“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” (Matthew 12:33)
What kind of fruit is on your tree? Or should I ask, What kind of fruit are you bearing?
Jesus says here in Matthew 12:33 to “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt” – letting us know that there are no two ways about it.
James 3:11 asks, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” We know that the answer to that is a definite no.
Then why is it that some professing Christians feel that they can live a double life-style? A person cannot bring forth good fruit and corrupt fruit; no more than a fountain can bring forth sweet and bitter water at the same place.
In our text verse, we will use the “tree” to represent our heart, and the “fruit” to represent the product of what is in our heart. Do we, as professing Christians, tell a little white lie? Do we allow jealousy, envy, hatred, or bitterness towards others to fester in our hearts? Do we allow lust, adultery, or fornication to rule our minds and bodies?
If so, then our tree is corrupt. Let’s examine this:
1) Can we change the nature of the tree? No
a) See Matthew 7:17-20
2) Can we produce good fruit? No
a) The Holy Spirit does that; but we do “bear” fruit (John 15:1-16)
3) Can born-again people ever sin? Yes
a) Or there would be no need for 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
b) But Matthew 7:18 and 1 John 3:9 need to be explained:
i) The new man cannot sin (1 John 3:9)
ii) But the old man can sin and does (read Romans 7:15-24)
iii) When one has been born again, and he sins – he hates his sin; has Godly sorrow; confesses his sin in the flesh; and tries to forsake his sin
Who would want an apple that’s wormy or an orange that’s bitter? These would be considered bad fruit. The overall lesson being taught in this verse of Scripture is – don’t be a hypocrite; instead be who or what we say we are. If we are professing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then the fruit that we are bearing should reflect what we profess.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It is when Christ abides in us, and we abide in Him, that we are able to not only bear good fruit, but much fruit. The fruit of the Child of God should be a fruit unto holiness. (See Romans 6:20-22).
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:17)
“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matthew 7:18)
“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matthew 7:19)
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)
Although these verses of Scripture are primarily talking about false prophets, we can also reference them to the Child of God. What’s on your tree? What kind of fruit are you bearing?