From “Discipleship and Discipline” by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:
“The fifth responsibility of a disciple of Christ is to bear fruit. Jesus said, in John 15: 8, “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” What is this fruit? As noted above, the nature of this fruit to be borne by disciples is found inGalatians 5: 22 – 23, where Paul writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Please refer back to the prior discussion (page 12 or 13) on this subject. What does it mean to “prove”? To prove, or demonstrate, is here closely related to the greek word “pistis” or faith, and connotes complete assurance.
One may suggest that by this prescription we are doomed to fail, because none can achieve it. Indeed, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23); however, in that we are not perfect, yet are being perfected, we disciples of Christ must strive to emulate His example, and desire in our hearts to show forth the fruit of the Spirit, which we cannot accomplish on our own (John 15:5). Yet, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13). And again, in Deuteronomy 30: 6, “Moreover, the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.” And finally, in Jeremiah 24: 7, “And I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.””