Today's meditation comes from 1 Corinthians 15:37-38 (kind of). We jump around a lot, so here are my notes for this one:
Anchor verse: 1 Cor 15:37-38 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
The body being the fruit.
Everything produces fruit after its kind—so fruit can be good or bad, depending upon the seed.
Gen 1:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
We can sow literal fruit, or we can sow our work:
Ecc 11:6 Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
Or we can sow righteousness:
Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
Or we can sow our words, whether good or ill:
Prov 18:20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
Prov 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Or we can sow the word of God:
Matt 13:3-22: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
The new birth is also brought about by a seed—God’s seed:
1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
And this seed produces fruit according to its kind:
1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.
They cannot go on sinning, because that would violate the principle of a seed bearing fruit according to its kind.
Matt 7:16-20: By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matt 12:33: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.
Extrapolating here: Why is fruit the symbol of knowledge of good and evil? Maybe because the wages of sin is death — and the fruit of the seed sin is death — it’s just a consistent metaphor with the rest of scripture.
Gen 3:3: but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Sowing is a kind of death, sacrifice, or loss—but this is required to bear fruit.
John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
We don’t understand how this process works—the process of multiplication is God’s. But it does work.
Mark 4:26-27 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.
God is very interested in our producing the fruit of the Kingdom—in fact, that seems to be mainly what He is interested in!
John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
John 15:4-5, 8: Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. …This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Romans 7:14 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Col 1:10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
And what is the fruit of the Kingdom?
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,