The Fruit of the Spirit, Both the Good and the Bad

Updated on November 21, 2018
Annkf profile image

Betty has been studying the Bible for over 15 years. She has been sharing her personal studies since 2007

Natural Fruit and Spiritual Fruit

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Natural to Spiritual

The bible offers many natural examples of spiritual principles.

I've always found this to be incredibly helpful in my personal studies.

The Apostle Paul explained how we grow from the milk of the word to the meat of the word, and from a natural understanding to spiritual comprehension.

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 1 Corinthians 15:46

With our natural understanding, we can easily grasp the things that can be touched, tasted, viewed and heard. Within the scriptures every principle has a natural component. Naturally, we know that before fruit is produced, seeds have to be planted. Jesus explained what the spiritual seed is:

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11

When God's word is planted in our hearts there is a process, just as there is with a natural seed. The planted seed must be watered:

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

There must be sunlight:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

In order to grow strong and healthy, a seed must be fertilized:

Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: Luke 13:7-8

There is also pruning time, which allows a fruit tree to grow and produce more foliage and fruit:

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. John 15:2

And finally, it's time for a harvest:

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35

Every single aspect involved with a spiritual seed is directly tied to Christ Jesus.

Paul explained that one man plants, another waters, but it is God who gives the increase.

From the seeds, to the hearts that they are planted in, Jesus is in all aspects. Good seeds cannot be planted without Him. The good seed is literally God's word, and God's word is sharper than a two-edged sword. His word is so powerful, that it divides the natural from the spiritual within every believer who seeks Him with all of his or her, heart, mind and strength.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Rotten Fruit

Bad Fruit
Bad Fruit | Source

Rotten Fruit

As with everything in this world the scriptures offer alternative examples so that we can examine ourselves and see if there are any bad seeds growing within our hearts.

There are good seeds, and there are bad seeds. Weeds produce seeds, and every gardener knows that weeds can easily choke out the good seeds he or she planted.

There are also seeds that produce fruits that can actually kill a person if they are consumed.

In the book of Jeremiah, God used an example of bad seeds planted, and the fruit that was produced as a result. God showed Jeremiah two bowls. One was filled with fresh healthy fruit, the other was filled with rotten fruit.

Jeremiah responded:

Jeremiah 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. Jeremiah 24:3

We know that God looks on the heart of each human being. He sees the types of fruits produced by the seeds that have been planted there.

The prophet Isaiah had a vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem, and he prophesied and said that they were a "seed of evildoers:"

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Isaiah 1:4

By this, we know that there is good spiritual seed, and there is bad spiritual seed.

We should always be like the Bereans and search out every matter, because we can know the difference between good and bad seed by knowing God's word, and being in a relationship with Jesus, as it is HE who gives the increase.

The Fruit of the Spirit

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The Attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit

Paul wrote this about the Fruit of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22 -23

All of these attributes are not only present in a heart that is filled with God's word, (the good seeds.) But as we live, move and breath, we can clearly see the fruit in others, just as Jesus said. When others who are in Christ speak, we hear and see Jesus in the words spoken.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

We know this is true because we spend time in God's word seeking, knocking and asking Him to open our eyes to His truth. As He reveals His truth to us, there is nothing on this earth that can take away our understanding from above. When we hear others speak falsely, we just know it. There is no question about it.

We often confuse honesty that offends others with being bad seeds. Remember that each time Jesus spoke the truth many were offended, and they will also be offended by us.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:18

The truth is of the utmost importance. There are those who will not speak the truth out of fear of offending others. Even with the understanding that others will be offended when we speak God's truth, some do not realize that telling others the truth is actually loving them as ourselves. Knowing the end result of our lives on this earth, I most certainly would rather be told the truth than to go on in something that will lead to destruction.

We should be listening for the truth in the words of others, not listening to those who take offense at the truth. In Christ Jesus, we know the truth when we hear it. Jesus said that in the last days we would see what we are literally seeing today.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:10-12

The further a nation moves away from God's word, the more we see lawlessness abound. In the above passage, the word "iniquity," holds the same meaning as "lawlessness." Some versions use the term, "lawlessness," rather than "iniquity."

Sheep in Wolves Clothing

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Wolves Disguised as Sheep

For all of those who are paying attention to Emergent Churches, it's not difficult to see that there are indeed many false prophets and teachers. These types of churches are mixing the world into their teachings, and oil does not mix with water.

This is not confined to the church. We also see it in the world, and even in politics. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as the entire world is the field in which the seeds are planted.

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; Matthew 13:38

We've seen this happen repeatedly over the past few years, from Nancy Pelosi, using Matthew 25, in regards to Christians "emulating Christ," when it comes to MS-13, to John Kasich, who attempted to use Biblical principles to push for open borders. Meanwhile, Kasich is currently threatening to veto a bill banning abortions on babies with a heartbeat.

Both of these are examples of false teachings. Every believer should know better.

God calls us to wisdom, and every principle within the scriptures offers a full picture. That is why the bible says:

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

The only true wisdom comes from above. Abiding in Christ as we seek His will and His truth in every matter is so very important.

Pay attention, and don't fall for the "wolves in sheep's clothing."

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    • NatureBoy0 profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      2 weeks ago from Washington, DC USA

      Sister Betty,

      No, I am not anti-Paul because I know Paul was chosen to do what he did - sow seeds of deception so we would know "if we're continuing in Christ's words, as proof we are Christ's disciples indeed, and know the truth that makes us free" as I am - there is the need for us to determine Christ's words from those sown by the deceiver by comparing them and thereby we know if we are Chrst's deciples or the deceiver's. That is also why Isaiah 45:7, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things" is written, God's letting us know he does all things and leaves it is up to us to chose between "salvation from the world's destruction and everlasting life" by entering Armageddon rather than remaining in "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" to mingle our blood with the "red sea" of blood the battle will produce (Rev. 16:14-16).

      Even Peter had to be chastened by god with the dream to where he was told "rise Peter, slay and eat" to call nothing god does unclean nor of the devil, but god has made it for the purpose god alone know and we who will be saved must learn. God does it in a way that it is not clearly black and white for judging but "shades of Gray" for our discernment through the power of the spirit.

    • Annkf profile imageAUTHOR

      Betty A F 

      3 weeks ago from Florida

      Hi Charlie, It's good to see you.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Your input means a lot.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 

      3 weeks ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      Betty-- excellent article, ignore the foolish questions. You are correct the REAL HOLY SPIRIT of GOD is necessary to walk uprightly. And many follow the false jesus and false holy spirit that scripture warns us that men well bring to deceive many.

    • Annkf profile imageAUTHOR

      Betty A F 

      3 weeks ago from Florida

      Hi Elijah,

      The bible is filled with examples of good and bad seeds. Knowing God's word is key, seeking understanding in Christ is key.

      If you have time to do a word study on "seeds," there are numerous examples of this.

      I realize that you are anti-Paul, however, I personally do not see any contradictions between what the Apostle taught and what Jesus taught.

      In fact, I do believe that there are what some perceive; to be contradictions for a reason, and that involves seeking out all our answers in Christ.

      Peter wrote:

      2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

      There is a process to growing in Christ. This is why Jesus said, "If you continue in My word, you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

      The disciples who walked directly with Christ did not discount Paul or his teachings. I'm not sure there's ever been anyone more qualified on this earth than those who actually walked with Jesus.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      3 weeks ago from Washington DC

      Betty, you said "When God's word is planted in our hearts there is a process, just as there is with a natural seed. The planted seed must be watered." I would like to know "what is the process of watering, sunning and fertilizing" the spiritual seeds of the word?

      Since "we know that there is good spiritual seed, and there is bad spiritual seed" how are we to discern the difference, what are we to look for?

      To tell us about these things and not provide us with the means to determine them, how does it benefit us?

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