Am I A Fruitful Or A Fruitless Christian?
By Lois J. Stucky
A question Christians do well to ask themselves from time to time is, "Am I a fruitful or a fruitless Christian?" We are not to be discouraged if God has not gifted us as He has some who minister to multitudes and who see much apparent fruit for their labors. But God has graciously placed each one of us where He would have us be fruit-bearing Christians to His glory and honor. Am I bearing fruit in the little domain where God has placed me?
In a powerful prayer, the Apostle Paul, amid other entreaties, asked the Lord that the church in Philippi might be "filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:11). Bearing fruit begins with living lives that manifest godly, holy, righteous living. For one thing, that life exhibits the blessed fruit of the Holy Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Such a life is possible not by anything we can do of ourselves, but it is through Jesus Christ, "who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works," and "…by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which [God] shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 2:14; 3:5-6). To bring more glory and praise to God, we who have believed and received this blessed salvation feel compelled to ever press on to the measure of fullness for which the apostle prayed. Is it not the heart of a Christian’s purpose in life to bear fruit which would bring glory and praise to God?
Fruit-bearing is not only to be evident in the inner life, but is also seen in our service and our witness to others. Shortly before the cross, the Lord Jesus told His disciples, "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Do nothing! These are dismaying words to "doers" who might be busy in the Lord’s work but are doing it from fleshly motivations and not by the Spirit. Take care to labor not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).
Helpful is the teaching passed on by Peter Joshua in his article on page 3, that man is only the instrument. The blessed Holy Spirit who comes upon those who earnestly seek Him, is the power and the life. Oswald J. Smith, in his article on pages 7 and 8, further expounds the truth that it is, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). What a promise to lay hold of for our personal fruit-bearing!
Revival is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a larger sphere than the personal, although it begins with the personal. When we read of the great things God has done in times of revival, we must ask the question along with Peter Joshua: "Don’t you think a revival like that [which came to Wales] is worth praying for and worth the effort and worth the price?"
As we send forth this issue of Herald of His Coming, we do so with prayer for ourselves as a staff as well as for all readers, that we will ponder well the articles in this issue. Andrew Murray’s article, for example, "Begin At My Sanctuary" should impress us with how solemn is our responsibility before God to live a righteous life! Otherwise, not only can we be stumbling blocks to others, and a reproach upon His name, but we fail to be available as instruments He wants to use. What of the souls we might have been used to carry the blessed message of salvation to before it is eternally too late for them?
Revival must begin with us, fellow Christians! Let us pray one for the other and for the church at large, that we might become the "glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27), Spirit-filled and bearing fruit to the glory and praise of God.