“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
Over the last month, we’ve been looking at Paul’s prayer to the saints in Philippi. As we have, I hope you can agree that it’s been so good to consider his desires and petitions for God’s people. They comfort and encourage our souls. They inform and help us in our walk. The picture of purity in the saints that looks like an overflowing love in an intimate relationship with Christ, with knowledge, insight, and discernment in every situation is in view. Paul’s prayer was that the people would approve the best things in their thoughts, words, and actions. His prayer was that the saints would have pure motives and wouldn’t cause others to stumble.
What would such sincere and blameless living be undergirded and fueled by? The fruit of righteousness. This fruit of righteousness is the evidence and effect of our sanctification. It’s the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) on display. It’s godly, Christian living springing forth from renewed hearts. Paul’s desire was that God would fill His people with such fruit. His prayer was that they would be a fruitful and useful people to the glory of God.
We are reminded here, Beloved, that God is the sole, divine source of this fruit. He is the one that must fill us and sustain our being full. Remember Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 15:
- John 15:5-8- “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.“
- John 15:16- “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
Brothers and sisters, be encouraged today. Sincere and godly living, our bearing and showing forth good fruit is only possible because we are united to Christ, the true vine, the one who has chosen and appointed us to go and bear such fruit. Christ, by His Spirit, is the one who fills us. He fills and sustains, causing our fruit to remain. How great and wonderful is our Savior! May Paul’s prayer be ours this week. May we desire that God would be at work in us that the fruit of righteousness would be evident in our lives for His glory and praise.