To Bear Fruit
“The wages of sin is death.” So Paul writes in Romans 6. Now, in Romans 7:5, Paul writes that sin “bears fruit for death.” Paul’s words here are certainly poetic. They are so poetic, in fact, that I fear we often skim right over them, and we miss the gravity of Paul’s message. What, then, does it mean to “bear fruit for death?”
Eugene Peterson’s translation in The Message is illuminating—and deeply troubling. He writes, “For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths.”
Miscarriages and stillbirths: lives that were cut short much too soon, babies who were never given the chance to grow up and have children of their own. Miscarriages and stillbirths are devastating.
Sin, when given free reign, is also devastating. It produces “fruit for death.” It cuts life off at the quick. When sin is our master, abundant life is not an option.
But sin, however, is not our master, not anymore. For we “have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that we may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.” Free to bear fruit for God, free to bear fruit for the kingdom, free to bear fruit for the well-being of others, free to live an abundant life in Christ Jesus. Christ is indeed Lord, thanks be to God!
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