Core Value 22: Can a fig tree yield olives? 

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Core Christian Value

Evil people yield “fruit” and Christian’s yield “fruit.” If we claim to be a Christian, our lives should yield the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

This question is answered by James, the half-brother of Jesus: “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” JAMES 3: 11-12 NKJV

No, a fig tree will never bear olives nor should a Christian bear fruit that is not consistent with the teachings of our Lord. Listen to the words of Jesus:

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” LUKE 6:43-45 NKJV

It is clear that Jesus is teaching us that our lives should bear fruit that glorify Him. We should not say we love Jesus in one breath and curse mankind in the next breath. Jesus says that the good treasure in our heart should bring forth good and that out of the abundance of our heart, we speak. A heart that loves the Lord will seek to serve Jesus and will do things with their life that prove their faith is real.

How does one get a heart that loves the Lord? Listen again to Jesus: “Repentance leads to the acquisition of the Fruits of the Spirit or it was not repentance.” MATTHEW 3:10 Here Jesus is teaching us that repentance is the key. Confess your sins, be baptized and turn from sin of every kind and the fruits of the Spirit are yours. Jesus clarifies that point in Matthew when he says, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” MATTHEW 6:33 NKJV

Notice that seeking the kingdom of God, precedes his gifts. First seek, then find, knowing that these things are “added” unto you. We can not earn our salvation, or simply acquire the fruits of Spirit by willing it to be so; it is a gift from God, added to us by His grace. Now listen to what Paul said about our new nature, in Christ, as he names the fruit of the Spirit.

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” GALATIANS 5:22-23 NKJV. I strongly recommend that you memorize the fruits of the Spirit. They represent your daily yardstick; they measure your behavior.

How hard is it to be like Jesus? Is there a pivotal strength that enables you? Can you take credit for this strength in you? Will people know you love Jesus as they observe your actions, words and countenance? How important is it to bear fruit that confirms your love of Jesus and your fellow man?

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