Matthew 7:15-20 15Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. 16You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. 18A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. 20Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits
I have an orange tree in my front yard. If I walk outside, there is absolutely no way I am going to find an apple on that tree. It’s impossible, because an orange tree can only produce oranges. It’s the same way with you and me. Who we are on the inside is going to be evident by the fruit of our actions. We see from this passage that a good, healthy tree cannot have bad fruit on it and vice versa. We know from Galatians 5:22-23 that 22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. Notice it doesn’t say fruits plural, but fruit singular. All of these attributes together make up the fruit of the Spirit. At times we may want to pick and choose. “Today I am going to operate in the fruit of joy, and peace, but not patience.” Or, “my love walk isn’t so great, but I have kindness and goodness figured out.” My husband says he will learn the fruit of patience when he is 80. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way! Unless we have all of these in operation in our lives, we are not walking in the Spirit. If we are not walking in the Spirit, we are walking in the flesh. Galatians 5:19-21 shows us the fruits of walking in the flesh – 19Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 20Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 21Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Do any of these strike a chord in you?
What kind of fruit is evident in your life- That of the Spirit, or of the flesh? It’s important to check our hearts to make sure what’s coming out of us is healthy and excellent. Today’s passage says, Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. (v19) Remember that it’s never too late to make the needed adjustments to make sure that our fruit is worthy of admiration.