Christians and Trees
Are you living an authentic Christian life? Dendrology will help you answer that.
Dendrology, if you didn’t know, is the study of trees. God uses the metaphor of the tree all throughout His Word. In the New Testament, we see Jesus explaining to His followers that we are all like trees – bearing either good fruit or bad fruit. Our “fruit” is our works; so we either do good works or bad works. Jesus even says “Beware of false prophets…You will recognize them by their fruits.”(Matthew 7:15-16). In other words, you will recognize dale prophets by their works.
The quality (or authenticity) of our fruit depends on the nutrients we allow into us. As Christians, the good nutrients we need come from the Spirit.
Our Nutrients: General and Special Revelation
The Spirit reveals Himself through general and special revelation. General revelation refers to the revealing of God through nature, and special revelation is God revealing Himself through supernatural things – like miracles and the Word of God. Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Romans that no one is excused – “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”(Romans 1:19-20). This is important as it encourages us to know that
we can receive nutrients both from His Word and creation – all the time. We are never out of reach of the Spirit.
Where Faith Comes to Play
As we allow the revelation of God to build us and equip us into authentic Christians, the natural outcome is to obey Him. But what do we need to allow God to affect us? Faith. Paul mentions something called the “obedience of faith,” which refers to the natural obedience that comes from a true heart and mind of faith.
So, are you living an authentic Christian life?
Look at Your Life
The best way to answer that is to look at your fruits – look at your life. If your fruits (works) are motivated and covered in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, than that’s a good sign that you’re living an authentic Christian life – that you’re engaged in and with the Holy Spirit.
As we continue receiving nutrients from the Spirit through general and special revelation, we’ll begin to see a transformation take place in our hearts and minds. A transformation that is only achieved by a spirit surrendered to Him. A transformation that exchanges the bad fruit we’ve been harvesting, to good fruit.
To conclude, listen to these words from Paul in his letter to the Romans. He’s talking about the marks of the true and authentic Christian. If you’ve surrendered your life to Him, then you can purpose your life to be revolved around these things:
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love on another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not be slothful in seal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints [other Christians] and seek to show hospitality.”(Romans 12:9-13)