|Volume 18 Number 2 February 2016||
You are probably familiar with various types of fruit. You have probably eaten strawberries, bananas, oranges, apples and blackberries. All of these are very tasty. They can even be pleasant and fun to eat. Imagine if you had a fruit tree or vine that went several years without producing any fruit. Would you want to keep taking care of that tree or vine? You expect it to produce fruit. You would probably cut the tree down or pull up the vine and plant a new one. The tree or vine is useless if it does not produce fruit.
In Colossians 1:5-6, we read, “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.” Notice that Paul says the Colossians produced fruit. They did this from the time they accepted the Gospel. The Gospel is the Truth. It is the Word of God. One must have the truth; one must have the Word of God; one must have the Gospel in order to produce fruit for God. Without the Gospel, fruit cannot be produced. In John 15:16, Jesus said that His disciples are supposed to produce fruit. This fruit was a lasting fruit.
There are two types of spiritual fruit. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told the apostles to go into the world. They were to teach people around the world and baptize them. Then, they were to teach the new Christians to observe all commandments. These new Christians were fruit. Any Christian that does not help or contribute to the conversion of new Christians is not producing fruit.
The other fruit are the fruit of the Spirit. These are given in Galatians 5:22-23. They are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. A Christian must be actively pursuing and gaining these traits. If a Christian does not have these, then that Christian is not producing fruit.
So, it is necessary to produce the different kinds of fruit. God wants to see our fruits. Our fruits are figuratively good tasting and pleasant to God. However, if a Christian is not producing fruit, that Christian is not pleasant to God. God will reject such a professed Christian. Study your Bible. Learn all you can about how to produce spiritual fruit, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
What Manner of
Person Ought We to Be?
Mark N. Posey
The key word in 2 Peter 3:8-14 is “look.” It describes an attitude of excitement and expectation as we wait for the Lord’s return. Since the world and its works will be dissolved and even the very elements will be disintegrated, we fix our hope, not on anything in this world, but on the Lord. Because we neither know the day nor the hour of His return, we must constantly be ready. The Christian who neglects the “blessed hope”(Titus 2:13) will gradually develop a cold heart, a worldly attitude and an unfaithful life. If he is not careful, he may even become like the scoffers and laugh at the promise of Christ’s return. Therefore, this expectant attitude ought to make a difference in our personal conduct (2 Peter 3:11). The word translated “manner” literally means, “out of this world, foreign.” Because we have “escaped the corruption that is in this world” (1:4), we must live differently from the people of this world. To the world, Christians behave like “foreigners.” Why? Because this world is not our home! We are “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:1) headed for a better world, the eternal city of God. We are looking for “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and make is God, ”because, here we have “no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 11:10; 13:14). Therefore, “what manner of person ought we to be?”
We ought to be STEADFAST (1 Corinthians 15:58; 1 Peter 5:8-9). We must maintain steadfastness in the “apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer,” as did the early Christians (Acts 2:42).
We ought to be FORGIVING (Ephesians 4:32; Luke 23:34). The Indians of New England had a means of ending conflict. They would meet with the opponents—dig a deep hole on the battlefield—take two hatchets—put them in the hole and cover them up. Therefore, we have the phrase, “bury the hatchet” (Romans 12:18).
We ought to HUNGER for God’s Word (Matthew 5:6; Psalm 1:1-3; 119). So many are suffering from spiritual deficiency. They are starving for the nourishing Word of God. Their bodies are in shambles. Just as the physical body needs a steady diet of food, the soul needs a steady diet of Bible.
We ought to be EVANGELISTIC (Mark 16:15). In this passage, Jesus gave the apostles a command to obey. This was a command, not a suggestion. One man said, “Interest in missions is not an elective in God’s university of grace. It is something in which every disciple is expected to major.”
We ought to SEEK FIRST God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). In light of the fact that this world and the things associated with it will be dissolved, we should live our lives seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – that is, having holy conduct and godliness.
Christians should be different, not odd. When you are different, you attract.