The Fruits of Righteousness
Paul wrote to the Philippian brethren about "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:11) Fruits of righteousness are not an optional matter in the life of a Christian. The goal of the Christian life is spiritual maturity so that fruit can be produced. "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth." (Ephesians 5:9) James said, "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:18) Our fruit bearing must be through Jesus Christ. Our works, attitudes and actions must have as their end the desire to bring glory and praise to God. God’s desire is to develop us and shape our character into His image. Our role in our spiritual journey is that we must actively submit to God.
To bear the fruits of righteousness our love must abound yet more and more. "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment." (Philippians 1:9) Only the person growing in the image of God has the ability to love more and more. We are to love knowledge based on the truth of God and we are to love others. I am to love God and the things of God.
To bear the fruits of righteousness we must approve things that are excellent. "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ." (Philippians 1:10) We must examine everything by the scriptures to see if it is genuine and worthy of acceptance. We must judge between good and evil, right and wrong, what is excellent and what is of little value. When something is about to enter our life we must ask, “Can I take this into my life and maintain a lifestyle founded upon Jesus Christ.”
To bear the fruits of righteousness we must be sincere. "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ." (Philippians 1:10) Those who are sincere will be found pure when God examines their life. We can blind ourselves and fool others; but we cannot fool God. My goal should be to sincerely do God's will so that when I am examined I will be found pure in the light of His word. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, "They eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is completely His."
By the unbelievable mercy of God you can break free from the darkness of your past and you can be something special to God. Deep within God's children is a desire to please Him. That desire to please God is nurtured by a focus on what really matters. To become a Christian hear the word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) After you become a Christian use your life to bear the fruits of righteousness.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA