Hosea 14:8-9 NIV
…your fruitfulness comes from Me. Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
As we receive Christ and begin a new life in Him, we must quickly understand that we are not able to produce Spiritual fruit without Him (John 15:5). We cannot produce Spiritual fruit unless we are abiding in Christ – and He is the Word. Taking in the Word of God is the key to producing Spiritual fruit. The Word of God tells us that faith comes from hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17) and faith produces Spiritual fruit. We cannot produce Spiritual fruit apart from continuing in the Word of God. The Word tells us that if we are wise and discerning, then we will understand that we are desperate for God and that we cannot produce Spiritual fruit without Him. God’s plan for man is total dependence on Christ and Christ is the Word (John 1:1). His ways are right – He alone can enable us to produce fruit and live by faith as we abide in His Word. This does not mean that we cannot do “good” things unless we are abiding in the Word, but it does mean that we cannot produce Spiritual fruit apart from Christ! Many times we confuse “good” works with Spiritual fruit, but God does not confuse the two. God is not impressed with what we can produce on our own. We must realize that whatever we can muster up on our own means nothing to God.
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Greetings Stephanie White!
Over all this was a pretty good article telling how we can not produce any spiritual fruit without abiding in Christ. Amen!
However, I'm not sure what you mean by the following:
"He alone can enable us to produce fruit and live by faith as we abide in His Word. This does not mean that we cannot do â€śgoodâ€ť things unless we are abiding in the Word, but it does mean that we cannot produce Spiritual fruit apart from Christ!"
The Bible says "The sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD." This means those things required by the law which were considered good and necessary are hated by God if they are brought to Him with a wicked heart. This would seem to suggest that the wicked can do no "good works" apart from faith for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6
This is the part which I haven't seen in the bible.
"Many times we confuse â€śgoodâ€ť works with Spiritual fruit, but God does not confuse the two."
I've always equated good works with spiritual fruit but you make a distinction between the two and apparently believe that God does also. Good works proceed from genuine faith in Jesus Christ so it is my understanding that apart from a born again experience by the Holy Spirit there can be no spiritual fruit or good works. Just for my clarification could you please give me some scripture verses you had in mind which justify this distinction between good works ad spiritual fruit?
Thank you for your question. I believe that one verse is found in Revelation:
Revelation 3:1-2 AMP ...I know your record and what you are doing; you are supposed to be alive, but [in reality] you are dead. Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight.
This church was doing "good" - things that appeared to be Spiritual, but were not. On the outside they appeared to be alive, but inside was a different story.
I also believe that 1 Corinthians 3:13 speaks to this, as well. Our works will be tried by fire to prove the quality - this word means what kind or the origination of. Where did the work originate - was it Spiritual or was it of the flesh.
Just like the Pharisees, we can do things that appear to be good, but are actually filthy rags in God's estimation. What we do can look good on the outside, but when it is tested, it will be burned up because it was an effort of the flesh. (Matthew 23:27)
Isaiah also addresses this:
Isaiah 58:3 NIV "Why have we fasted,' they say, "and You have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and You have not noticed?' "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers."
They were doing what appeared to be good, but it obviously was not Spiritual.
I want to make a distinction between the good works (or the right works) and what is Spiritual. Many times we know the right or good thing to do, but we do it with the wrong motive or attitude - when this happens, it is not the fruit of God's Word being at work in our lives; it is our carnal effort.