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Craig A. Brittingham, Pastor
Hillside Baptist Church
May 22, 2022

“A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit” – Matthew 12:33-37

– Jesus cited this pomological standard, “a tree is known by its fruit,” and used it analogous to people.
– Jesus tailored His analogy to people by using only two kinds of trees, good and bad.
– Jesus teaches us that ultimately there are only two kinds of people, good and bad.

1A. A Good Tree Bears Only Good Fruit and A Bad Tree Bears Only Bad Fruit (33-35).
1b. Jesus applied this principle to people in the context of the Pharisees’ sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
1c. The question He asked of them indicates that an evil or bad person cannot speak good things.
2c. For out of the heart the mouth speaks.
2b. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (vs. 35)

2A. The Fruit We Bear Will be Inspected on the Day of Judgment (36-37).
1b. The Lord will be the inspector or judge.
1c. We will give account for every word we have spoken and everything we have done.
2c. Perhaps, an idle word is one spoken carelessly or without much thought.
2b. By our words and works we will be justified or condemned.
1c. The judgment will be according to works (Mat 16:27; John 5:28-29; Rom 2:6-8; Rev 20:11-15).
2c. But as a tree is identified by its fruit, so each person in the day of judgment will be identified either as a Christian or a non-Christian.

1. What does the saying, “a tree is known by its fruit” indicate about people?
2. Why did Jesus call the Pharisees a brood of vipers?
3. What truth did Jesus communicate by using a question in verse 34?
4. Does He mean that an unsaved person can do nothing good? Consider Romans 3:12
5. What reason did Jesus give for the unsaved person’s inability to do good? Verse 34
6. We will give account for every idle word we speak. How does that truth affect you?
7. What words or kinds of talk must we avoid?
8. Will the judgment on the last day be according to works? Consider Matthew 16:27; John 5:28-29; Romans 2:6-8; Revelation 20:11-15
9. How do we reconcile the two truths that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, but will be judged according to our works?