“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
“which are by Jesus Christ”
“By” means “through” = instrumentality. It is through the instrumentality of Christ that fruit is produced in our lives. The Greek has a definite article before the word through: “the” through = “by that I mean the kind which is through Jesus Christ.” This would mean by the death of Christ on the cross, for example. The death of Christ makes it possible to be delivered from our sins. The death of Christ makes it possible to live the Christian life.
“to the glory and praise of God.”
A life that exhibits such traits is to the glory and praise of God. God produced the fruit, so God gets the glory for doing it. If God does the doing, God gets the glory.
God is glorified by the fruitfulness He produces in our lives (John 15:8): “In this is my Father glorified . . . bear much fruit.” There are three kinds of Christians in this passage: those that bear “fruit”, “more fruit,” and “much fruit.” But there is no such thing as no fruit in the Christian. If a person is a believer there is going to be fruit.
The purpose of Christ’s death was to glorify God. His attributes (such as righteousness, justice, mercy, and love) were glorified in His death. As in 2:11 the career of Jesus and His influence on man were ordained only for the glory of the Father (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 3:17).
Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
1 Peter 4:11: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.”
If God does the doing in our lives, He gets the glory; if we do the doing, we get the glory.
One of the saddest things in the family of God is a case of arrested spiritual development. We reach a spiritual plateau and there we remain. We need to realize that something is stunting our growth. We need our spiritual vitamins. Paul prayed for the Philippian church for three things. What kind of grade would you get on these three items? Each one would count 1/3. If you have all three, you get a 100%!
How would you make out with love for the past year? If your mate would grade you, what would you get?
How would you do on discernment? Did you live your life with a sense of priority?
How did you do with glorifying God by righteousness? Did you live before Him for His exclusive use?
If you got a good grade, you are glorifying God in your life.