Have you ever thought of how to define the goal of the Christian life? The goal of Christianity is not that you be gifted, but that you bear fruit. The New Testament calls it "fruit of the Spirit." As the Holy Spirit begins to produce fruit in your life, eventually the final product will be a character that is like that of Jesus Christ. What Jesus wants to produce in you is that the character of your life conforms to his. That's the final work of the Holy Spirit in you and me.

The Holy Spirit is working within you to align the character of Jesus Christ with yours. What will that look like? It will look like nothing less than the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That's what your life will look like; that will describe your character.

When I think about Imagine Church, the last thing I worry about is whether or not we're going to have enough gifted people. We've got more gifted people than any church I know. And I'm grateful for that. But by itself, that's not enough. A church that depends solely on its giftedness will not make it long-term.

What moves a church to Christlikeness is not our gifts. That which makes a church like Jesus Christ is fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Let us be so dependent, both personally and corporately, upon God's Holy Spirit that when people come to Imagine Church, they will feel something: love and acceptance. And through that love and acceptance, they will come to know their Savior Jesus Christ and their heavenly Father, and through our fruit, we may lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

 

In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas

 

Bearing Fruit

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