For a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.…
The religion of Jesus Christ is one of deeds, not words; a life of action, not of dreaming. If we would know whether we are being led by the Holy Spirit, we must see if we are bringing forth fruits of the Spirit. If we would discover if the works of a clock are right, we look at the hands. So, by our words and deeds, we shall show whether our hearts are right with God. A religion of the lips is worth nothing. It is easy enough to assume the character and manner of a Christian, but to live the Christian life is not so easy. A man can make a sham diamond in a very short time, but the real gem must lie for ages in the earth before it can sparkle with perfect purity. We have far too many of these quickly-made Christians amongst us, who have never brought forth fruits meet for repentance, nor gone through the fire of trial, and sorrow, and self-sacrifice. Do not trust to feelings or words in yourselves or others, but look at your life; a real and a false diamond are very much alike, and yet there is all the difference in the world in their value. Let us look into our lives very closely, and see whether we are mistaking outward form for true religion, words and professions for holiness, leaves for fruit. What are some of the fruits which God looks for in the life of a Christian?
1. At the head of all we must place love. Really trying to do God's will; showing kindness to brethren; trying to lead others to God. A Christian cannot be selfish.
2. Another fruit for which God looks in a Christian's life is humility. Every act and word of Christ's earthly life teaches this. The longer we go to His school, and the more we know of the way of godliness, the humbler we become.
3. Another fruit God expects to find in the lives of His people is forgetfulness of self.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.