"Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:11).
Bearing spiritual fruit is the acid test of a true believer.
After facing life-threatening situations, people often say, "I saw my entire life flash before my eyes." That's the picture we get in Philippians 1:11.
"The fruit of righteousness" refers to what is produced in you as you operate in love, pursue excellence, and maintain your integrity. It includes every attitude and action consistent with God's standard of what is right.
"Having been filled" speaks of something that happened in the past with continuing results. At your salvation the seed of righteousness was planted within you. It bears righteous fruit throughout your lifetime. On the day of Christ that fruit will confirm your salvation.
Fruitfulness has always been the acid test of true salvation. Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (John 8:31). When John the Baptist admonished his followers to "bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8), he was speaking of good deeds (vv. 10-14). Paul said we are God's workmanship, "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10) John said that all who profess Christ should live as He lived (cf. 1 John 2:6).
Bearing spiritual fruit is not something you can achieve on your own. It "comes through Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:11). Jesus Himself said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 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" (John 15:4-5).
You were redeemed to glorify God through righteous deeds. Make that your priority today.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Psalm 71 is a psalm of praise to God for His righteousness and faithful provisions. Read it and meditate on its truths. Then praise God for His righteousness toward you.
- Ask for opportunities to demonstrate righteousness to others today.
For Further Study
Read Proverbs 11:1-9, 15:8-9, and 21:2-3, noting the characteristics and benefits of righteousness.