A few weeks back I wrote a series of blog posts on the importance of being filled with the Spirit (click here to read) and how to be continually filled with the Spirit (click here to read). I gave five reasons why every Christian must be filled with the Holy Spirit and three keys to being continually filled with the Holy Spirit. So, today I want to highlight the three fruits that every Spirit-filled Christian will enjoy. After giving the primary secret to being continually filled with the Holy Spirit in John 15- abiding in Christ- Jesus highlights three fruits that every Christian will enjoy as a result of abiding in him.
1. Answered Prayer
The first fruit that every Spirit-filled Christian will enjoy in their life is answered prayer. Jesus says in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” Answered prayer is a natural result of Spirit-filled living.
But, answered prayer is the result of abiding in Christ. David Guzik says, “Answered prayer is a privilege of close abiding; we find our prayers in tune with Jesus’ will.” As we abide in him and his words abide in us (allowed to have maximum influence in our lives), our wills and desires are conformed to his will. Therefore, as we ask “what we desire” it will be given to us because we ask according to his will and for his glory (Jn. 15:8). E.M. Bounds says it this way, “Prayer is conscious conformity to God’s will, based upon direct promise of God’s word, and under the application of the Holy Spirit.” As we are conformed to his will we will receive what we desire.
A question to consider: Is your lack of answers to prayer the result of not abiding in the Word of God? Reading it, studying it, and allowing it to have maximum influence in your heart and mind?
2. Fullness of Joy
The second fruit that every Spirit-filled Christian will enjoy is a life full of joy. Jesus says in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus wants us to be joyful Christians. He says he revealed the secret of abiding in him so that his joy might fill us. He wants us to be Christians with “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Guzik states, “The joy of Jesus is not the pleasure of a life of ease; it is the exhileration of being right with God, and consciously walking in His love and care.”
But again, there is a condition to enjoying fullness of joy in Christ. Essentially, it is the condition of abiding in Christ. However, Christ states it more specifically- “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love… This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:10, 12). Jesus goes on to characterize this love as a selfless love- “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Guzik cites this excellent quote:”No one is more miserable than the Christian who for a time hedges in his obedience. He does not love sin enough to enjoy its pleasures, and does not love Christ enough to relish holiness. He perceives that his rebellion is iniquitous, but obedience seems distasteful. He does not feel at home any longer in the world, but his memory of his past associations and the tantalizing lyrics of his old music prevent him from singing with the saints. He is a man most to be pitied; and he cannot forever remain ambivalent.” (Carson) Our joy and satisfaction in Christ will be directly proportionate to our love for God and man.
A question to consider: Have you forfeited the experience of fullness of joy in Christ by hedging in your fullness of love for God and man?
3. Friendship With Christ
Finally, the Spirit-filled Christian will enjoy the fruit of a friendship with Christ. Jesus says, “No longer do I call you servants… but I have called you friends” (Jn. 15:15). The Christian who abides in Christ is initiated into a deep fellowship with Christ. In that deep and intimate relationship he is given the astounding privilege of insight into the will of God (Jn. 15:15).
As with the other two fruits, friendship with Christ has a contingency- “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (Jn. 15:14). In other words, intimacy with God is contingent upon careful obedience to all that he has commanded.
A question to consider: Do you lack intimacy with God because you are not careful to obey his commandments?
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All Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.