Sermonette for Saturday

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11

When I was a youngster, an expert on apple orchards came to our farm and carried out some grafting work in our orchard. I can’t remember much about the work he did, but in the years that followed, I became very much aware of the success of his efforts. Some natural apple trees were growing in the orchard. Left to themselves, those trees would produce apples that would likely be next to useless, yellow bitter things (we called them pig apples) that even the cows would disdain, although they did make excellent apple jelly. My father’s desire was that these trees should produce good fruit. As a result of the grafting work, we obtained some wonderful apples: Dutchess, MacIntosh, Spartan, Crimson Beauty, several types of Pippins, Wolf River, to name a few. Just as Christians can do, those trees brought forth good fruit because of a good graft.

The Bible says you and I have been grafted into the True Vine, which is Christ. Our text tells us that the fruits of righteousness are by Jesus Christ. It is only through Him and because of Him that you and I are able to produce fruits of righteousness. But what are fruits of righteousness?

We can come up with all sorts of things to list as fruits of righteousness. Honesty, kindness, compassion, and submission to God’s will might head the list. But if we look at all these things, we can see that the fruits of righteousness are simply the result of living righteously. And how to we do that? We live righteously by living as the Lord Jesus would live and as He would have us live. We learn about His life in the Gospels; we learn about His doctrine in the Epistles; and we learn about His person throughout the Bible. If we live according to Him, we must produce fruits of righteousness, just as a grafted tree in our orchard must bring forth good apples.

In our unsaved days, we had no power to produce good fruit for God. But the fruits of righteousness we can produce now that we have been grafted into the Person of His Son. -Jim MacIntosh

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