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What is fruit?

NASB Galatians 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
NASB Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
NASB Galatians 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
NASB Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
NASB Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
NASB Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If the fruit of the Spirit is evidenced by anyone acting with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” then what of those who are mentioned in following verses. Does this apply to non-Christians also?

[1] NASB Matthew 7:11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
[2] NASB Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
The parable of the sower is an often quoted passage in the scriptures. However the way it is explained often leaves a lot desired. This is a little surprising as this is one parable that Jesus actually explained and the explanation is included in the scriptures for our benefit. Consider the passages below:

NASB Mark 4:3 “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow;
NASB Mark 4:4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.
NASB Mark 4:5 “Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil.
NASB Mark 4:6 “And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
NASB Mark 4:7 “Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
NASB Mark 4:8 “Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
NASB Mark 4:9 And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
NASB Mark 4:10 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.
NASB Mark 4:11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,
NASB Mark 4:12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”
NASB Mark 4:13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?
NASB Mark 4:14 “The sower sows the word.
NASB Mark 4:15 “These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
NASB Mark 4:16 “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
NASB Mark 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.
NASB Mark 4:18 “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
NASB Mark 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
NASB Mark 4:20 “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
NASB Mark 4:21 And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?
NASB Mark 4:22 “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.
NASB Mark 4:23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
NASB Mark 4:24 And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides.
NASB Mark 4:25 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
NASB Mark 4:26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;
NASB Mark 4:27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know.
NASB Mark 4:28 “The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
NASB Mark 4:29 “But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
NASB Mark 4:30 And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?
NASB Mark 4:31 “It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,
NASB Mark 4:32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.”
What is meant by the “fruit” in this parable? There is much confusion on the subject. Some say the fruit is new converts. Often we hear the phrase “we are just planting the seed” in evangelical circles, usually in response to the question of whether their evangelical efforts were successful especially when there were no apparent successes.

However this is problematic. Why do we not see 30, 60 and a hundred fold converts today?

NASB Matthew 12:22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.
NASB Matthew 12:23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”
NASB Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”
NASB Matthew 12:25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.
NASB Matthew 12:26 “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
NASB Matthew 12:27 “If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.
NASB Matthew 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
NASB Matthew 12:29 “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
NASB Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
NASB Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
NASB Matthew 12:32 “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
NASB Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
NASB Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
NASB Matthew 12:35 “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

Notice here that the good tree was the Holy Spirit and the bad tree was the fruit of Satan. This is interesting because some people claim that Satan can do miracles to lead the elect astray. In this very parable the pharisees claimed that Jesus worked the works of Satan in setting the man free. However these very scriptures state that Satan can not convincingly produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit and his works can only be cheap imitations at best.

Why do we not see these miracles so much today? I believe that part of the confusion is thinking its the ground that bears fruit when it is in fact the seed that bears the fruit.

The same parable from the gospel of Mark:

NASB Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
NASB Colossians 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;
NASB Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel
NASB Colossians 1:6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;
NASB Colossians 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,
NASB Colossians 1:8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
NASB Colossians 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
NASB Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
NASB Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously

NASB Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
NASB Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Note to self: thirty, sixty, Hmmm, how does this work? Is that thirty love points, 60 peace points, 100 joy points?

NASB John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
NASB John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
NASB John 15:3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
NASB John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
NASB John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
NASB John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
NASB John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
NASB John 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
NASB John 15:9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

However prior context includes:

NASB John 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
NASB John 14:11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
NASB John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
NASB John 14:13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
NASB John 14:14 “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
NASB John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
NASB John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
NASB John 14:17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
NASB John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
NASB John 14:19 “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.
NASB John 14:20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
NASB John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

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