Fruit-bearing and the body

cherry-167341_640Luke 3:9: Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

That is serious talk. It is either you shape up or you are shipped out, it’s either you deliver or you are demolished. There is no space to waste, to time to waste, if you are not moving along at a good pace you are left behind.

When you hear the trumpet and you are in the camp of the Israelites coming from Egypt to Canaan in the wilderness, there is no other thing to do other than pack up and move on. When it is time to charge forward in a war, you either move or be trampled upon.

God delivered the children of Israel from bondage in the Egypt and he brought to the wilderness. But because some did not want to walk with God to the Promised Land they died in the wilderness.

It was either they lined up with the will of God for them to move on or they waste away in the wilderness. There was no third option. For the tree in the focus verse, it’s either there are fruits on it or it gets cuts down.

In the focus verse John the Baptist was making it clear to the Pharisees that it is not enough to be like a tree, which is a symbol of life, there is need for fruit bearing.

It is not enough to call Jesus Lord, you should obey his word (Matthew 7:21); it is not enough to look like a Christian or to speak like one, you must a Christ-follower indeed.

Jesus said that by their fruits we shall know the false prophets from the true one (Matthew 7:15-17). The right fruits show that we have the right connection with the source of life Jesus.

The word of God is the seed that produces the right tree, which produces the right fruits in our life. But the devils word produces another kind of fruit.

In the beginning, when the devil spoke words to Eve, and those word-seeds found a place in her heart as she acted on it, it brought forth the fruit of death (Genesis 3, James 1:14-15). And when in our lives the fruit of obedience to God is not produced what gets produced is death.

Paul said that to sow into the flesh brings death, but sowing into the spirit brings life (Galatians 6:7-8); do not be deceived what is sown is reaped.

For example what is allowed into the body (sown) is in the form of food, drink, and smokes, drugs, can be a source of bondage.

All manner of laws can be promulgated to allow the intake of mental and emotion-altering drugs or plants for those who do not need it for any health reason, but that does not make it right. When you sow to the flesh in this way, definitely corruption/decay/death/error will be reaped. A hook on alcohol no matter how innocent has the potential to destroy body and many others in its wake.

Paul wrote that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we need to act like we are its custodian. When people are in bondage to food, either in eating excessively, not being able to resist the urge to eat at any time, or they binge on it, then vomit it, or they do not eat it at all, these are bondages to food, it controls the captives in a death-grip.

The body is the gateway to the soul and spirit. To be born again which is a spiritual event you have to use your tongue, a part of the body, to confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). It is the words some people speak to you that you hear with your ears, a part of the body, that affect your soul.

When you hear some people talk about the body, they make it seem like a lower class citizen in the comity of spirit soul and body of a man. It is not true. A proper respect for the body will save you a lot of stress. Understand that the reward you will get, at the end of time will be about what you have done with your body (2Corinthians 5:10).

The soul is the core of who you are, the spirit in your heavenly essence, while the body is your earthly essence. So while you are on the earth, the body is important, no matter how you see it. You are stuck with it.

But what you do with your body will not be different if your thought is not different. Paul said that real transformation is of the mind, which is a component of the soul. He said we need to be transformed by the renewal of our mind.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world and we should let out light shine before men to that they see our good works and glorify our father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). The people do not see what is happening in your soul, nor your spirit, but with your body.

The body is so important that one major part of Jesus’ ministry is that of healing. When the seed of health is sown into the body then your fruit of spiritual service can be more. We can pray more with a fitter body which in turn affects everything about us.

How can you go about increasing in your careers with increasing ability to earn more money to buy Christian books to read or contribute to ministries that reach the world with the message of Jesus Christ, if you are holed up in a room sick? Sickness is a cankerworm that can drain your finances, it can cripple your capacity to make money.

Jesus and Paul said that money can be of spiritual value considering what you do with it, the money you have earned by what you have done with your time and body.

Jesus said that we can use unrighteous mammon to procure for ourselves a place in eternity (Luke 16:9). Those you have touched with your finances will give you a welcome party in heaven, if it has been used to support soul-winning efforts.

Paul said that when those who are rich give they will reap eternal life (1Timothy 6:17-19). So the body is important, being in good health helps you to earn some cash (Ephesians 4:28), even to think about it. What they have in physical goods, they use to be a blessing to others, which become seeds which they harvest in life eternal.

What is physical can be converted into spiritual things depending on the usage. Paul said that the words of our mouth should be seasoned with salt, ministering grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29). The physical things of sound waves coming from the mouth, becomes life in the spirit and soul and even the body of another.

In the book of proverbs, we read that there is one who speaks like the piecing of the sword, but the tongue of the wise yields life (Proverbs 12:18).

Sowing into the flesh yields death and that is about what we do with the body and the way we occupy them in information gathering, including the kinds of places we go or the kinds of people we associate with. That is why what we sow in evil association we reap in corrupted behaviours (1Corinthians 15:33).

The same with sowing to the spirit, it also involve what you do with the body. Paul said: I put my body under, so that after preaching to others I will not be disqualified for rewards (1Corinthians 9:27). He wants to use his body for the right things so that he will get the right result.


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