Trees and Fruit;Fruit and Trees

May 14, 2008

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.” Matthew 12:33

When one observes an orange, either newly or ripely, sprouting from a tree, it must be concluded that it is an orange tree. When one observes an apple, either newly or ripely, sprouting from a tree, it must be concluded that it is an apple tree. Grape vines produce grapes and nothing else. Fig trees produce figs and nothing else. Orange trees do not produce apples and apple trees do not produce oranges. Simply by the visualization of the fruit, regardless of how large or small, one is able to conclude the type of tree, bush or vine.

Jesus powerfully draws out, in simple context, the spiritual application of compare and contrast. While one does not know the depths of the soul as does Christ, we can visually see and hear the types of “fruit” that another person produces. As a matter of fact, Jesus speaks volumes by saying,
Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. ” Matthew 12:34-35

Are you a Christian? Do you claim to be changed by the Grace of God in Jesus Christ? If so, what are your desires? What do you spend most of your time doing? What do you think about during that time? Although “none do good,” in the eyes of God because of our fallen nature, regeneration will kindle the fire to obey the law of God and find the totality of our affections set upon the way our Savior did things.

In what type of language do you joke or jest? Figuratively, the type of language we use shows the type of “tree” we are by producing the necessary fruit to carry out the actions the words are producing. If I am explaining a coarse joke or responding to a comment full of jest, I am not producing good fruit, but evil fruit, revealing the abundance of my heart. Gossip, slander and the like are simply other forms of showing the abundance or predominance of the heart, by what the mouth speaks. For Jesus says,
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

The abundance of our hearts produce the words that decide our actions. Likewise, the abundance of the fruit on a particular tree decides the type of tree it is, despite similarities on the branches and leaves, i.e. the difference in true spiritual fruit and religiosity. This abolishes any Antinomian thought of “free grace” without a changed life.

Why are words so important? God has decreed that His Word is what saves a sinners soul. It is the means to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As believers, our interests and participations cannot be divided so that our words affect our actions to the detriment of a soul. Paul speaks,
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for the necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:29-30
May your soul contemplate the words in which you speak, to the edification of believers so that they may walk in Grace and for the salvation of a soul that has not yet been transformed by Grace through faith. You, born-again believer, are the example our Creator has chosen to use to speak His Word with boldness and the power of the Holy Spirit. May the abundance of your heart reveal the words to the saving of a soul, for the Glory of God in Christ Jesus. I leave with the convicting reality of the words of James,

“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” James 3:7-12

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