just read gospel of john chapter 15, verse 8. it says when you bear much fruit then you are my disciples. i was wondering what is meant by "fruit"? i know the evangelicals think it means that we must bring many to making a decision for Jesus. i was wondering if it could mean other things in your opinion. i realize that the fruit of the Holy Spirit are fruit, but can we bear fruit of the Holy Spirit. i thought it was the Spirit in us that did that. not coming from us, but a work done through us, as we are willing vessels in him.
"Fruit" really means doing what Jesus said. We can see this clearly in Matthew 7 where it says "You shall know them" meaning false teachers "by their fruit." And he goes on to talk about good and bad fruit. The passage ends with two warnings of judgment-- one against false teachers who were "lawless", meaning disobedient and another warning about hearing and doing what Jesus says.
In John it's the same. Do the teachers who say that "fruit" is getting converts also think that people who don't make converts get burned in hell?
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
It's saying that all who live in Jesus has "fruit". If you don't have "fruit" you don't live in Jesus. And then you are separated from Jesus and get "burned"-- punished. All that for not having converts? I don't think so.
As far as the Holy Spirit "fruit" goes, love is borne is us as a result of having the Spirit. If a person doesn't partner with the Holy Spirit in having love-- in refusing the Spirit's influence to love and gentleness-- then the Spirit doesn't hang around. We see this in Romans 8--
"and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him."
Also in Galatians 5--
"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
The fruit of the Spirit isn't just something that happens to us, although we might be surpized at the changes that occur when we begin living in the Spirit. Love is something that the Spirit gives us the ability to do and we, in agreement to be followers of Jesus, partner with the Spirit to act that way.