Good Fruit, Bad Fruit, No Fruit

Fruit seems to be a touchy issue these days.


Being Faithful

Jesus tells us to be fruit inspectors, and even says that we are to be known by our fruit. See Matt. 7:15-27.

We shouldn’t, therefore, be bashful about looking for and asking about fruit when discerning someone’s ministry, doctrines and practices – even if they find that offensive.

However, it’s one thing to look for fruit, but it’s another thing to be wise fruit inspectors.

For example, there are those who labor for a long time and see no external fruit. Does “no fruit” invalidate them?

Not necessarily. There is a big difference between no apparent fruit and actual bad fruit.

There have been seasons in my life when I needed to be steadfast, even though I saw little external fruit. My “fruit” was being being faithful to God’s call, even though I was not seeing results at the time.

In some of those seasons, I was the field being overturned and plowed, but I didn’t see it at the time. Eventually, external fruit did come, but only after years of God first quietly doing a work in me.

Other times, the Lord simply called me to sow, only to then move on. The resulting fruit, and harvest, He left for others.

There also have been times of great fruit, but not always in terms that I – or others – would have expected.

After all, it is Jesus – not you or I – who is Lord of the harvest. See Luke 10:2.

Good fruit comes as faithful men and women sow good seed, as the Lord directs. But never forget that it is God who brings the harvest – His way, and in His timing.

I have come to appreciate that the most faithful laborers in His Kingdom are those who sow, without necessarily reaping.

Where there is actual bad fruit, let’s rightly judge those who have sown bad seed.

But where there is no apparent fruit, let’s be wise fruit inspectors. Because the fruit of faithfulness is often the most precious fruit of all.

~ Jim


4 responses

  1. hmmmm…..I don’t “see” where Jesus told us to be “fruit” inspectors…He DID however say you would “know them” by their fruit. Sometimes people (believers….children of GOD) go for decades without being “known”, however NOTHING “disqualifies” them…just because we don’t ‘see’ it. we That is where the watering of the Word comes in pretty handy!!! 😉 My life, and experience involved much “shipwreck”, by being deceived (mostly by bad teaching by “good” people that didn’t know themselves!!!) We are qualified ONLY by the shed blood of the LAMB OF GOD…Yeshua Hamaschia..Jesus the CHRIST!!!


  2. yes wise words. if we focus on certain externals we will miss what god is upto… likewise we may dismiss certain bad fruits because we over value certain things.


  3. I think there’s a difference between the fruit (singular)of the spirit (Gal 5;22) and the fruits (plural) in Mat 7. Mat 7 seems to be speaking more broadly about the varied and many results of our work or ministry whereas the fruit of the Holy Spirit is the one nature of Jesus Christ, expressed in us in response to to surrender to Him.
    We must, and can, objectively judge the fruit of the Spirit in one another, if we are walking with Him in the light, as He is in the light, and our fellowship is with Him and the Father. And we know that we are properly constituted as a fellowship the close one another-ing, and the evident fruit of the Spirit that glues us together. And of course, His Word will both corroborate our lives, and lead us when we are at an impasse. I was struck, and perplexed when I was first converted, by how much emphasis literature, sermons discussion placed on Jesus love and kindness but in contrast, how much emphasis on ministry, numbers, methods etc was wrung out of the scriptures relating to the leading figures in the development of the church later on.
    Somehow, a separation between the subjective and objective results of our walk with Him and our walk with each other and others was effected, and apparently used to great advantage by clever scribes.
    Its a clever trap that the church has been almost universally ensnared in, to be ministry and externally focused, rather than measuring up to, and measuring one another by Jesus attitudes, words and motives. Measuring labor for God, rather than being weighed and measured by God is it’s own self fulfilling deception, and reinforces the childish notion that just because someone is bigger, has a louder voice and is stronger, they are more mature and are leaders.
    God deliver His precious people from fawning before Saul, and transferring our trust to David (Jesus).


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