The Fruit of the Word of God CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Sunday school we learned that there are five basic categories of fruit in a Christian’s life. These are:
The fruit of a good tree [Matt 7:17] which is fruit yielding works meet for repentance produced by the man.
The fruit of the branches in the vine [Jn 15] which is fruit produced by the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of a Christian yielded to him.
The fruit of righteousness [Phil 1:11, Jas 3:17, Heb 12:11, 2 Cor 9:6-10] which is fruit produced primarily by God the Father yielding peace, holiness, and generosity.
The fruit of the Spirit [Gal 5:22-23] which is fruit produced by the Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the word of God [Col 1:5-6] which is fruit that is produced by the word of God sown in your heart.
The ideal text for preaching on the fruit of the word of God is the parable of the sower and the seed. This parable illustrates what happens to the word of God when it is sown in a man’s heart.
Seed by the way side can’t produce fruit because it is taken away by the devil. Notice the problem with this hearer is that he doesn’t understand the word. The proliferation of modern translations by the devil has not increased understanding; it has increased misunderstanding and has resulted in a tremendous decline in fruit being born by the hearers of the word!
Seed in the stony places can’t produce fruit because this hearer is offended by the tribulation and persecution that arises because of the word. Notice that he has no “root” in himself. Jesus Christ is the root and offspring of David. If you don’t have Jesus in you, you will never bear fruit. You need to be saved to bear spiritual fruit.
Seed among the thorns has potential to bear fruit. However, this hearer becomes unfruitful because he is choked by the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. Notice that “he becometh unfruitful.” The seed will bear fruit if it is sown in good ground. Therefore, when a Christian is not bearing fruit, the trouble is not with the seed!
Seed received into good ground bears fruit! The good ground pictures a fellow with an “honest and good heart,” [Lk 8:15], who “heareth the word, and understandeth it,” [Matt 13:23], and receives it [Mk 4:20], and keeps it [Lk 8:15]. He will bring forth fruit “with patience,” [Lk 8:15] if he’s not in too big a hurry.
Looking back to the beginning of the parable, what was the purpose of sowing the seed in the first place? It was that the seed would bear fruit. Once the seed is sown into good ground what kind of fruit is it going to bear? It’s going to bear the fruit of the word of God.
The fruit of the word of God is:
Salvation – 1 Pet 1:23 – the word of God sown into an honest and good heart is going to produce salvation. That’s why we stress opening the Bible when you’re witnessing to someone. The seed must get into their heart [Rom 10:8]. Notice “the engrafted word” “is able to save your souls,” [Jas 1:21]. When we witnessed to Margie on Friday we opened the Bible and showed her every verse. When we were through she wanted to receive Jesus right then. When you are dealing with prospects for the Crusade, make sure to deal with them with an open Bible.
Spiritual Growth – 1 Pet 2:2; 1 Thes 2:13 – just like seed sown into good ground begins to grow and strengthen in order to bear it’s fruit, the word of God sown into the heart of a child of God is going to cause that Christian to grow. The trouble with Christians who don’t grow often stems from one of two things: the seed gets choked by thorns or else there is no more seed being sown in the heart; the fellow gets saved and stops right there.
Reproduction – Eph 1:12-13; Rom 10:8-9, 17 – When you take the same seed that was sown in your heart and preach it to others, those who receive it into good hearts are going to be saved like you. This is the sign of a healthy Christian and a healthy church – they are fruitful and they multiply. With Fishers of Men you have a great opportunity to sow the seed and with contacting prospects for the Crusade you have a great opportunity to see souls saved.
Edification – Eph 4:11-16; Acts 20:32 – the word of God builds you up and builds up the body of believers around you who hear it and believe it. This is the prime reason that pastors who have cut out the Sunday school and have shortened the preaching to a 20-minute motivational speech are not seeing their churches grow up. Their “campuses” are being fed by videos of themselves because others aren’t growing up in doctrine and being trained to take on these other “works.”
Inheritance – Acts 20:32 – and you will have the fruit of an inheritance. The word of God shall not pass away and so whatever is produced by the word of God is going to last forever. This includes souls, the crown of rejoicing and precious stones, among other things.
Conclusion: Get saved, get in the book, reproduce, edify one another, and lay up for yourself an inheritance on the other side.