In this post we will be drawing from I John 3:4-9 the conclusion that God wants us to be fruitful. A comparision with John 15 will reveal a fairly strong correlation in the themes of abiding in Christ so that righteousness may be produced in us.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1. The Standard of Fruifulness
Verse four warns us that we transgress the law when we sin. Some would argue, “Hasn’t the law been abolished?” In the words of John Phillips, “The law has been abolished as a system, but it remains the standard of holiness for believers”.
Holiness is the fruit that God desires for us to bear. Knowing that we are incapable of being holy on our own, God sent a perfect Savior into the world to take away our sins. We are liberated from the bondage of sin, set free to bring forth fruits of righteousness that please our Father.
2. The Source of Fruitfulness
Rightousness is given as a way of identifying those who have been made righteous. This righteousness is a result of our abiding (fellowship) in Christ. The phrase “commiteth sin” that is found in these verse refers to an ongoing, habitual practice of sin that is coupled with an unrepentant heart. Fellowship with Christ precludes this practice, allowing Christ the vine-dresser to purge and prune us to make us more fruitful.
On the other hand, those who commit sin in such an habitual, rebellious manner are neither in fellowship nor relationship with Christ.
Righteousness defines those who are in fellowship with Christ. This is not self- or pseudo-righteousness, but is the genuine manifestation of the righteousness of Christ. This righteousness is not produced by the believer, but is seen in the life of that believer as a product of the fellowship with Christ.
By the same token, those who do wickedness (again, an ongoing, habitual, unrepentant practice) are identified with the devil.
3. The Seed of Fruitfulness
A believer is born of God. This is referring to the soul of man that is dead in trespasses and sins before salvation, yet is regenerated by faith and sealed by the Spirit of God. The incorruptible seed of the Word of God is planted within each believer. While the sinful nature of the flesh is still capable of committing sin, the soul is rendered incapable of doing so. This assures us of the eternal life that is found in Jesus.
Fruitfulness can only be produced by faithfulness in our fellowship with Jesus. How does your garden grow?