4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (ESV)
How did you begin to bear fruit? It was when you came to Jesus and cast yourself on His great atonement and rested on His finished righteousness. What fruit you had then!
Do you remember those early days? Then the vine flourished, the tender grape appeared, the pomegranates budded, and the beds of spices produced their fragrance. Have you declined since then?
If you have, we charge you to remember that time of love, and repent, and do your first works. Commit yourself fully to the activities that you have proved to draw you closest to Christ, because it is from Him that all your fruits proceed.
Any holy activity that will bring you to Him will help you bear fruit. The sun is, no doubt, a great worker in fruit-creating among the trees of the orchard: And Jesus is even more so among the trees of His garden of grace.
When have you been the most fruitless? Has it not been when you have lived farthest from the Lord Jesus Christ, when you have slackened in prayer, when you have departed from the simplicity of your faith, when your graces have engrossed your attention instead of your Lord, when you have said, “My mountain stands firm, I will never be moved” and you have forgotten where your strength lies-has not it been then that your fruit has ceased?
Some of us have been taught that we have nothing apart from Christ by terrible humiliation of heart before the Lord; and when we have seen the utter emptiness and death of all earthly power, we have cried in anguish, “From Him all my fruit must be found, for no fruit can ever come from me.”
We are taught by past experience that the more simply we depend upon the grace of God in Christ and wait upon the Holy Spirit, the more we will bring forth fruit unto God. We must trust Jesus for fruit as well as for life.