You will know them by their fruits … every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Mat 7:16a, 17b
The type of fruit that a fruit tree will bear is inevitable; it will only produce the fruit belonging to that type of tree. We have a cherry tree in our garden and every year it is ladened with cherries. When we see the flowers bloom in the spring, we expect that cherries will form later in the year; and so it is! There is a theme that runs through the bible that likens our lives to trees, and shows itself in many of the illustrations used. The two commonly available fruit in Israel were grapes and figs. No sensible person would expect to find these growing on thorn bushes or thistles. The very nature of a vine or a fig tree meant that the fruit they produce are grapes and figs respectively; there is an inevitability to this. So it is that in our lives, the fruit that forms is determined by the sap that runs through us. Before we were believers, we were cut off from the life of Christ and the result of our lives would neither be sweet nor desirable. But when we become Christ’s, His life begins to form in us. The outcome, the fruit, of our lives will be that we are like Him!
There is one caveat to this message, which we find in a sober warning by the Lord in Luke 13. He warns about trees that do not bear fruit. We know that a tree might be a fig or a cherry tree, but it is possible that it produces no fruit. In other words, it is barren. It is of the right type, but there is nothing growing on it. In the parable, after three years of fruitlessness, a fig tree is given a final year, with special treatment to see if it will produce fruit. So it is with us. The Lord expects us to produce fruit, and if we don’t He will ensure we receive special treatment to help us. But if still there is no fruit? In the case of the fig tree, we are led to believe it will be uprooted.
What is forming in your life? Does it give testimony to the life of Christ within? Has it started and is it continuing the produce the fruit the Lord expects? The fruit, or character, of your life is the evidence of what is within! Can the evidence be seen?