By Rev. Dr. Ulf Ekman
Understand why a Christian should seek to multiply himself in order to fulfi ll his calling in life.
"Blessed” is a word we like. We often say, “I went to a meeting and was so blessed.” Sure, it is wonderful to be blessed at a meeting. God wants to give us many blessings, but what we refer to when we say such things is only our soul’s perception of what God is doing. Blessing is always coupled with fruitfulness; that is what blessing is about. Both men and women can be “expecting.” You can be fruitful all the time.
God wants you to understand this and accept it as your lifestyle in this world.
Let us look at some biblical examples. In Genesis 9:1, God speaks to Noah after the flood. He blesses Noah and his sons and repeats what He told Adam and Eve, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. This is the fundamental command and promise.
In Genesis 17:5, we read, No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. Abraham is our example. Abraham’s faith is an example to us. You have received the blessing of Abraham, and you, too, can be a father of many nations. You do not need to be the last of a dying race. You can be the beginning of a new people. You have been taken out of the world and cut off from it and the curse which prevails there. You have been placed in God’s blessing and are blessed with the blessing of Abraham.
What is the blessing of Abraham? The blessing of Abraham is a blessing of increase, growth, fulfillment and multiplication. Because we have preached so little about this in our churches, there is a certain degree of scepticism in you. You wonder, “Can this really be true?” Yes, it not only can be true; it is true. It does not matter if you have been a Christian for many years and failed in this and that. Now you are in Christ Jesus, and you can start over. The devil tells you that you cannot start over, that you are too old, but you are not. Abraham started at an old age; God changed his name and called him a father of many nations. God told Abraham He would make him very fruitful. He did not only say fruitful, He said very fruitful. In Genesis 28:3-4, God speaks to Jacob, saying, May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may be an assembly of peoples; and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and your descendants with you.
God gave the blessing of Abraham to Jacob and his descendants. Jacob’s son Joseph is a fantastic example. In the midst of all the misfortune that came against him, God was with Joseph and gave him favor and increase. Joseph had two children, which also has a spiritual meaning. Two tribes came into being through Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. The second son he named Ephraim and said, For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction (Gen. 41:52). Ephraim means “fruitfulness.” A biblical study of Ephraim reveals that he is a symbol for the Gentiles. A descendant of Joseph affects the Gentiles. Fruitfulness among the Gentiles means that the Gentiles enter the kingdom of God.
A FRUITFUL VINE
Genesis 49 tells about Jacob’s blessing upon his sons. This is what is said about Joseph:
Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob … The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers (Genesis 49:22-24, 26).
It says, Joseph is a fruitful bough. God is not saying that Joseph has a fruitful bough; He identifies Joseph as a fruitful bough. The words to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph —the men we call the patriarchs, the fathers in the faith—are also words to you and me. Because you are a partaker of the blessing of Abraham, you are a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough near a well. The well is Jesus Christ. Your entire identity as a believer, as a human being, should be this: “I will bear fruit for the Lord; that is the purpose of my existence.”
Sometimes, I ask people what the purpose of Christian life is and I have received many different answers. Some examples are prayer, worship, loving Jesus, but the most important thing in life is glorifying God, and we do that through Jesus Christ. In John 15:8, Jesus says that the Father is glorified when we bear much fruit. This is the purpose of our lives — to glorify God. In heaven, that is the only thing we will do. We will not have any theological debates; we will just praise and worship God.
Jesus says, By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. Being a disciple of Jesus simply means obeying Jesus. The wonderful thing is that the more fruit I bear, the more God is glorified. Little fruit, little glory. Much fruit, much glory. You can bear fruit everywhere, in every area of human life and on all continents of the world. The more, the better. Your Father is glorified when you bear much fruit.
It does not matter where on earth you bear fruit. There are people in Germany, India, South America and northern Siberia, and they are the same everywhere.
The purpose of our existence is to bear fruit and in that way bless our fellow human beings and give maximum glory to God. We do not glorify God by just surviving and sitting in a church or by having the correct doctrine. We glorify God by bearing much fruit and being disciples of Jesus.
Paul writes in Colossians 1:4-6: Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit.
Paul talks of the fruit of peace, the fruit of righteousness and of the fruit of sanctification. The author of Hebrews speaks of the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. Paul is completely focused on fruit. God is extremely result-orientated. He wants the whole earth to be filled with His glory. He wants us to bear fruit so that He can be glorified and honored everywhere.
There is no blessing in saying, “I am a Christian survivor. Nothing extraordinary has happened in my life, but at least I was saved, and I am just happy that I will go to heaven.” Your purpose is not solely to get to heaven; your purpose is that you will be saved and bring many people with you to heaven. You might feel small, but the least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. If this enters your heart, you will see that it is possible. Because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband (Isaiah 54:1). There is a process of increase, an effect of multiplication, which God put in Adam and Eve when He told them to be fruitful and increase. God created you, too, and breathed His breath of life into you. Now you stand here, born again as a new creation in Christ Jesus, and God says the exact same thing to you – “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.”