Layer 4–Fruit

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (Mt 12:33)

God intends for our lives to “bear fruit.” His grace in saving us leads, inevitably, to his grace in transforming us. And that transformation will be evident—tangible—in the fruit hanging from the limbs of our lives.

Although the Bible speaks of several kinds of fruit in the lives of believers—fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), fruit of repentance (Mt 3:8), fruit of the light (Eph 5:9), fruit of righteousness (Php 1:11)—the qualities named all boil down to characteristics that make Christ-like relationships possible. Transformed living is evidenced best by transformed relationships. The fruit that grows in our lives (because of the Spirit at work transforming us) make Christ-like relationships possible.

Here at North Central, we focus on the following “fruit” because we believe they encourage the sort of redeemed, holy, reconciled relationships we see in the life of Jesus and in God’s purposes for us. Notice that each of these attributes grows out of AGAPE—the commitment to seek the wellbeing of others before ourselves.

  • Reconciled relationships (we are one)
  • Righteous relationships (we are holy)
  • Caring relationships (we are engaged)
  • Confident relationships (we are trusting)
  • Selfless relationships (we are humble)

When we love (AGAPE) as Jesus did, our relationships with God, with ourselves, with those close to us (family, church), with people in the world, and with all created things can be transformed. When these relationships are transformed, then we know for sure God has changed our lives and that we have become “the image of Christ.”

Here at North Central, we are committed to being the kind of church that emphasizes these FRUITS, encourages their development, and provides opportunities for them to ripen in the lives of our people.

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© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.