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A Tree and Its Fruit January 19, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 7:15-23.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus warns His disciples to be wary of their religious leaders, since they are deceptively dangerous – like a ravenous wolf dressed in a sheepskin. Indeed, they promote sinfulness in their teachings, revealing their sinfulness – like a thornbush that naturally produces thorns.

He then asserts that those who merely offer a verbal profession of faith in Him have not been saved; if they had been saved, their deeds would have revealed their genuine faith in Him.

Thoughts: This passage caused me to ponder the following question: how can we tell if we are bearing good fruit? Our attempts to answer this question are hampered by the following realities:

  • only God can answer that question with complete certainty
  • the standard that He applies in assessing the quality of our fruit may not constitute a quantifiable metric.

For example, consider a long-term missionary living among a tribe of unbelievers who passes away without converting even one member of that tribe. Has this missionary necessarily borne less fruit than an evangelist whose sermons cause many to dedicate their lives to Christ? This – admittedly extreme – example leads me to believe that in terms of bearing fruit, a believer must begin by assessing their personal relationship with God. If we sense that we are becoming more like Christ – as revealed by our thoughts, words and deeds – then that could be a sign that we are bearing good fruit. We must also be attuned to any clues that God provides in that regard; for example, He may use other believers to evaluate our fruit.

Comments»

1. Eha - January 19, 2018

“how can we tell if we are bearing good fruit? Our attempts to answer this question are hampered by the following realities:

only God can answer that question with complete certainty”

then why Jesus said “You will recognize them by their fruits” ?

flashbuzzer - January 20, 2018

Thank you for your comment.

I should clarify that Jesus’ comment, “by their fruit you will recognize them,” concerns His primary point regarding false teachers. It’s often relatively easy to identify a false teacher based on the content of their teachings.

My comments that you quoted above concern a tangential point regarding believers and the fruit that we bear.

Eha - January 20, 2018

A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Jesus even teach HOW to recognize, who is who!

2. flashbuzzer - January 21, 2018

It looks like you are quoting from Luke 6.


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