Daily Scripture Reading2 John

Verse for the Day – Matthew 7:19
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

As Jesus discusses good and bad fruit, He interjects a phrase that the crowd would have thoroughly understood. He talked to them about the tree that didn’t bear good fruit! Note that He didn’t say that the tree here was bearing bad fruit! He said it WASN’T bearing good fruit. What is it that makes the difference between bearing and not bearing good fruit? It is the root, of course. Jesus said He was the vine and we His branches – and as He fills us and feeds us and grows us, through us He bears fruit. So God is giving us a principle here – if Jesus, through us, produces fruit, it will be good fruit and He will be pleased. If we don’t abide in Him and instead live on our own the best we can produce will be bad fruit – definitely not good fruit. We don’t have the capacity or the ability to produce good fruit without the Holy Spirit inside of us!

For those trees that don’t bear good fruit – those who live without Christ – all they have to look forward to is judgment. Often in Biblical times and in times since, the cutting down of unproductive fruit trees was a common practice. If a tree didn’t produce what is was expected to it was chopped down and made into fire wood. At least then it was good for something.

The application is an application that runs throughout Scripture. We as sinners will have one of two destinies. We will believe God or we can trust ourselves. We will obey Him or continue in our sin.

If God calls us to belief in Christ (turning from our sin to Christ in faith), then we know we have gained eternal life and unspeakable rewards all based on the merits of Christ and not based on our sinfulness or self-righteousness. We are forgiven, blessed, adopted, redeemed, loved, and shown great mercy and patience.

If on the other hand, we trust self (or anything else other than Christ) then we will get exactly what we deserve. Judgment for our sin. That is the picture of a tree being cut down and thrown into the fire if it doesn’t produce good fruit. Because if a person does not have Christ in his or her life, then there is no power or ability to produce good fruit – and to die without Christ is to suffer God’s Wrath forever. The fire is real!

As this fits in His Sermon, Jesus is telling us quite plainly that if we worship self, fail to forgive, lay up treasures on earth, have evil hearts, serve possessions, worry and make a god out of self, judge others, or desire to enter the wide gate and the broad way – then we will suffer judgement for our sin.

If we know Christ has paid the price for us (in our stead) then we have power, forgiveness, and fruit! And a tree that produces good fruit will only be pruned to optimize production – it will never be cut down and burned.

Today – remember that Jesus has already paid the price for your sin – so now you can bear good fruit. If you can’t seem to bear good fruit – quit trying and start dying. Die to self and live to Christ! Be assured – your sin will be judged – either you will pay for it, or Jesus already has!

Bible Reading For Further Study
Psalm 51
Joel 2 (notice verse 32)

BONUS – Sometime today take the time to read this brief article by Charles Spurgeon: The Restoration of Truth and Revival