By: Tim Sader
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
After an extensive look into faith, hope and most importantly love, last week we began a study on the fruit of the Spirit. We studied Galatians 5:22-23 and found out that, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” We defined each of these fruit and we went to the word to see how to apply this fruit in our daily walk with the Lord and outreach to others. Love is the number one fruit because every other fruit operates under it and cannot stand alone without it. Love fulfills the law so love makes all the remaining fruit of the Spirit operate properly. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness are all fruit that are things that we do in our lives that are viewed by others. The fruit that is something we must do completely internally is self-control it is very different than the others because to operate in the other fruit we must be in control of our selves or the enemy will step in and ruin our fruit. If we cannot control ourselves then we are allowing the enemy into our lives to devour us and ruin our fruit. Continuing on with the message, in today’s scripture there are good trees and corrupt trees, the good trees produce good fruit where the corrupt produce corrupt fruit.
Notice the fruit is not good and bad but good and corrupt meaning the tree at one time had good fruit but now has somehow become corrupt. When we produce good fruit we are walking in wisdom but if we lose control and become bitter or selfish we are opening the door to the enemy. When we walk in wisdom from the Lord we will know it by what kind of harvest we produce. If we do what is right and walk in the fruit of the spirit we will sow good seed and harvest good fruit (James 3:13-18). Grapes and figs both grow on a good vine or tree but thorn bushes and thistles produce no fruit. Thorns and thistles are quite undesirable to deal with in terms of vegetation, they cannot produce fruit. In the scriptures referring to trees, we who believe in Christ are the trees good and bad. Non-believers are not the bad trees because their seed has not yet been planted so they cannot produce fruit. As believers we are either good and produce good fruit or we lose control and the enemy corrupts us and we produce bad fruit. If we are a tree and only produce bad fruit we are doing no god and will eventually be cut down and thrown into the fire. When we truly follow Christ our fruit will show people we are following him and we will sow good seed in their lives (Matthew 7:16-20).
In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the parable of the sower and then explains it in later verses. In this parable the seed falls into four kinds of conditions with differing results. The seed is the word and the type of soil the condition of their heart. The seed sown on the path is sown in away the person can’t understand so the enemy easily snatches it away as soon as it enters their heart. The seed that falls in the rocky places is he who receives the message but it never takes root so when troubles arise because of the word he quickly falls away. The one who receives the seed among thorns is the one who hears the message but lets the worries and deceitfulness of wealth choke it out, making it unfruitful. The seed that is planted in good soil is the one who hears and understands what is sown then turns around and sows a crop 100, 60 or 30 times what was sown in him. If we are producing good fruit they will partake of our fruit, we will sow seeds in good soil and they will produce greater result with the good seed they sow.
John 15:1-16 Jesus tells us about the vine and the branches. Jesus is the vine we are connected to and God takes care of the vine so it can produce fruit. To bear fruit we must be connected to the source like a whole vineyard of grapes is all part of one vine we who believe in Christ belong to His vine. So if the word is in us then we can receive what we ask for in the greatness of Gods glory so we can bear more fruit and show we are His disciples. As we get hooked up to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ we are brought back to His love once again. Love is a fruit of the Spirit but it is also the fruit produced on the vine because God showed us love by saving us through his sons sacrifice and His love is the greatest love of all. If we walk in love and produce other good fruit by the Fathers love for us in return we will receive whatever we ask in Christ’s name. Just like there is a natural cycle to how a seed is planted, grows, produces fruit, reproduces with seed and starts again, when love goes full cycle we will be on the giving and receiving end of the process.
We are constantly in a battle between the flesh and the Spirit they fight against each other. The corrupt fruit are sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and others like them. If we are producing fruit like this we need to really seek the Lord for the solution and try to turn away from the sin (Galatians 5:16-21). We know the next two verses list the fruit of the Spirit which are opposite of these sinful acts and are the way we should be acting. If we are practicing self-control and producing Spiritual fruit these things will not easily get a grip on us. When we do wrong the Lord sometimes allows for punishment not to do bad things to us as some think but to show us our wrong so we may become pure again. Discipline may not be fun and we will not enjoy it at the time but once we get to where he wants us to be and produce a good harvest we will see a good result and produce better fruit (Hebrews 12:10-11). Christ died so we are free from the law that kept us bound. His sacrifice made forgiveness possible so when we do mess up we have away back to God no matter what we’ve done and that my friends is Love (Romans 7:4). When we walk in the fruit of the Spirit and spread that fruit we have sown seed in the lives of other and reap their harvest with them (John 4:36).
These past five studies can pretty much be summed up in Colossians 1:5,6. It says, “The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.” Hope is a part of faith, which can do nothing without love. Love is the fulfillment of the law and in it the commandments are followed. Love is the greatest fruit since against the fruit of the Spirit there is no law because love fulfilled it. Love must go full circle to grasp its true power and it is going to be there before the end can come. The gospel is bearing fruit and being heard in more of the world than ever before. The more fruit we produce, sow and reap the more we can be sure of the truth and grace of God.