John 15:8 – 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Should we do good works throughout our lives to prove to ourselves and others (and perhaps even to God) that we belong to Jesus Christ? Wrongly understood, this verse can drive us to legalism. The Bible teaches us that God saves us by grace through faith for good works that God has prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:8-10). What Paul is saying to the Ephesians and what Jesus is saying to us is that God has prepared good works (which is the evidence of our fruit) for the disciples of Jesus to display in their lives. This results in two things: it brings glory to God since it happens by Him being the author and ignitor of this fruit (Gal. 5:22) and it also shows that those who bear that fruit are truly His disciples. Apart from Him we can do nothing. We don’t need to attempt proving this to anyone, God is proving it to you and in you and to the world. When the Holy Spirit bears fruit in our lives it should never be a cause for boasting in anything other than the cross of Jesus Christ; He brought an enemy of God to be called His child and a disciple of Jesus Christ. He is the one who deserves all the glory for the good things He does in us and through us in life. This is our goal and our life’s desire: that He is glorified in our lives by the fruit that He brings about, so proving us to be His disciples.