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WELCOME to the        CORNERSTONE                   INDEPENDENT                               CHURCH                       A Non-denominational,                               Bible Based,                             Online Ministry

         The Gospels in Harmony               Sermon #155  Posted 8/12/18

Matthew 12:33-34
The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #155-8418

 

33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Matthew 12:33-34

 

       I love this portion of Scripture because here is the proof that any and every minister and evangelist of the Word of God should not hold back when addressing sin in the world.
Speak with the authority given to you by God. Speak with the power of the presence and knowledge of the Holy Spirit in you. Charge headlong into your ministry for Christ our Lord. Live the truth that it cannot be refuted.
2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2 Timothy 4:2


12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12


12  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matthew 11:12
     As we dive into the deep things of the Word of God I would like to pull to the surface the forcefulness and sharpness of the words that are used here by Jesus. Straight to the point. He does use illustrative comparisons but that just magnifies the point being made.
Let's begin;
33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Matthew 12:33
     The Pharisees would understand this metaphor because of the Scriptures in Psalms and Jeremiah.
3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalms 1:3 

    
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:8
     A tree that is good is one that is intentionally cared for. It is given the best opportunity to grow and produce good fruit. It will survive when things are bad and will not be affected by detrimental surroundings.
But Jesus is not talking about attempting to create your own sustenance.
He is talking about living in the truth and holiness of the Word of God.
The Pharisees were not able to bear good fruit because they had created their own environment to live in. Their religion was their life support. They attached God's name to everything they did to make themselves holier than thou, but they were growing weaker by the day in their false pretenses.   
    Jesus said ----Either make the tree good -----
How do we do that?
7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
Jeremiah 17:7


1  Blessed is the man
that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2  But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalms 1:1-2
    You see you cannot be a hypocrite or a religious practitioner and be blessed with an abundant fruitful life in Christ.
First we see a defining line being drawn.
This is not a suggestion! This is a choice that must be made. It's all or nothing!
    It's cut and dried! Either, Or; with no exceptions.
33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Matthew 12:33
    Now some would say the tree is already corrupt so you cannot make it that way. Please do not misunderstand what Jesus is talking about.
We are all born into sin but until we know what sin is and what holiness is we just live our lives believing we have control of our destiny. Jesus is talking about the choices we make after we are enlightened to the truth.
Not everyone who is given the truth will accept it in faith. Many will turn away in disbelief but even more will accept portions and either deny the rest or attempt to change it to fit their wants and needs.
This is why there are so many religions and variations of religions, yet they all have a god or a figurehead that is worshiped.
     17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Matthew 19:17
     If you want to make the tree good, you must seek the only one that is good, in faith and obedience. Fruit is the evidence of the goodness of the tree. The good tree is one who lives on the goodness and abundant provisions of his creator. Notice I used a personal or human reference here for the tree. Remember this is a metaphor; a similitude.
   Now, we are called to give ourselves in obedience to change.
Once our eyes and hearts are opened to the truth of sin in our lives we cry out in shame and repent unto faith.
17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 2:17
     We are not talking about manmade religious works. We are talking about the work God does in and through you because of your sacrifice of self unto Him.
1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1


28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
    So to make the tree good and his fruit good, we must become devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. We must grow more and more Christ like in the lives we live for our Lord and Savior.
18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18
    We are fed by the watering of the Word; the Holy Spirit of truth in the living Word of God. We are rooted and grounded in the holiness and righteousness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore the fruit that is produced is of God. The very evidence of the presence of all things good. The goodness of God through Jesus by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us comes out for the glory of God.
36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Romans 11:36

     But the flip side is the result of everything from blatant denial, to the halfhearted, to religious hypocrites and even devoted practitioners of false religions and false doctrines.
--------or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
Matthew 12:33
    You see, once you know the truth or have been given the truth so that you understand it and then choose one of the categories listed above it is you who have made the tree corrupt. It is you who has chosen to make your own fruit or make believe fruit as; I call it.
It is evidence of what you really are without the presence of the grace of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
You will never produce good fruit without the only One that is good, living in and through you!
   Now this is a continuation of his reprimanding of the Pharisees for their unbelief in the work of the Holy Spirit in and through Jesus.
Jesus is telling them they are known for their hypocrisy because of the accusations they make and the religious attitudes and authority they attempt to promote for their own glory.
    They were caught and shown their error in belief and accusations against Jesus. So they should understand the fruit they were producing was not of God.
The evidence points to them being servants of Satan. I did not say disciples of Satan. They are supposed to be children of God but that comes by grace through faith.
8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10
     The Pharisees were of the chosen nation but denied the presence of God by denying the power of the Holy Spirit in His Son. Therefore they chose to give evidence of their corrupt doctrine of holiness by works instead of justification by faith. It is God who justifies and sanctifies each one of us unto holiness or sinlessness. A person can work at and perform all the works he wants; he can attempt to show how holy he is, but in the end he is nothing but a self righteous sinner. The Pharisees and all of their followers did not worship Satan, but they were not disciples of Jesus nor were they justified servants of God.
6  But we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
and we all do fade as a leaf;
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Isaiah 64:6   
    Verse 34 is proof of the fortitude we are to use in our ministries to identify and address sin in this world.
34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Matthew 12:34
     Notice Jesus did not address anyone in particular. No, He addressed the sum total of religious hypocrites who had lead Gods people away from the path of faith in God, to faith in them as representatives of God by their works.
O generation of vipers,---------
Matthew 12:34
    A viper is a poisonous snake! Do you see the metaphor or descriptive similitude here?
Jesus had just given us the visual pictures of both good and bad trees and there fruit. In other words; a child of God who is rooted and grounded and feeding on the truth by the life giving water of the Word is a good tree with good fruit.
Or a tree that is unable to produce God glorifying good fruit because it has never been planted in the truth of the law of liberty by grace through faith and the glorification of God by His living Spirit in His justified.
2  But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalms 1:2-3
   Now we see Jesus referring to the self righteous religious hypocrites as vipers; snakes that spew untruths that poison their victims.
He is saying this to all people who deny the Word, take the Word as a common thing or change the Word to justify their self righteousness. He is saying they are the children and servants of Satan because they have never opened their ears to the truth and come to know their works were not for Gods glory.
44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:44
    When we rise to publish the Gospel to all who God brings before us, we must always keep in mind how Jesus addressed the sin filled practices of the self righteous religious hypocrites and all who chose to believe and follow them.
He did not beat around the bush or imply they should thoughtfully reconsider. Jesus drew the line in the sand by stating what is of God and what is not; therefore a Good tree is a true child of God living for God by grace through faith in His promise of everlasting life through the gift of His son Jesus Christ.
Anything else is a lie and will only produce the evidence of the presence of Satan in this world.
    This is why Bible study is so important in our lives.
Just believing what someone says is the truth does not always lead you on a path of holiness or even lead you to a true salvation. False doctrine does not produce good fruit.
Each one of us is responsible for our own communion with God through His Holy Word. We must put our faith in His Holy Spirit to perform the miracle of changing us to be Christ like.
18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18
     Your salvation is through the grace of God by faith in His gift of life in Christ Jesus. Believing in the truth of the Word takes a desire to be planted, rooted and fed by that truth. The Holy Spirit will open that truth to you when you desire to know and live in it.
      False doctrine is rampant in this day and age. Only a dedicated violent desire to be one with Jesus Christ by the power of the truth in His Word will separate you from the Pharisaical hypocrisy that so many people live in today.  
33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Matthew 12:33

 

Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church
8/4/18

 

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