THE IDEA THAT THERE ARE TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SOUNDS SO CHILDISH. Grownups, People Who Are Educated Talk In More Sophisticate Terms. So why do people bother with the Bible when it has so many simple ideas and metaphors?
The question: There's a commandment that says we have to bloom where we are planted. How do we know where we are planted?
There a many metaphors in the Bible that speak of abundance and being fruitful. In particular, Isaiah (61:3) speaks of being a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. This has relevance to all who are Christians; as the book of Hebrews speaks of the fruit of the tree of righteousness in this way:
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)
Let us look at the tree. The tree is a tree of righteousness. This tree is not a tree of good news, or a tree of some denomination, but a tree of righteousness. Therefore, the fruit on this tree has to be that of righteousness. Trees of righteousness only bring forth the fruit of righteousness. Jesus said that every tree will be known by its fruit.
So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20)
An unrighteous tree cannot bear the fruit of righteousness no matter how much it tries. The same as a plum tree will not produce apricots or apples or avocados. Plum trees produce plums. A tree of righteousness produces the fruit of righteousness.
Naturally, if a tree is the planting of the Lord it shall be a tree of righteousness. The question is where would the Lord plant his trees of righteousness. Actually, the Lord plants the seeds for his trees in the hearts of people and once that seed (the word of God) germinates, those who are born again, need spiritual milk that they might grow up to salvation and become trees of righteousness.
Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21).
Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation (1 Peter 2:2)
Unfortunately, many people do not grow up into salvation and become trees of righteousness because they do not get the milk of the word. They imbibe other kinds of liquids (shall we say) as substitute fertilizers, but not the milk of the word. Consequently, we read in the Book of Hebrews about what appears to happen to most people who call themselves Christians.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (Hebrews 5:12-6:1)
The milk of the word is actually understanding the Ten Commandments and their implications (Do you really know the Ten Commandments?). Once people have a thorough understanding of them, then they are able to distinguish good from evil in all situations and exercise maturity in the realm of the spirit. Christians are in a spiritual battle that is very real and they need to have a depth of understanding of the foundations that ought to be the written on their heart and in their minds. These foundations are the just requirement of what the law requires, as is written in Romans 8:4. Unfortunately, Christians are deceived into thinking they do not have to possess such knowledge and then they find themselves powerless when it really comes to handling the Sword of the Spirit. More than this they do not understand what they need to be wearing when it comes to putting on the armor of God and fighting the spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18) that is taking place over their souls. They become weak in faith instead of strong in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Too many people fall into the trap of believing maturity is about learning doctrines and theologies that are the really the philosophy of men. Such individuals do not bear the fruit of righteousness. They become hypocrites that the atheists laugh at.
If you learn the milk of the Word, you will learn to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and you find atheists do not find you so accommodating and look for easier targets. Whereas those atheists who do engage with you, find themselves losing their belief that there is no God and actually begin to acknowledge the truth
that the Creator exists, and because of the reality of morality, they too need to
repent from their sins or be held to account. This happens because the pure milk of the word turns you into an authentic Christian, and you will go on to bear the fruit of righteousness.
So if you want to have an exciting walk of faith, you need to imbibe the milk of the word; then you will begin to grow as a Christian. Until such time, you will find life not very satisfying and either end up a jaded Christian wondering what being called by God is about, or if you study too much, become puffed up and a self-righteous know-all, know-nothing, who is not known by Lord Jesus Christ.