so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1:10-11
In the previous verse, we discussed love and how knowledge and discernment are partners with Christ-like love. The greeting prayer is concluded here in verses 10-11, and the words, “so that you” are key. Paul was praying and teaching the Philippians that the more they became like Jesus, the more knowledge and discernment would be available. The wise and joyful obedience to Jesus would then give the believer a pursuit of excellence. To be found pure and blameless, we are not perfect nor will we be perfect. It is the “becoming” more like Christ, that forward progress of our relationship with Jesus, that will find us pure and blameless. The fruit of righteousness that Paul mentions here is the same word in John 15:4.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
The fruit is what exactly? Your spiritual growth, your proof of relationship with Jesus, your harvest of relationships and impact, and your earthly reward. The fruit is not our own doing and here we can meditate on the purpose of the fruit of our journey with Jesus.
Fruit is to be enjoyed by God
Paul specifies that the fruit of righteousness is “to the glory and praise of God.” God finds our journey with Jesus an act of worship, a picture of praise and glory. Music is great, but music begins and ends at some point. The reckless pursuit of Jesus is something that never ends and biblically is the most enduring act of worship. God enjoys our growth, our victories, our very lives.
Fruit is to be enjoyed by You
You cannot bear this fruit on your own, but only through Jesus, and this fruit is not only an act worship to God, but it is also fuel and life to the believer. Much like the physical fruit we can harvest and eat, when we see and realize what God has done in and through our lives, we are refreshed. When we are down and feeling like we are not good enough, God will reveal fruit we could not see before. You are physically exhausted from a long day and then God serves you a fresh bowl of fruit and you are energized and ready to push forward.
Fruit is to be enjoyed by others
This is probably the most difficult development of growth. It requires you to take someone with you on a journey, to open your heart and create community. Paul prayed these things for the Philippian church so they would spread the gospel. The purpose of your fruit is also for others to partake and begin to walk with Jesus. Your newfound fruit of kindness and self-control may produce the same or more in others and this is an incredible phase of fruit-bearing in our Christian walk.
May your walk with Jesus bear so much fruit!