Summary: Only by being connected fully to the True Vine, Jesus Christ, can we bring forth fruit that is right for a repentant heart.
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Pastor James May
Your Source Determines Your Fruit
7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
You shall know them by their fruits. What a powerful statement that truly is. In all of our dealings with man, this is the guiding principle by which we can judge character and see into the window of the heart, mind and soul of every man. By looking at the fruit that is brought forth from the life of an individual, we can truly see whether they are rooted and grounded in the True Vine, Jesus Christ, or connected to the wrong vine.
In the 15th verse of Matthew chapter 7, Jesus warns us that there will come into our midst, ravenous wolves, hungry and hunting for those who are weak in the faith and susceptible to every wind of doctrine. Whether we survive their attacks, or fall prey to their onslaught will be determined by our ability to recognize their wolf spirit when they come around.
It is a fool hardy Christian who will trust everyone, including every preacher, who comes into the church. It is a wise Christian who will “try the spirits to see whether they are of God or not”.
The kind of spirit that we portray and the fruits that we bear will be totally dependent upon our source. From that source we get our attitudes and disposition.
Jesus said that we getting our behavior from either one of two sources:
8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
So then we come to the crux of the matter. How can we know those among us who are ravening wolves and those who are lambs in God’s pasture?
The answer is very plain and simple. We must become fruit inspectors. We must look at the things that are brought forth from the life of an individual to determine whether they are connected to the True Vine or to the Root of Bitterness, the devil himself.
Understand this, the Scripture says in no uncertain terms that he that is connected to the True Vine will bring forth fruit that shows forth the condition of the repentant heart that loves Jesus because that person has the love of Jesus within and is striving to become more like Jesus everyday.
You won’t have to worry about that one who truly loves Jesus becoming a backbiter, a gossiper, a trouble-maker, or a thorn in the side of the church body. That one who loves Jesus is too busy being about the Father’s business. They are listening to the voice of God; they are following the leading of the Holy Spirit; they don’t have time or the inclination to cause problems for anyone else. They are focused on getting the ministry of the Lord in operation. They are concerned about the church, their community and lost souls. They are consumed with the work that Jesus has called them to do and don’t have time to sit and think of ways to get even with those who hurt them. They don’t have time to plan and scheme on how to have their own way. They don’t have time to think of things to complain about.