What is “Fruit”

As I collect my thoughts related to ministry and building the church I am reminded of how much God is focused on the individual. Jesus was not focused on the crowds and often avoided them. Every moment seemed to be a teachable moment as He walked with the disciples and focused the bulk of His time equipping those entrusted to Him to carry the message of hope when He ascended.

Ephesians talks about how we were each adopted as inheritors, (1:5,11,14) created to do “good things” (2:10) all being carefully fitted together with Christ as the cornerstone to build the temple of God (2:19) given specific gifts and the grace to walk in them (4:7) then it all culminates in 4:16 with:

“the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love”

I believe the reason the church is not serving is primarily because of the leadership of the church but that’s a topic for another day. The question today is what is fruit?

The Bible is full of references to fruit. What is it? Certainly we can refer to Galatians 5:22 and the fruit of the Spirit but is that the sum total of the definition?

In the natural fruit is the result of excess nourishment the plant doesn’t need to survive. Fruit contains seed for reproduction, provides nourishment, and tastes good. Apple trees produce apples not dates and grape vines produce grapes not tomatoes.

Minutes ago I did a Google search of blogs related to John 15:5 and overwhelmly fruit was equated with “souls”. Ultimately everything we do in the Kingdom relates to souls impacted for eternity but are we all evangelists? are we all disciplers? are we all called to street witnessing?

Ephesians 4:11 says He gave some to be evangelists. I count 25 different gifts enumerated in the New Testament. If my primary gift is administration my being perfected in that gift will ultimately result in the church growing according to Ephesians 4:16 but not necessarily evangelism directly the way I read it.

We must all be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15)  but what is the fruit I will produce as I walk in the fullness of my calling and gift(s)? It can’t be “what I do” because I can do that in my own strength and John 15:5 says I can do nothing apart from abiding in Him. How does Romans 7:4, John 15:5, Colossians 1:10, and others practically manifest in the life of a believer?

The stated purpose of this blog is “a place to process what I am learning as I choose each day to walk with my Savior”. I don’t have this all worked out this is simply what I am processing with Jesus right now. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Posted by Gary

Gary Trobee is a certified coach and a seasoned leader with over 20 years’ experience mentoring, coaching, and encouraging leaders and their teams.


  • At 2009.07.07 11:13, Marcia Alverson said:

    When I think of fruit, I think of the whole process in which is created. Fruit requires a “parent” tree in which it can safely grow until it is ready to be used as a seed itself. But the reality is there’s so much that must go into a parent tree for it to be ready to bear fruit. It must be well established, watered frequently enough to gain its own nourishment, and must be in an environment that can be protected from disease. Fruit grows quite naturally in these circumstances! And the parent tree was already destined to be a parent; Its just if the environment is cultivated enough for the fruit to be good and healthy.
    Regardless of the calling (whether its 5-fold or other gifts), if we are blooming where God plants us, cultivating the right environment for fruitfulness, we will bear the fruit we’re destined to bear. As you said, an apple tree bears apples! The focus is to thrive in God’s environment so that we bring life just by being who we are to be. Fruit is a mere bi-product of this process. Sometimes we get too eager to focus on being fruit bearing trees… our focus must remain on what keeps US healthy- because the fruit WILL come to a healthy tree.

    • At 2009.07.07 11:17, Gary said:

      Excellent thoughts Marcia,
      Thank you for taking the time. I love what you said about “our focus must remain on what keeps US healthy”.