By Chino Eze
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20 (KJV)
…the general product will determine what the source consists of.
What does it mean when the Bible says that “…by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)? It means that the general product will determine what the source consists of.
Let me explain…When you see a tree, you might not be able to accurately identify it without seeing its fruit. But once you see the fruit it’s bearing, you’d then be able to determine what kind of tree it is.
However, on that same tree, not every fruit is savoury. Some might be unripe and some might be ripe but contaminated by vermin. In fact, some might be over-ripe and tending towards rottenness. But on that same tree there will surely be ripe fruits (unless of course they’ve all been plucked).
It would be inaccurate to judge a tree ‘bad’ as a result of one rotten fruit.
Does the presence of all these other grades of unsavoury fruit detract from the fact that the tree is in fact a producer of that particular fruit? …Of course not!
So also when one seeks to judge a tree (an individual, church, movement etc.) by the fruits one witnesses, it is vital that he/she judges by the general produce of the tree rather than an individual fruit on the tree. There’s a place for judging individual fruits.
In this context, an individual fruit is not a sufficient enough spectrum by which to make an accurate judgment. It would be inaccurate to judge a tree ‘bad’ as a result of one rotten fruit.
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Chimnomnso Eze (Chino)
Chino is a leader in a students-based church in Kharkiv Ukraine. He serves as a minster, brother’s coordinator and assistant choir director. He is passionate about spiritual leadership and consecrated service to God.