Lesson 3 – Good Fruit
In the last two studies, we have reflected on why being fruitful is important. In this study and the next, we look at what we actually mean by fruitfulness. As we began reflecting on this theme, we recognised that there were three main categories of fruitfulness. There is the fruit of good lives, the fruit of good works and the fruit of good news. Although there is an overlap among these categories, they roughly correspond with our three areas of mission – the lives we live in our everyday worlds, the good works we do in and for our community, and the sharing of the good news in various contexts. In this study, we look at some passages about these three kinds of fruitfulness.
Key Bible Passages
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace…For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,… [Colossians 1:3-6, 9-10]
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. [Galatians 5:22-26]
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. [1 Peter 2:12]
- Although this scripture does not mention fruit, note that it refers to ‘good lives’, and then to ‘good deeds’, and we can assume that they would go on to share good news (see 1 Peter 3:15), as the hope is that the ‘pagans’ end up glorifying God when Jesus returns.
Other Bible Texts: James 3:13-18; John 15:8; Matthew 7:16-20
Questions for Reflection and Application
- What do we mean by the fruit of good lives and how does Galatians 5:22-26 help us to understand how to grow in this fruit?
- What are the different ways we can do good works or good deeds? We can do these in our everyday worlds but why might it be important for us to do some good works together as a local church in our community?
- How does the gospel bear fruit across the world? What does this tell us about the gospel?
- How do we make sure we are growing in all these kinds of fruitfulness?
If you did not see them, listen here to the talk in which Trevor Lloyd introduces these three areas of good lives, good works and good news in the context of filling the earth with God’s glory, which really means showing the world how good God is.
You can get a PDF version of this guide here.