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Fruit or Works? A Bible Study

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by Br. Bear, Mar 2, 2017.

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  1. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5


    In this study I would like to look at an important doctrine which needs addressing. I ask that we participate as branches, remembering Who we are talking about - Jesus ... not any Jesus but Jesus Christ the Son of God.

    Jesus said He is The Vine. (I capitalized the 'The' because He is set apart from all other vines and is God's Vine).
    Jesus is The Vine. He said that you are the Branches.

    Is it correct that we are the Branches or was He meaning only those He was speaking to?

    We must establish this before proceeding.

    We, likewise need to consider the following verse in the same manner :
    If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. Romans 11:16

    Bless you ....><>

    See Part 2 here Fruit or Works? A Bible Study
    Sue J Love likes this.
  2. I am interested in your topic.
    Fragrant Grace likes this.
  3. Unless the branches are cut off from the vine or tree then are they set apart from that vine or tree. To be holy is to be set apart from the world [holy] but to be corrupt is to be set apart from Jesus [evil or corrupt].

    We see examples of good fruit and evil fruit [fruits of the flesh] in Galatians chapter 5:19-23, but what kind of fruit we produce relates directly to which tree we are attached:

    "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Matt 7:17-19

    In the end of the matter, if we do not produce good fruit, we will be burned up.

    Once we are connected to Him [Vine or Tree] then in order to not be cut off, we must produce fruit which are acceptable to Jesus. We should remember the fig tree that Jesus cursed when He went to pick from it and it had no fruit:

    "Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
    And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away." Matt 21:18-19

    Remember here this basis for a blessing:

    "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matt 5:6

    Remember that we are supposed to become like Him. Sometimes we are to be the source of the righteousness of God for some hungry and thirsty person. Is there any excuse for any believer being empty [having no good fruit] when someone needs a blessing?

    So then we really must continue to abide in the Tree or Vine [Jesus], mustn't we?
  4. Fruit or Works - A Bible Study
    Part 2

    By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
    that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.

    Hebrews 13:15​

    Greetings again ,

    Thank you for your patience. Fruit.

    To continue this study, first may I ask that you do read the Scriptures that we will be looking at as a part of the study? This will really help you. Some passages are quite lengthy and it may be better for you to take the time to read them yourself rather than me posting long sections here?

    Probably the best place to start is at the beginning. Genesis is the Greek word for 'beginning'. I won't say much now but as we move on you will see (understand) how the story we have of Adam and Eve and of Cain and Able and Seth show us about fruit and works. (Please feel free to remind me if I forget to allude to this later!) Remember that the forbidden tree was about knowing good and evil which ultimately placed us (mankind) in a position of doing things according to our judgement, our perception, our decisions based on us weighing up the good and the bad and then choosing which way to go. While disobedience led to sin, it resulted also in a world of flesh based law, and man separated from the holiness of the LORD.

    Cain slew Abel. What happened there? Have you ever considered that Cain's work was doing the work that was according to the curse? Abel's fruit was bourne according to the Word, namely that he did according to the order of creation when there was no sin, when God first made man and gave him dominion over the animals.
    Note here the anger of Cain and see how it resembles the anger of those who set out to kill the Son of God. Jesus bore fruit which those who followed the law of sin and death despised, hated Him for. Note also that Jesus had said that hate is as murder.

    Moving on, not forgetting what is between (there's a lot!), to the book of Numbers, chapter 13 and 14. Please read these two chapters.

    Moses had led the people of Israel to the border of the promised land. He sent 12 rulers of the tribes of Israel to search out the land. 40 days later they returned with fruit which testified to the goodness of God in that this was the land He had promised and brought them to. Such impressive fruit could also only mean ample water. (It wasn't much longer after this that the people were complaining about lack of water and talking about returning to the bondage of Egypt.)

    What happened ?

    Liberty and life was before the people with bondage and death behind them. They put their trust the 10 rather than the 2.

    Does this sound familiar?

    They could either have the fruit which resulted from believing God, listening to Him, obeying Him through faith or go back to the works that bore fruit of death because of their not hearkening to His voice, His Word, because of rebellion and disobedience. The fruit was theirs to enjoy and partake of but they chose instead to trust in their flesh and works and go back under bondage and oppression. They wanted what they could do rather than what God had promised to provide.
    Like so many today, they put their trust in and follow the 10 and didn't want to believe the 2 which would lead them to life.
    In Deuteronomy 9:23 we read, ...and ye believed Him not, nor hearkened to His voice. This was (and is) referring to the people who did not believe what the LORD has said regarding entering in to His rest, His Salvation where those who enter cease from their works, cease from their own levels of righteousness and abide in Christ.
    Read Hebrews 4:8 and Hebrews 4:1-11 to see more clearly how Hebrews 4:8 fits in. (For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.) This is important in understanding about works and how those who now live and walk by the Spirit bear His fruit. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.

    An important question that presses us regarding the account of Caleb and Joshua is, "What, if any, Law or Commandments were they keeping?" I ask this because we are looking at fruit and works (fruit or works) and it helps so much to be able to see clearly regarding this as it is a repeated theme or better put, the Gospel theme. We are called into liberty; out of bondage. Hope is not condemnation, faith is not wishful thinking.

    Where was the fruit to be seen? Could it be that the fruit brought back as evidence presents a lesson for us? If so, what is it?

    Notice the encouragement given by Caleb and Oshea in the face of fear and opposition and evil report. Also that the people responded by taking up stones in order to stone them!

    The lessons of this historic event (Numbers 13 and 14) are remembered many times throughout Scripture. Again, our purpose here is to better understand fruit and therefore understand works. There is good and corrupt fruit; good and corrupt works.

    Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father
    2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    Let us quickly look at another couple of fruit points before we close this 'session'.
    Going back to Genesis 1:22 and Genesis 1:28 we see something very important; be fruitful and multiply. Now, back to Numbers 13 & 14 we can see that entering in to the promised land, being fruitful and multiplying would almost certainly be expected whereas for those who rebelled and refused to hearken unto the LORD, their end was far from fruitful and multiplying and in fact, they perished.

    John 3:14-17 twice tells about those who perish. Remember, too, that John very clearly began his account of the Gospel by making one thing clear; in the beginning was the Word; the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; Jesus Christ the Son of God is the Word. Read 1John 5:5 and 1John 4:15. We come back to dwelling, abiding. Please read John 15 and note the connection to fruit and abiding.

    Now, back to Numbers. Have you ever considered these two verses?
    Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Numbers 13:6
    Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun. Numbers 13:8

    (Moses 'changed' Oshea's name to Joshua - several people in Scripture had their names changed - another study another time!) It's quite revealing to look up the meaning of the six names in these two verses. I will mention one here. Remember that the names were in their tongue, not any modern language such as English or even Greek. We don't usually consider this probably because we give children names that have meaning but we often don't call them directly that meaning. Ephraim means fruitfulness, to bear fruit; to grow, increase; to be perpetual, never ending. Nun, to increase; propagate. Oshea, deliverer, salvation - changed to Joshua, God's Salvation.

    One last thing as I realize this is getting quite long and there's a lot to consider (a hearty meal!). Right back to Genesis, Cain tilled the ground which was commanded - the right(eous) approach is, "I am an unprofitable servant." (See Luke 17:10) Had Cain had this approach he would not have been offended! In offense to what he had done, he slew Abel who did what God commanded before sin entered the world through disobedience (not listening and hearkening and doing). Therefore Abel was righteous. It did not end there; GOD gave Seth ; Caleb and Joshua entered in .

    Bless you ....><>

    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:4-6
  5. Yes, all of the adults who were saved out of Egypt died in the wilderness except Caleb and Joshua who entered the Promised Land. Probably most of those people who died had worked to obey the literal laws God had given to Moses... if for no other reason to avoid the penalties, yet that was not enough.

    Caleb and Joshua had a vision in their hearts that was missing in the others. Without a vision "the people perish" [Prov 29:18]. They saw the ease with which God could overcome the giants in the Land, while the others saw only the impossibility of defeating the giants.

    "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Mark 10"27
    Br. Bear likes this.
  6. To me it seems obvious....If you are born again, and reading these words "you are the branches" Jesus is talking to you. He told us to be holy...1 Peter 1:16. If you are born again you are lumpy...sorry lol Part of that lump.
    Sue J Love likes this.
  7. It's all said in this verse of Genesis;

    Genesis 1
    26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
    27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

    This is man's created existence in the image of God ( breath of life ) which is totally invisible.

    Then a visible body called a flesh was formed for man to experience visible images in a visible world.

    Genesis 2
    7: then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    The "image of God" and the "breath of life" are the same exact thing. All flesh of man was FORMED, not created. The creation is the invisible Word of God, another symbolic phrase meaning the same thing as the image of God and breath of life. All the visible images we can see are formed.

    With this basic knowledge, this prophecy can be understood;

    Isaiah 43
    1: But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
    2: When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

    The visible flesh drowns in water and burned up in heat of fire. The invisible spirit of man can never be drowned or burned up for it's totally invisible in God.

    This basic knowledge of the invisible spiritual man and the visible flesh of man needs to be understood before anything else written in the Bible can be understood.
  8. Yes to both
  9. Fruit or Works - A Bible Study
    Part 3

    For if these things be in you, and abound,
    they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful
    in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    2Peter 1:8​

    I would like to encourage you to listen to the two letters of Peter. It is good to read both letters but it is also good to hear the Word. Please take the time to do this. (it really isn't that much time!)

    Upon listening and hearing try not to divide it up into a multitude of mini parts, dissecting it and making laws and doctrines from the many things within the two letters. Rather, hear what is being said.
    Also remember that when Pater wrote these letters, it was, " to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: " "scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, " At that time Nero Claudius Caesar was persecuting Christians with grotesque cruelty and the Brothers to whom Peter wrote were being encouraged to keep the faith of Jesus Christ. How were they to do this in such horrific circumstances? Listen to the letters and you will see what Peter was saying. Letters were read to the congregations, so they would have heard what was being said.
    The challenge for us is to be able to hear the same thing, given the times we now live in being so much different from the hostility that Christians suffered during Nero's rule.

    There is a 'theme', if I may use that expression, that will help us to grasp what fruit is and therefore also to understand what it is not. We should also be better placed to know what are works and what is fruit.

    here is a link to an on-line recording that you can also download if you want to. | 1 Peter Chapter 1 King James Audio Bible online

    use this page to select which Book in the Bible you want
    Free Audio Bible King James Bible, hear & read the Bible

    you can also choose different versions and different languages as well as other options

    and in Peter's words,
    But grow in grace,
    and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

    2Peter 3:18

    Bless you ....><>
  10. The theme I got from two letters from Peter is to have holy conversations. Not filthy conversations. And to be kind and charitable. Is that the fruit?
    Sent from a mobile device
  11. Greetings,

    please excuse me for not replying earlier.

    I certainly can not tell you what you have to see in the Scriptures.
    I know it is a long time between parts to this 'study' yet I trust that in this time we can all continue to see more and more of the richness of the Scriptures and therefore see more clearly the majesty of our Lord.
    If you read the initial parts you might be able to answer your own question. I am sorry that my writing is not all that clear. Please forgive me.

    "to have holy conversations. Not filthy conversations. And to be kind and charitable" is/are good fruit.

    I shall endeavour to write more soon. Also continue this study.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Bless you ....><>
  12. Fruit or Works - A Bible Study
    Part 4

    this one is for me and for you

    Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
    Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
    For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
    For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
    But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
    See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
    Ephesians 5:1-21

    Anyone who has lived in a hot climate will know that the sun beats down hard and is not in any way partial as to who or what will bear the brunt of it's heat. Even in the shade, heat can be at times near unbearable.

    Likewise, those who know a cold climate can tell you that the icy winds and frosts and snow will freeze without measure nor discretion and can cause great pain.

    Looking at the subject of fruit and works, let us go to these places a minute or two and see if we may learn a little?

    Only certain fruit will tolerate and flourish in cold climates. The hot and dry and tropical fruits will never see a winter out or if they do, the fruits themselves will never ripen.

    We have looked at the importance of keeping the faith. Indeed, it is of vital importance and the enemy would steal it away as fast as he could if only he can get someone believing his lies and deceptions.
    So, how do these go together?

    Looking at fruit from the other perspective we will see that it is exactly because of the heat or cold that certain fruits will grow and ripen to the perfection that they were designed to do. Such is the Lord and His Word. Behold, It is good.

    Have you ever bought fruit from a shop or stall and it looked really good, in fact looked delicious and you were sold on it's looks only to first realise (if indeed you know that it is so) that it had no aroma no perfume. And then, you bite into it and with great displeasure realise it is and never was ripe nor fit for eating. Decorative fruit that sells to the ignorant or fools. Ignorant because they know no difference or fools because even though they know, they still go ahead and spend money on that which can not be eaten.

    A man who tends to fruit bearing plants in either climate delights in the extremes of hot or cold. He knows that it is at these times the fruit will ripen and be at it's best. It's purpose if fulfilled. He expects the cold, and welcomes the sun, knowing.

    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

    When we consider the heat that ripens a fruit we might liken it to a person up against a wall. Sometimes in life we might find ourselves cornered or in such a difficult situation that there appears no escape. Others may be behind it all, with provocation or threatening, teasing, insults, threatenings or false accusations, hatred, jealousy or anger because of His Name.
    The early Church Members knew such things and not a few died at the hands of merciless mockers and cruel rulers and zealous legalists and others who saw advantage and gain. Bribes were offered and the thought of escaping any pain, or getting money for blood was always an option that teased and flirted before them.
    The cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches, the comforts and pleasures and position and fame are things that will grab us and make us turn aside from following the Master if we lose that first love when the going gets tough. They scream loudly in the west and today more than ever. These too, will tempt us to forget our faith and to forget and then deny His Name.

    Jesus said His yoke is easy. He did not say to choose and take the easy road.

    We read in Galatians that famous and often quoted verse or two about 'the fruit of the Spirit. We , that is, being in the west (as we call it), might have all uttered it at least once or twice in our time and with doting we might even think that such fruit belongs to us to call our own or to show and tell.

    The man who tends to the fruit trees or bushes or vines knows too well that if the sun doesn't shine and do so with it's heat, the fruit simply will not ripen. Without the cold, many trees will not set bud and the crop will fail.
    As nice as it is to be kind and to give, to be polite and dignified, to be busy at church, to hold down a job, and to do so smiling, can we or could we keep smiling and praising the Lord if the heat is turned up or the love of others grows icy cold?

    I have seen fruit that is burnt by the sun and trees covered in ice. I have also tasted and seen the fruit of those trees. I have also tasted and seen the fake fruit the world sells. I can assure you the difference is like darkness and light.
    Next time we feel (or are) cornered, can we do what is right forgetting ourselves in that moment in time and with praise and thanksgiving be content and in faith? We have been called and set apart for a reason... and for all fruit to ripen it needs the works of each season.

    The works that I do... Jesus once said. And we strive to be like Him in tents and crusades where everything's rosy and all is prepared, but where is the suffering the heat? Where is the cold of an awaiting call as we are thrust to an execution for bearing His name? Or hunger or peril or hatred untamed?

    It is easy to look good and be all nice when the going is good.
    But the fruit will be insipid or sour to the taste.
    What I'd like us all to do, is to think on these things and consider the fruit and the works we are designed to produce and if we will be satisfied with bearing only the tasteless, odourless, nice looking fruit that grows so well in the easy climates of life.
    Get backed into a wall and let the heat burn down and know that the fruit you were meant to bear will ripen and the man Who tends to His Garden will be satisfied and say, well done.

    Galatians 5:13-26
    For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    But if ye bite and devour one another,
    take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
    But if ye be led of the Spirit,
    ye are not under the law.
    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    Bless you ....><>

    ps,, remember that talk is not the same as walk ....><>
  13. I wonder how much effort does the tree put forth?

    The sun provides energy for photosynthesis. The ground provides minerals and nutrients.
    The water provides a way for these things to move around and grow.

    The farmer does the plowing, planting, fertilizing and watering..... for the most part all the tree
    has to do is "sit there". ... and yet, in the end, it is the tree itself that determines whether the fruit is good or bad.

    If we go with Galatians 5 here....

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

    These kinds of things are fruit. They aren't "works".
    Love itself is never really a work. Sometimes we work for people we love (children, spouse, Jesus, etc...)
    But the work is usually a result of the love.
  14. #15 Br. Bear, Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    Greetings and thank you B-A-C,

    there is of course much I might have added and perhaps will in due time but for now, perhaps,

    when God created all fruit... what peculiar property did it have?
    (most shop bought fruit are hybrids)

    Bless you ....><>
  15. I disagree with the statement within the question.
    All the fruit did not all have the same properties. Especially in the garden.

    Out of all the (thousands?) of trees in the garden, only ONE gave the knowledge of good and evil.

    Out of all the (thousands?) of trees in the garden, only ONE gave eternal life.

    Even these two trees had properties different from each other, not to mention all of the other trees.
  16. Greetings,

    I was/am referring to:

    And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. Genesis 1:11-13

    Bless you ....><>

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