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The Fruit of Righteousness

by Dave Everett on March 18, 2020

The Fruit of Righteousness is a Tree of Life


"The fruit of the righteousness is a tree of life,
and he who wins souls is wise." (Prov. 11:30)

Righteousness is like a seed that produces fruit. It produces the same fruit as the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (i.e. eternal life). Therefore, anyone who leads others to this righteousness and the eternal life it produces is a wise person. 

The Fruit of Righteousness is Sown in Peace.


In regards to wisdom,
James compares the fruit and characteristics of worldly wisdom (James 3:13-16) with the fruit and characteristics of wisdom that is from above in James 3:17-18.

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" (James 3:17-18).

Discipleship Yields the Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness to Those Who Have Been Trained By It.


"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
"
(Heb. 12:11)

The word discipline is defined as "child training, instruction." A disciple is a disciplined learner. Therefore, I believe true discipleship will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

What is more, in context, the writer of Hebrews quotes from Proverbs chapter, the book of wisdom.

"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights." (Prov. 3:11-12)

In context of Proverbs 3, Solomon writes:

"
Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes..." (Prov. 3:3-7)

This is very consistent with how James describes the wisdom that is from above, peaceable and full of mercy (James 3:17-18). Those who will be a disciplined learner of the wisdom of God, "...afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (Heb. 12:11)

Being Filled With the Fruits of Righteousness


"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 
that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
(Phil. 1:9-11)

All the fruits of righteousness come from God's love. If we want more fruit, we need to focus more on the love of God. This goes back to our love abounding more and more through knowledge and judgment (Phil. 1:9). When that happens, our recognition of what is excellent changes, hypocrisy leaves, and sin leaves too (Phil. 1:10).

Philippians 1:11 reveals that this will also produce righteous fruit that glorifies and praises God. Any "love" that doesn't cause these things is not true love (1 Cor. 13:4-8). These verses in 1 Corinthians 13, the "love chapter" can be used as a checklist for us to see whether or not we are really operating in God’s kind of love. Sometimes we think we have done everything possible, but have we really used God’s kind of love? These are the characteristics of God’s love. Are they ours?

Fruit unto holiness


"But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. "
(Rom. 6:22, KJV)


Please notice that holiness is a fruit and not the root of salvation. That is to say that holiness is a byproduct of a relationship with God. It does not produce a relationship with God (Mt. 23:26).

Pursue Peace With All People and Holiness


"And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord
looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;" (Heb. 12:13-15).

A lame man cannot traverse the same terrain as someone who is not lame. Therefore, we should conduct our lives in such a way that those who are weak can follow our example and be healed. Many people use this verse to preach that if we aren't holy in our actions, we won't have fellowship with God. But so many Truths of God's New Covenant with man reveal that our relationship with God is not based on our actions but on our faith in Jesus.

Therefore, Hebrews 12:14 must be interpreted in light of this. Instead this verse could be speaking of God's holiness that is imparted to us when we receive salvation. It is the holiness of God in our born-again spirits that allows us to have a relationship with God.

What is more, the context of of Hebrews 12:14 suggests another interpretation. Hebrews 12:13 instructs us to not walk in a manner that will cause others to stumble. Therefore, I do not believe Hebrews 12:14 is talking about us seeing God. But rather that if we don't act in a holy manner, no one will see God in our lives. That would certainly be a true statement that is not only consistent with Hebrews 12:13 but also leads perfectly into Hebrews 12:15.

And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;" (Heb. 12:13-15).

Our actions don't earn the grace of God. That would not be grace.

"And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work." (Rom. 11:6)

"You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4)

Therefore, we don't fall from grace by not being holy enough to earn it. Galatians 5:4
speaks of falling from  grace by putting faith in our works. Instead of having our faith firmly placed in Christ and what He did for us. So then, the way people "fall from the grace of God" is through legalism.

"And make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;" (Heb. 12:13-15).

Notice that bitterness in our lives does not just hurt or poison us but many people. Again, the context of this verse shows that we are supposed to walk in a manner that influences others in a positive way. If we get bitter, that bitterness will affect others.

Selah.

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