Only His Life … Produces Good Fruit
The “Law” simply identified and exposed sin (Rom. 7:7). The Law could never make one righteous or produce the good fruits of righteousness. The Laws of God on Stone have no life to give. The Law was meant to frustrate and push convicted, humbled, sincere people to find Salvation by another means… by faith in the Cross-work of Jesus Christ. Christ “condemned Sin in the flesh” of all mankind and … He gives every believer His resurrection life… to be their new and eternal life.
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:3)
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
When John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared on earth, God’s people, Israel, had been under “the law” of Moses for fifteen hundred years. Little wonder that John and his Master looked for fruit among Israel.
When the hypocritical religious leaders of Israel came to join John the Baptist’s growing audience and asked to be baptized, John called these religious leaders a “generation of vipers” and told them to “bring forth… fruits meet for repentance” (Matt. 3:7-8). True repentance, with fruit to prove it, was the basic requirement of the kingdom that John proclaimed. This is evident from his declaration:
“And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matt. 3:10).
Our Lord appeared, proclaiming the same message as John the Baptist, and also sought for fruit among His people (Matt. 7: 16-20; 21:33-43). We know, however, that John the Baptist was beheaded and Christ crucified. The good fruit produced under “the Law” was meager if at all. Even after the resurrection of Christ the majority of His people, Israel, refused to repent and failed to bring forth the required fruit.
Thankfully, what “the Law” requires but cannot produce… grace provides.
Soon after Israel’s third rejection of the Godhead (Father, Son and Spirit), God raised up the Apostle Paul, whose “preaching of the cross” showed “all men” (now without racial distinction) that Christ had not died an untimely death. But, as Paul explained, that it was in God’s infinite love that His Son had come into the world … to die for sinners … that they might be … saved by God’s free gift; by grace, through faith totally apart from Israel’s works requirement of “the Law” … Salvation was then freely offered to “all men (Gentiles and Jews)” (Eph. 2:8-9, Gal 3:28).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works (of the Law), lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“… by the righteousness of one (Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5:18)
Paul’s message was and is today still called “the gospel [good news] of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Where “the Law” had failed to bring forth fruit… grace brought fruit forth abundantly.
God’s grace in the person and Cross-work Christ, when received in true faith, always brings forth good fruit. Thus, Paul wrote to the Colossians that his good news of God’s grace was going forth into all the world, adding: “and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you since… ye knew the grace of God in truth” (Col. 1:5-6 cf. Rom. 6: 21-22).
Today men may believe and trust in Paul’s message of “the grace of God” … trusting in Christ alone as your Savior (not in religion’s rituals, rites, and works). Christ will then spontaneously begin to produce the good fruit of Christ’s life in you and … it will flow through you to others.
You never hear living fruit tree grunting and struggling to produce fruit… the fruit just comes naturally, and so it is by our union with Christ “Spirit of life” in us.