Matthew 7:19-21 KJV
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
In these verses, Jesus is warning against false prophets or false teachers, who are ferocious wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing, trying to deceive believers.
Along with watching out for false prophets and teachers by observing their “fruit”, we also are to be on guard and observant of the sin that is around us in order to avoid sinful people and sinful situations.
As discussed in other lessons, we are not to judge the soul of others. Only God can do this.
However, we can and are in fact obligated to judge the actions and words of others, otherwise we are liable to fall into a trap of Satan. In many cases we have no choice but to part ways with some people or places, in order to live in the will of God. This is not judging anyone’s soul, just being aware of the words, deeds and actions of others. In other words, their fruit.
It is a trait of many I suppose to find or see fault in others. However, it is imperative for the Christian to frequently look in the mirror and look at their own lives… to take spiritual inventory. Otherwise, Pharisaic self-righteousness can settle in. Satan is crafty and able to plant this in our minds.
In the scriptures above, Jesus is telling us that we are able to see the “fruit” of others which indicates their spiritual life.
WHAT ABOUT OUR FRUIT?
Let us reverse the wording of Jesus’ words with absolutely NO change in meaning.
We only want to apply His words to us and think of what He says in this manner; “
When we turn this around, it clearly means that everyone around us can see our “fruit” which indicates the condition of our spiritual life.
What should our fruit be revealing to others?
Does our fruit, which is on display, reveal our love and obedience to God?
Does it display the spiritual life that we want displayed?
Paul tells us in Galatians what the “fruit of the spirit” is and what we should exhibit in our daily life.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Galatians 5:19-25 NIV
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
NOW LET'S LOOK IN THE MIRROR
Do others observe the 9 components of the fruit of the Spirit in our life?
Let's look in our spiritual mirror, taking inventory and meditating on the components of the fruit of the Spirit.
Love – Do we display an attitude of love toward all others? Even those who have wronged us?
Joy – Is our life full of joy and happiness, or do we let the cares of the world drag us down? Having and exhibiting joy doesn’t mean we outwardly laugh or smile, but rather having joy is an emotion caused by a sense of well being. Do we communicate through our words and actions, our sense of well-being, through Jesus Christ?
Peace – Do we strive for peace in all circumstances? Are we at peace with all others and in our spiritual life?
Forbearance – Do we exercise patience in all aspects of our life or are we often impatient with others or even ourselves?
Kindness – Do we treat others as we want to be treated?
Goodness – Do we live righteously and holy before God? Do we display our moral values in our language, actions and dress?
Faithfulness – Is our faith and trust steadfast and sure? Are we faithful in our commitment to God?
Gentleness – Are we humble and meek in spirit, or do we at times like to show our power and influence?
Self-Control – Do we control our emotions, actions and words at all times? Do we turn all things over to God or do we let them build up, eventually presenting themselves in non-Christian ways?
Let us make sure at all times, that those we come in contact with are seeing the teachings of Jesus and our love of God.
Remember, “By OUR fruit, they will know US.”