Dr. Douglas Wingate, Ph.D.
Life Christian University
The fruit of righteousness is really miracle answers to prayer. I want to share with you a part of my personal testimony in order to set up the topic that I would like to address.
The year was 1973. I was 23 years old at the time. A friend who had received Jesus as their Lord challenged me to read the Bible and check out the claims of Jesus from the Gospels. I was a professional rock and roll drummer and living a life that was very far removed from what you would consider a Christian life, so this was a unique challenge.
I remember reading the gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, and thinking throughout each one, how cool it must have been for the disciples of Jesus traveling around with Him and seeing all of the healing miracles that He performed. I didn’t realize till just recently how God was setting me up for a call to the ministry, even back them at the beginning of my relationship with Christ.
While reading the gospel of John, something started to change in my heart. After I read the words of Jesus from John 16:33, Jesus spoke to me personally. I read the words, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Immediately after reading this, Jesus spoke to me and said, “Doug, I am alive, and I am the Lord.” I almost thought that I heard these words audibly, but I am sure that Jesus just spoke to me in my spirit. I got right out of my bed, knelt down and asked Jesus to come into my life and be my Lord. That started me on a journey with the Lord in which I have witnessed literally thousands of miracles.
Looking back now I realized that Jesus was delivering a shockwave of miracles for everyone to see with their own eyes, in order for their faith in Him to be as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 2:5 when he said, “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
I am fully convinced that every man or woman of God who answered the Lord’s call into ministry originally desired to also see miracle healings just like the early church leaders saw in the first century.
Somewhere along the line, some theologian, (I use the term loosely), convinced them that God was no longer in the healing business. He just did that through the early church in order to get it started with a bang.
My question is, what about humans changed since then? Is it that we no longer get sick and no longer need to be healed? A trip to any local hospital will tell you differently. Any trip to a funeral home will answer the same question. Is modern medicine and insurance the best God has to offer to us today? I am writing this now to ministers that are tired of visiting their church members at the hospital and praying for God the guide the hands of the surgeon so that every thing turns out well.
In the teaching that Jesus delivered in John 15 about abiding in the vine, when He says that by doing so, we would bear much fruit. In verse 7 and 8 he says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. Then in verse 16 He says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.”
Here Jesus is plainly telling us that getting a miracle answer to our prayer is “bearing much fruit.” This should be contrasted with the fruit of the Spirit that Paul speaks about in Galatians 5:22,23, which is moral fruit, and the opposite of lusts of the flesh.
Now I certainly believe that every Christian should strive to develop the fruit of the Spirit and walk free from the lusts of the flesh; but there is also the fruit of righteousness that will bring glory to God.
In Philippians 1:11, after praying that their love would abound in knowledge and discernment, and that they would approve of things that are excellent, that they would be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Then the Apostle James, the half brother of Jesus and the pastor of the church at Jerusalem, tells us in his epistle that when someone needs a healing that the should, “call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (Taken from James 5:14-16)
In a nutshell, when Christians pray for one another for healing, and the Lord answers their prayer with His miraculous, healing intervention, it is a good thing that brings glory to God.
Every time Jesus is able to do the miraculous in our lives, from the simplest answer to prayer for guidance, to the healing of a terminal disease where even the doctors have given up hope, Jesus is able to manifest His glory.
For my part, I desire to see these fruits of righteousness on display more and more as a sign of the true revival power of God. Let’s contend together for this so that Jesus can be glorified among us.
Doug Wingate is President of Life Christian University and conducts healing services every Thursday night at 7:00pm at 410 E. Chapman Rd. in Lutz. Services are streamed live on the LCU Facebook page at 7:20pm, and archived at www.divinehealing.faith.