“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” — John 15:8
There’s an old song with the words “Do you know, O Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?” These words have stuck with me as a powerful illustration for life. Throughout my years as a pastor, I worked diligently to deliver sermons that help people hear God’s Word, but what about showing myself to be a sermon?
When Jesus taught, “I am the true vine,” he made clear that all the work of fruitbearing was to the glory of God, his Father. As Jesus’ followers, we’re called to bear fruit for God’s glory also. This means showing that we are Jesus’ followers, connected to him by the promised Holy Spirit. And by the power of the Spirit working in us, we will “bear much fruit.” This fruit takes shape in a variety of ways, always motivated by our love for our Lord.
Many of us cannot tell an apple tree from a pear tree, but we can taste the difference in their fruit. The fruit that shows we are Jesus’ disciples also assures us of our relationship with God. The Canons of Dort describe this fruit as faith in Christ, humble love for God, sorrow for sin, hunger and thirst for righteousness, wonder and praise at the depths of God’s mercy, and more (see also 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-23).
Bearing fruit, by the power of the Spirit working in us, we are assured of God’s love and can bring him glory.