Monday, February 26, 2018

"Root and Fruit"

"Root and Fruit"

     Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ live from salvation rather than for it.  We bear fruit, as the product of being borne by the Root.

        "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,  being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:9-11).

    We receive the root of righteousness as a free gift when believe in the Lord Jesus.  "Therefore being justified (made righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).  Forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in Christ come with the bestowal of God's  grace, along with the indwelling Holy Spirit whose presence in our hearts changes who we are at the deepest level of our spiritual being.  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).  This root of God's presence within us bears fruit, even as the Apostle Paul affirmed, "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  The bounty of such a harvest depends on our Lord first and foremost.  He is the planter and nurturer of our hearts in Christ.  "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus" (I Corinthians 1:30).  However, we also play a role as we "work out" that which God "worketh in" (Philippians 2:12).  By faith and chosen submission to the glory and will of God, we join our Heavenly Father in the bearing of righteous fruit, again, as based on the Righteous Root who dwells within us by the Holy Spirit.  "The root of the righteous yieldeth fruit… Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit" (Proverbs 12:12; John 15:8).

   In its essence, righteousness involves a state of being.  As spiritually united to the Christ who is "made unto us righteousness," God accounts as "accepted in the Beloved" (I Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:6).  He sees us as spiritually joined to His Son, or "hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).  This is truth, this is reality, and this is the eternal bond of a Father and His "holy and beloved" sons and daughter freely given to us through the grace and mercy of our Savior (Colossians 3:12).  Nothing changes or can change the relationship.  The fruits of such relationship, however, wax or wane depending on our response to the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus.  Just as earthly plants must absorb sunlight, rain, and the nurturing care of the gardener in order to bear fruit, so we must "keep yourselves in the love of God" by responding to His devotion to us (Jude 1:21).  Spiritual fruitbearing does not simply happen.  God must do His part, which He executes perfectly.  We must also do ours, which will not be done in perfection, but which can be accomplished in an increasingly adequate response that leads to "the fruit of the Spirit" being manifested in our lives (Galatians 5:22).  This day provides our only assured and at hand opportunity of working together with our Gardener to ensure that the fruits of righteousness hang heavy upon our branches for the glory and praise of God.  Nothing matters more, and in real terms, nothing matters at all if we are not devoted to being who and what we are in Christ, namely…

"A tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season." 
(Psalm 1:3).
"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the mercy of God forever."
(Psalm 52:8)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous.  But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
(Psalm 1:6)


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