Many people who disciple new believers, lay down law after law on their lives. When these disciples fail in being able to abide by these laws which inevitably they would, the ‘teachers’ would condemn them and make them feel unworthy to be a Christian. I wonder if such teachers believe they are perfect now, that they have got it all together and in fact have been so right from the moment they accepted Christ.
Fruit cannot be moulded to the way we like – the appearance, the flavour, the texture etc and then be stuck onto the tree! No, the tree BEARS the fruit for us to enjoy.
Likewise, we don’t mould the fruit or create it in the flesh. Jesus speaks of this concept quite clearly:
I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. …… If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” – John 15:1-8
Bearing fruit in the physical realm never happens overnight. It is a process, a process of not conforming to the ways of the world.. It takes time. It’s the same in our spiritual walk.
We BEAR fruit, namely the fruit OF THE SPIRIT which has 9 attributes to it. The fruit is brought about not by our works but by the Holy Spirit…. however, we yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and thus become the avenue where it is conducive for good fruit to bear. In order be the conducive avenue, we need to develop intimacy with the Heavenly Father, which is now possible through Jesus Christ, through the work of Jesus on earth. In order to get to know Him better, we stand rooted on God’s Word which then helps us discern the voice of God from the voice of the enemy and from the voice of the flesh. As our intimacy with the Father gets deeper, the more we love God with our hearts, minds, soul, strength, allowing Him to flow in us and through us.
The problem with exercising law is that it looks to appearances and not the heart.. The Pharisees knew the law inside out, but they didn’t remain in God. If they had remained in Him, His grace would have poured out through them too… Legalism, do’s and don’ts can’t work! Instead they bring about condemnation and we know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Obviously God sees the heart, the motives and sees the process – no matter how rapid or how small. It could end up even being like the hare and turtle race!!
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for sticking to the letter of the law.
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding onto human traditions…. You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! – Mark 7:8-9
“They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them… Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the Kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, no will you let those enter who are trying to” – Matthew 23:4
Being fearful that if law isn’t implemented that people can set themselves up to failing, to give into temptation, reveals nothing but a lack of faith in God, and an unsteady footing in Him… Intimacy with God strengthens us. Yes, the enemy will come to kill, steal and destroy but when we place our trust in Him, we don’t live in fear. We know the enemy will try but we know that God won’t allow it if we place our trust in Him as we know we have the authority. Don’t undermine the work of Christ, His blood that was shed. Allow that to be your covering and step forth doing what GOD has called you to do, not be under the law and guidelines of man-made traditions and fears!
You also DIED TO THE LAW through the Body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God – Romans 7:4