[SW163] 11/28/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“The Fruit of Understanding”
Why does Jesus Christ command us to bear fruit? So that through us, many repent and are saved from the wrath of God, and become His children!
Text: Matthew 13:12-23
Why does Jesus Christ command us to bear fruit?
So that through us, many:
Come to faith in Jesus Christ
Are saved from the wrath of God
Are healed in their relationship with God
Receive eternal life
Become citizens of the kingdom of God, and
Become children of God who act like Jesus in this world
And as a result, through them, many repent, come, are saved, receive life . . . it is a perpetual cycle of salvation!
Indeed, if you understand this Word, Matthew 13:16-17 are yours! (Prophets and the righteous have welcomed them from a distance, per Hebrews 11:13).
Where does fruit come from?
What is the seed for the fruit Christ commands you to have?
The Word of God (v. 19) — the Bible, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the message from God which is woven throughout the Word, from Genesis through Revelation.
Who is the Sower of this seed?
Into what soil is this seed sown?
Your heart (v. 19).
What is the purpose of sowing the seed?
What fruit will the Word of God bear?
The fruit that comes from understanding (4862) the message. “Understanding” means:
Becoming united with the Word of God,
Possessing the Word of God
Putting it together like connecting the dots until you see a picture
Acting on it.
What fruit does understanding produce?
Verse 15 — The action called repentance, which means turning away from sin and to God, through Jesus Christ. A change of mind, in the dictionaries, but really, confession of innate sinfulness and a change of heart.
The result is healing. You will be healed in your relationship with God, no longer alienated and hostile to Him because of your sinfulness (Colossians 1:21).
This action then produces His fruit, which is Christlikeness (Galatians 5:22-23).
So, what is the condition for fruit-bearing?
Understanding the message of the Word of God.
What are the consequences and rewards of fruitlessness or fruitfulness?
Verse 12a — Rewards of fruitfulness
If you bear the fruit of understanding which is repentance, you have understood and united with the message of the Word of God and possessed it, and you have connected the dots so you see a picture and act on what you see by repenting.
Then you will have eternal life, and be given more abundant understanding, resulting in being filled with the Spirit and thereby having victory over slavery to sin and unhindered growth in greater and greater Christlikeness (2Corinthians 3:18) — that is, Christ’s attributes will be more and more visible in you.
Verse 12b —Consequences of fruitlessness
If you do not bear the fruit of understanding which is repentance. you have not understood or become united with the message of the Word of God or possessed it, or connected the dots so you see a picture and act on what you see.
What do you have? Nothing but your own ways and your own understanding. That will be taken away from you.You will not have eternal life.
So, how do you know if you have understood?
By the action you take after you have heard the Word of God.
More examples of consequences and rewards
Verse 19 — Consequences of fruitlessness
If you hear the Word and do not understand the message, becoming united with and possessing it, connecting the dots and acting on it by repenting, Satan will take away what has been sown in your heart. And you will not have eternal life but will be cast into the fire and burned (John 15:6).
Verses 20-21 — Consequences of fruitlessness
If you hear it and rejoice but do not understand the message, becoming united with and possessing it, connecting the dots and acting on it by repenting, the Word cannot be firmly rooted in your heart.
As a result, the seed of the Word sown in your heart will shrivel and die when persecution comes because of your association with Jesus Christ, and you will fall away.
That means you will turn away from what you have heard. And you will not have eternal life, but will be cast into the fire and burned.
Verse 22 — Consequences of fruitlessness
If you hear it but do not understand the message, becoming united with and possessing it, connecting the dots and acting on it by repenting, the worry (3308 distractions, cares) of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth will choke the Word that has been sown in your heart, it will die, and you will fall away.
You will turn away from what you have heard because you have allowed these things to overwhelm and crowd it out. You will not have eternal life, but will be cast into the fire and burned.
Verse 23 — Rewards of fruitfulness
If you hear and DO understand, you will have eternal life and you will bear fruit and bring forth greater Christlikeness, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. The amount borne depends on how quickly you seek to grow in Christlikeness.
[NOTE: In Verse 23 and the verses preceding it, has Jesus mentioned anything about money?]
So what will you do with what you have heard?
Here is my prayer for you:
That you will hear and become united with the message of the Word of God, possessing it, putting it together, connecting the dots until you see the big picture and act on it by repenting.
Then you will be given eternal life, and you will be healed, and you will be given even more understanding so you may become even more like Christ, drawing many to Him.
Repentance is the fruit of understanding the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you now understand, I do not need to ask you to repent. You are already doing it.
You are already kneeling in submission and humility, and asking God to forgive you and save you from your sin.
And if you are sincere, you will receive from Him all the rewards that come with understanding the message, becoming united with the message of the Word of God possessing it, connecting the dots so you see the big picture and acting on what you have seen. You will repent, and will bear fruit, and the cycle of salvation will be continued through you!