The Fruit of the Spirit, Both the Good and the Bad
Natural Fruit and Spiritual Fruit
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
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 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
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
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."