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April 9, 2013

Text: Luke 6:43-45  “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 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.”

Come summertime the telephone would ring and the folk of the small town where we lived would all want one thing. We lived next to the old highway and folk could see into our back yard because it was unfenced. Next to an old abandoned water well at our back door grew a humongous fig tree. Everyone for miles around could see when the figs were ripe, and they asked if they could come pick some, to eat and to make fig preserves. Those figs were luscious and my wife made wonderful fig preserves.  That old tree had a wonderful reputation!

That little anecdote confirms the truthfulness of Jesus words, “…for each tree is known by its own fruit.”  Have you noticed that nobody calls you and wants to come get horse apples off your bois ‘d arc tree? There is quite a difference between the fruit of the bois ‘d arc tree and the peach tree.

Christians are expected to bear fruit to the glory of God. “By this my Father is glorified, that ye bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8) Jesus identifies the saved as “good trees” that bear good fruit. Good fruit grows God’s kingdom and glorifies Him. And it is evident that without good fruit, Christians fail the test,  wither, and are destroyed. So, it is imperative that we produce good fruit. To deliver a good product  a Christian must firmly maintain a union with Jesus. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

In creating the world, God made laws of nature. Each creation of God must abide by these rules for its own kind. “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12) When a person is born again into the kingdom of  God, his nature is to produce after his own kind. Christians produce Christians.

In our text above Jesus speaks of two kinds of people: the “good person” has a heart filled with goodness, the “evil person’s” heart is filled with evil. Thus, according to what God has established, good produces good, evil produces evil. Jesus said, “You will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16a)

We will bear fruit in this world. Jesus will judge its quality.

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