Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 2, 2016

“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit … So then, you will know them by their fruits.” – “the infallible fruits of election … a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm 50:16-23.

“16 But to the wicked God says,
“What right have you to tell of My statutes
And to take My covenant in your mouth?
17 “For you hate discipline,
And you cast My words behind you.
18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
And you associate with adulterers.
19 “You let your mouth loose in evil
And your tongue frames deceit.
20 “You sit and speak against your brother;
You slander your own mother’s son.
21 “These things you have done and I kept silence;
You thought that I was just like you;
I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

22 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”  Psalm 50:16-23.

———————–

We may claim to be one of the elect.

But, such claim does not necessarily mean that we are in fact one of the elect.

Our lives should show righteousness.

Today’s Scripture, particularly verse 23, speaks in the same sense as the following Scriptures and shows us the proper attitude.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will know them by their fruits.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;  depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”  Matthew 7:15-23.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.  Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you;  for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”  2 Peter 1:5-11.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;  but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;  and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;  however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”  Philippians 3:12-16.

The Canons of Dordt provide a good conclusion and summary.

Article 12.  The elect in due time, though in various degrees and in different measures, attain the assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election, not by inquisitively prying into the secret and deep things of God, but by observing in themselves with a spiritual joy and holy pleasure, the infallible fruits of election pointed out in the Word of God – such as a true faith in Christ, filial fear, a godly sorrow for sin, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, etc.  FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.  Canons of Dordt.

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