The Fruits of Righteousness
“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Phil. 1:9-10
I LOVE FRUIT. ALL kinds of fruit. Yet given my low income, I rarely go beyond apples and bananas, and constantly seek the lowest prices on even them. Oh, but to dream of blueberries, strawberries, melons, pears, etc.! The stores are filled with fruit, and I could stuff myself on it along with my other favorite foods in a heartbeat – health cereals, plain yogurt, nuts, and more fruit, yum! But in truth, my life is only just now beginning to bear the greatest fruit of all – the fruit that bears the mark of eternity. And this fruit is as unlimited as the breadth of God’s heaven.
The apostle Paul encourages and prays that the Philippians, and us, strive not only to be genuine and without sin until Christ the Jewish Messiah’s return, but that we be “filled” with the “fruits of righteousness.” Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc., right? Fruit baskets and fruit bowls, right? Oh, if it were only that simple and easy, that we were fruit trees bearing our natural fruit. But we are humans who have borne the sins of the flesh – now being called to bear the fruits of doing what is right. An apple tree bears apples. How can we as sinners learn to bear fruits for the Lord? Paul says: “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, WHICH ARE BY JESUS CHRIST, UNTO THE GLORY AND PRAISE OF GOD [upper case added].” By the love and strength of our Savior Christ, we learn day by day to bear fruits that bring glory to the Lord. No blueberry nor strawberry can possibly compare to producing the fruits of right living. Bear fruit, my friend!