EXPOSITION ON THE LCN WORKING THEME: “CALLED BY CHRIST TO BEAR FRUIT: GROWING IN HUMBLE SERVICE” (ROMANS 7:4-7)

Why are so many Christians stagnant in their faith? Why do we often live as though the gospel stops at the moment of conversion? The good news of Jesus Christ does not stop the moment we are saved. In fact, salvation is only the beginning of God’s work in our lives. We often view salvation as the ending points but it is really the beginning point. The gospel of Jesus does not only justify us; it does more – it sanctifies us. When we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation, an incredible work begins to happen in us: we begin to bear fruit.

When we are firmly planted in the gospel and committed to growing in Christ, He produces in us the fruits of the Spirit, the marks of a true Christian. In bearing fruit, we can see ourselves walking through the avenue of Christian Life where biblical, intentional, and practical fruit bearing point our hearts to the gracious God who called us, justifies us, and is now sanctifying us by the work of the His Holy Spirit.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT IS…

Everything that happens in the Lutheran Church of Nigeria today seeks to accomplish that mission. We believe that this is the very mission that was given by Christ when He called His disciples to go into the world and make disciples of all nations and to teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matt.28:19-20). 

Recently, The LCN has made deliberate attempts in Christian outreach – new Church planting, establishing schools, expanding its interest in healthcare of people and encouraging transformational living in all strata of our environments. Jesus calls us to be fruitful in whatever service He has called us to.

Remember that He told the disciples,

“I chose you, and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit…” (Jn.15:16).

So, once in a while, it is vital to check our services by looking at our mission statement and at the fruit being produced. This fruit can come in all different shapes and sizes, but it is always aimed at making new disciples and equipping them to be more fruitful.

How do we know what the Fruit is like?

We can see at least three different ways that God produces fruits in service:

  • In the spiritual growth of the disciples who are serving. St. Paul expressed a desire for the Galatians to grow in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Christians, likewise can bear fruits by growing spiritually.
  • In the Christians involvement in good works. The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness which always results in good works. (Phil.1:9)

In Titus 3:14, he encouraged Titus to pastor the Churches in Crete to be faithful to do good works so that they would not be unfruitful. When we do good works for our fellow believers and for our community, we bear fruit. 

  • In the making of new disciples. The author of Romans expressed that his purpose for traveling to Rome was to bear fruit in making new disciples among the Gentiles. (Rom. 1:13). Therefore, when we are trying to evaluate our service, we should honestly ask ourselves:
  • Is God growing me spiritually?
  • Am I growing in my diligence to do good works?
  • Am I seeing new disciples being made? 

The answer to these questions can help us to determine how fruitful we are at accomplishing the mission that Christ set out for us. Jesus Christ is responsible for any growth in faith and service (1 Cor. 3:6-9)

Fruit bearing characterizes the growth in life of a Christian as steward. When we stay firmly connected to Jesus, we are told that we will bear much fruit. Christ has given us the task of ministering to the needs of others and spreading the gospel. As we stay connected to Him through His word and Sacraments, we discover God’s perfect will for us, and we are empowered to please Him by bearing fruit (Col.1:9-10). God has created us to bear fruit (Eph.2:10), but only through Christ is it possible for us to do so.

Since we live by the spirit, St. Paul exhorts us: “Let us keep in step with the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Gal.5:25-26). As children of God, we have this fruit because His Spirit lives in us, not as a result of our own efforts. We do cease to bear fruit when we give in to our sinful natures. We are to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness. (Eph. 5:11), but are to live as Children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” 

Go and bear fruits in humble service!

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