Works and Fruitfulness

A lot of times people confuse what a minister means by fruitfulness.  They equate it with good deeds and earning something from God.

Psalms 51:16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Something about rulers makes us feel righteous.  Because we can say look at what I have done.  Sinfulness always seeks self and elevation is faster when you push the rest of the world down. Even the act of denying our pride is prideful. Our own humility in the effort of modesty stinks of boasting.  As we deny our own self righteousness we dig the hole deeper.  Often when ministers speak of Christian behavior or Christians acting like Christians, people tend to take it over board.  They become the moral police and begin the bible beating.  Love is thrown out of the window as people begin to look down their nose.  Standards of what a Christians take on a whole new meaning as we search for the fastest and easiest way to obtain it all.  We do so as if we are in the boy scouts earing patches.   We have all been this person, the person who only reads to the Old Testament in order to either tell people that they are not Christian because they are breaking laws.  Or read only to build themselves up as they go through the check list like the rich young ruler.  I know because I have been this person, sitting in the pews saying to myself that the pastor is not talking to me.  We always think that the Holy Spirit is not talking to us when it comes to self righteousness.  We never say amen when the truth of God is hitting us square in the chest.  We say amen when we think  the ministers are talking about someone else.  We would rather hold everyone to the ten commandments or the 610 plus Mosaic Laws than to follow the two greatest commandments  Jesus Christ gave .

Mark 12:28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c] There is no commandment greater than these.”

Believe it or not, the reason is that its easier to keep the 610 plus Laws of Moses than the two Christ gave.  We think more is better to the point that we take the things mentioned as evidences of faith or fruits of the spirit and turn them into “laws” of “rules”.   What’s sad is that we confuse what the ministers mean, they are talking about being fruitful or fruit bearing believers.  Looking at your fruit is not judging, like we love to call it.  Would it be wrong to call a tree an apple tree if it has apples on it?  It always seems so natural to establish codes of ethics to govern because we demand order. These codes serve as milestones or markers in our growth.  Once we have reached the mountain, we say “and you to can be like me”.  We say as long as you achieve these goals and act like this you are saved.   We then run off to write books, packages our steps to abundant living.  We establish courses to teach you how to tap into the power of God by following our steps.  Well meaning ministers tell us to bare fruit and we take it as judgement or “add more rules”.   We build up a religion that no longer looks like Christianity but more like others.  It reminds me of Peter‘s response on the mountain when he witnessed Christ’s transfiguration. there he saw moses and Elijah; Peter wanted to build three altars God said no…

Luke 9:28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,[a] which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

We constantly add to the finished work of Christ and tell God that its not enough.  We think washing, eating certain foods, dressing one way, praying in a certain way, etc means something to God. All of those thing are done for personel satisifaction, all of the religious rites we do to be righteous while our hearts stay filthy are just guilt valves .

Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[a] 4 Have you experienced[b] so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[c]

7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[d] 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

To depend on what you do to save you, to depend on yourself walking a tightrope of purity or “goodness” only show one thing and its not righteousness.  It only shows our lack of understanding of what the Gospel is, what is salvation and why Jesus Christ lived, died and now lives again.  To think our deeds could even come close to pleasing God shows our lack of understanding of God’s holiness and His feelings towards sin.

Isaiah 29:13-14

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote; therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed”.

 

 

Isaiah 64:5-7

 

5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry.
How then can we be saved? 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 7 No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to[a] our sins.

 

Psalm 53:2-4

 

2 God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. 

 

4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?

 

They devour my people as though eating bread;

 

they never call on God.




Anything our hands touch without Christ and His work on the cross is defiled and useless to God. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). All the “good works” we could do in a lifetime could not save us. But once we are saved, we will be known for our good works.   We can’t save ourselves, we are helpless without Christ.  Our fruitfulness is not so that we can boast but to spread the Gospel for the glory of God (John 15:1-8).  All that I say is in the word of God and it over flows with truth.  Not only did Christ chose us, He also died in order to make us acceptable to God the Father (John 15:16, Romans 15:7-9, Romans 5:6-11, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).   This is why Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God, because without faith in Christ for our salvation our deeds of works to earn salvation is useless.  We do not accept Christ like He is waiting on a sinful creature to come to their senses.  Christ is a missionary who have come into to world to save a people God has called to Himself.  If we didn’t perform some righteous work of becoming saved, we can neither earn it or maintain it not to mention live it without the work of God in us and through us.

The rules we follow, the law people try to live by was to point us to Christ (Hebrews 10:1).  The simple fact that the law goes deeper than a outward expression should show the hopelessness of living up to its standards.  The arrival of Christ shows the love, mercy and grace of God.   Fruitfulness shows our connection and our intimate relationship with Christ.  We work because He loved us first.

When people talk about being a Christian a lot of times they list the things they do or don’t do.  This is their proof of being saved.  But any time you focus so much on doing things in such away to prove salvation or earn salvation you wear yourself thin. Plus by doing so, it hardly ever come across as genuine.   I remember once telling someone that we tend to take on being a Christian all at once in an attempt to be righteous.  Holiness is a process done by Christ and requires daily sacrifice.

Galatians 3:23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

Titus 3

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

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One Response to “Works and Fruitfulness”
  1. Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this website wants much more consideration. I’ll in all probability be again to read way more, thanks for that info.

    Like

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