ED­I­TOR’S IN­TRO­DUC­TION

TAST­ING THE FRUIT

Activated - - NEWS - Sa­muel Keat­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Ed­i­tor

A few years ago, Ac­ti­vated pub­lished a spe­cial series on what Paul in his let­ter to the Gala­tians called the fruit of the Spirit.1 One is­sue was pub­lished for each of love, joy, peace, long­suf­fer­ing, kind­ness, good­ness, faith­ful­ness, gen­tle­ness, and self-con­trol.2 It oc­curred to us that we hadn't ex­plored the con­cept of fruit it­self, and this is­sue will be devoted to that topic. The Bi­ble refers to lit­eral fruit—such as olives, grapes, and figs—many times. Along with that, the word fruit is of­ten used metaphor­i­cally to de­scribe a per­son's out­ward ac­tions, re­sults, and ac­com­plish­ments.

Dur­ing His last night of lib­erty with His dis­ci­ples at the Last Sup­per, Je­sus com­mis­sioned them to bring forth fruit: “You didn't choose me, but I chose you and ap­pointed you so that you could go and pro­duce fruit and so that your fruit could last.”3 How does a Chris­tian bear fruit? Es­sen­tially, by grow­ing in the like­ness of Je­sus—in other words, by be­com­ing more like Je­sus—and by spread­ing His king­dom on earth, in word and in deed.

That's quite a chal­lenge, but Je­sus doesn't leave us alone with the task. Je­sus is the vine, we are the branches. A branch draws strength, nour­ish­ment, pro­tec­tion, and en­ergy from the vine, and as His fol­low­ers, when we stay con­nected to Him, spir­i­tual fruit will be­come man­i­fest in our lives, in our char­ac­ter, and in our pri­or­i­ties. As we spend time with Je­sus and get to know Him bet­ter, we grow in His like­ness, His pur­pose be­comes our pur­pose, and we are com­pelled to put our faith into ac­tion.

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