certainly DOES NOT display Godliness!
I pray that we will all begin bearing bountiful fruit in this area of our lives. Be attentive of how you treat fellow believers, be circumspect – constantly watchful – of how other disciples of Christ are treated. Don’t allow for the unjust treatment of the very people you will be spending eternity with. Do something to help!
Brotherly Kindness is the seventh sign of a fruit-bearing life.
Lastly, add love to brotherly kindness. Love is the last detail. Like the cream of the crop, the Pièce de résistance. True, Godly love is impossible fruit to bear without all of the other 7 things…maybe that is why it is added last.
Jesus is LOVE.
God is LOVE.
Let us be LOVE.
Jesus said people will know we are His disciples if we love each other (John 13:35). What does it say to the world about Him and us when we don’t show His love? When we don’t even love our brothers and sisters in Christ?
Let’s show the world His amazing love.
Love is the eighth sign of a fruit-bearing life.
I don’t think we need to excel in the first point before moving on to the next one – if that is the case, I’d still be working on number 1! I see this as each point working together as we grow and develop in our walk. When we have been working on one area for a time, the next sign just begins to develop.
I also don’t think that we need to have it ‘all together’ in order to bear fruit – we don’t have to have all of these things perfected before bearing fruit – like we can anyway!! But trust that as we work through these things and we stay with God in our walks, we will bear abundant fruit.
Let’s not become stagnant in bearing fruit.
I never want to be a barren fruit tree – or worse be a tree that bears bad fruit. I desire to bear abundant, rich, beautiful fruit for God. How about you? Which are will you commit to work on growing and developing?