Preacher’s Point: By their fruits ye shall know them


Some things are so simple their explanation sounds, well, stupid; like, an apple tree is an apple tree because it is a tree that has apples.

Jesus closes out the sermon on the mount with some interesting statements. To summarize He tells us the gate to destruction is wide, while the gate to eternal life is narrow and few will find it. From there He talks about prophets and that we can know them by their fruits. A good prophet will bring forth good fruit, and an evil prophet produces evil fruit. Then we read how some people will tell God on judgment day about all the things they did in His name, but alas God never knew them, and they face separation from God for eternity. Finally, Jesus ends the sermon with a parable of two men. One who builds his house on the sand, the other builds his house on the rock. When the storm comes, the house on the rock stands firm, the house on the sand comes to destruction (Matthew 7:13-27).

To summarize the summary – Few will find eternal life. Christians will produce good fruit. Some people will think they are right with God when they have never been right with God. A life built upon the rock is secure and stands the test of time while a life built upon sand comes to doom and destruction.

It looks like the only good news in the final fifteen verses of the Sermon on the Mount is that Christians will produce good fruit and a life built upon the rock will withstand the storms of life.

Some will claim other Christians are the fruit Christians bring forth. However, God told Jeremiah, a prophet, author of two books of Bible, to keep preaching, but also said no one would harken to his words. Jeremiah would have no converts (Jeremiah 7:27). Noah, a man God found “perfect” (Genesis 9:6), at most had seven converts – his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law. The New Testament tells us Lot was a “righteous man” but reading the account of his life given in the Scripture; it is doubtful he ever told anyone about God let alone convert anyone to God (2 Peter 2:7-8). If not converts, then what is the fruit we produce?

The Holy Spirit dwells inside every true Christian (Romans 8:9-11; 1 John 4:13). The Spirit of God within us produces fruit in our lives that give us credibility as a Christian. If a tree is void of apples, it is probably not an apple tree. If a person does not produce the fruit of the Spirit, it is probable they may not be a Christian.

Before I go further it must be made entirely clear; eternal life does not come through the things we do. Remember those that lived their life doing things in God’s name and yet God never knew them, that Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount? Grace saves us through faith. When we have faith in what Jesus did on the cross as the necessity for eternal life; God washes our sins away, gives us everlasting life, and we receive the Spirit of God (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16; Revelation 1:5; Romans 10:9-10).

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

If a stranger walked up to someone you know and asked, “What can you tell me about …” What would your friend say about you? Would they talk about your love, the joy you have in life, how peaceful of a person you are? Would they mention your ability to suffer through a situation without complaining? Would they talk about your gentleness or goodness? Would the stranger find out about your meekness or your incredible self-control when others would fall to pieces or fly off the handle? Would your friend tell the stranger of your great faith?

People would describe you by how they know you. What did Jesus say? “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Just like a tree, the fruit of the Spirit needs to grow. I tend to believe the fruit of the Spirit is progressive. Can a person have joy if they do not have love? Can a person have peace in their life without joy and love? Go down the list; you will see what I mean.

You can tell people you are a Christian, you can tell them of your salvation, but is there evidence of any fruit? What do people see; the fruit of the world or the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-26)? Are you a Christian tree (Psalms 1:1-6)?

By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: [email protected]. Website: E-book: If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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