Part 2 – Fruit of Death Or Fruit of Life
In these few verses from Romans 7 (verses four, five, and six) Paul emphasizes that a life apart from Christ – the ‘normal’ life of spiritual death that all people are born into – is characterized by the ‘production’ of ‘bad fruit’. It’s not that fallen mankind is as evil as they could be (only the devil is utterly depraved), but there is nothing within man that causes him to desire or even enables him to do anything of ultimate God-glorifying good that pleases the perfect and holy Lord God. Humans can do good ‘human’ things or works, but never can produce ‘good’ fruit for God’s glory.
But when one comes to faith in Christ, now with the Spirit of Christ living within them (and the old sinful nature being crucified), Christians are enabled to not only worship, serve, and love the Lord God (which are in themselves ‘good fruit’) but there is now a desire to bear good fruit through a righteous life. No believer produces nothing but good fruit – we all still fall short – but one of the grand pieces of evidence that one has truly been transformed by God’s grace is that one will humbly, yet joyfully grow in Christlikeness and exhibit the production of good fruit – fruit that will last. This growth or fruit will glorify the Lord God, advance the kingdom of God, cause the Lord to smile, and obviously help us mature into Christlikeness.