Majority of Christians believe that when they hear the phrase, bear good fruits, they believe that the fruits are actions that people produce. The world’s understanding of producing good fruits is; to live a good life with good deeds. Other individuals who believe that fruits are actions taken; believes that those good fruits must be thriving to enter into Heaven. This is known as fruit inspection, which an individual inspected people’s actions and based their actions on whether they are saved or not. That is an example of their definition of, “they shall know them by their fruits.” The big question here is; what do Scriptures say about fruits and is there more than meets the eye?
To understand in-context what Jesus meant when He said, “By their fruits, you shall know them,” we shall dive deeper in Scriptures and let Scriptures interprets Scriptures to gain better insights of the true meaning of the fruits and what they are. Let’s take a look in Matthew 7:17:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing [physically, in regular clothing], but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know [understand] them by their fruits [understanding or doctrines]. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 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. – KJV Matthew 7:15-19, emphasis in brackets added
In the above verse, Jesus told the multitude to be on guard and aware of people in sheep’s clothing, because what messages they bring, can be bad fruits. Scriptures tell us that fruits are indeed, understanding that people have about the Word of God. The seed always refers to God’s Word. The fruits are the person’s understanding of God’s Word. It grows spiritually after the seed has been planted in the soul [spiritual part of a person]. It means that over a period of time, the believer grows in the milk to the meat of the Word; allowing the fruits to grow spiritually. Let’s take another look at a verse that confirms that Jesus’ was speaking of fruits as in their understanding of the Word of God. Let’s take a look in 2 Peter 2:1:
But there were false prophets also among [mixed in with believers] the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [secretly] shall bring in damnable heresies [false gospels and or doctrines], even denying the Lord [Jesus Christ] that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. – KJV – 2 Peter 2:1, emphasis in brackets added
Peter was speaking to his fellow saved brethren that many false prophets and teachers will try their best to bring in damnable heresies to create a divide in the church. Another reason is, the false prophets and teachers have wrestled Scriptures to their own destruction based on their carnal understanding of the Gospel. The damnable heresies are the bad fruits that false teachers and prophets bring to sicken the masses and cause confusion. To be straight to the point, God is not the author of confusion [1 Cor. 14:33]. Let’s see how the fruit comes to fruition. Please look at the following diagram below to understand the growth of the fruit:
The diagram above illustrates the process of how fruit grows on a spiritual level and compared side to side with physical growth of fruits. Again, the fruits are a person’s understanding of the Word of God. Good fruit is doctrinally accurate understanding that matches up with God’s Word (spiritual discernment). This is done through the process of prayer and Bible study through the lenses of the Holy Ghost and humility; letting Scriptures interpret Scriptures In Context. According to 1 Corinthians 2:14:
But the natural [carnal minded] man receiveth not the things [doctrines or understanding] of the Spirit of God: for they [doctrines] are foolishness unto him [human]: neither can he know [understand] them, because they are spiritually discerned [recognized].- KJV – 1 Corinthians 2:14, emphasis in brackets added
Several passages describes the seed as the Word of God. Take, for example, the seed is the Jesus Christ because He is the Word of God, which is describes in John 1:1:
IN the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – KJV – John 1:1, emphasis in brackets added
The above passage speaks of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Church Age after the ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven. The fruit is the message brought to others. The Seed is the Word of God that grows in the person, spiritually after the implantation of the Word of God after they have heard or seen the message of the Gospel. Let’s take a look at this last verse in Mark 4:3-9 to understand the seed to fruition concept on a spiritual level:
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away [received but not understand spiritually]. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit [those who understand after receiving the Word but did not take fellowship seriously, but still saved from eternal death]. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred [those who received and understand along with spreading the Gospel to others and bringing souls to Jesus Christ]. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear [spiritual discernment]. – Mark 4:3-9 KJV, emphasis in brackets added
In summary, the fruits are not actions that need to be shown. However, what most people do not understand is; the seed is the Word of God that grows in a person after they have received the Word, spiritually, to produce an understanding of God’s Word in their hearts. To produce good fruits or good understanding in-context with Scriptures, he or she should pray to God for discernment and guidance. Also, to read God’s Word in-context, letting Scriptures-interpret-Scriptures instead of using their own carnal understanding against the Spiritual Nature of God’s Word. This is all part of the fellowship and is separate from salvation, to freely receive the gift of eternal life through receiving and believing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you have questions or want to chat, let me know in the contacts section of my blog or leave a comment below. 🙂