The great Teacher here puts into figurative language the truth which was afterwards so tersely and forcibly expressed by his most appreciative disciple, "He that doeth
righteous." We have here -
I. THE FOUNDATION-TRUTH on which our Lord's word is built, viz. that life is the outcome of character; that as men are so they will live. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good," etc. Granted that a man is sound at heart, it is certain that he will spend a good life, that he will shrink from the evil and pursue and practise the holy thing. Granted that a man is radically corrupt, it is certain that his life will be unworthy and sinful. Character must come forth into conduct; behaviour is the manifestation of the secret spring which is within the soul. "A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit," etc.
II. THE APPARENT EXCEPTIONS, which are only apparent, and not real. If this be true, we want to know how it is, on the one hand,
(1) that men we feel sure are bad at heart are found living lives that are blameless and even devout; and how it is, on the other hand, (2)that men we feel sure are sound at heart deviate so often from the straight line of propriety. The answer to this question is manifold.
1. It must be remembered that much of that which seems goodness of life, and which seems as if it must have come from a true heart, is not real goodness - it is only pretence. Hypocrisy, the affectation of piety and virtue, is not a good fruit, though it may look very much like it; it is no more "good fruit" in the garden of the Lord than poisonous berries are good fruit on the trees or shrubs of our visible garden.
2. And it must also be taken into account that much of that which seems like departure from moral excellence, and which seems as if it cannot have proceeded from the good heart, is not really "evil;" it is either mannerism that is only skin-deep, to be regretted indeed, but not to be confounded with essential moral evil; or it is undeveloped, struggling righteousness, the crude and imperfect attempt of a soul that is moving upwards from below; there is many a slip and many a false step, but then there is much honourable effort and much spiritual earnestness recognized and owned by the patient Father of spirits.
III. THE PRACTICAL CONCLUSION for which we must be prepared. "Every tree is known by his own fruit." "By their fruits ye shall know them." Men must form their judgment about us; and they must judge us by the lives they witness. If, therefore, we do not manifest a Christian temper and a loving spirit, if righteous principles are not visible in our daily dealings, if we do not give evidence of caring more for truth and for God and for the establishment of his holy kingdom on the earth than we care for our own temporal prosperity or present enjoyment, - we must not complain if men count us among the ungodly. Our godliness, our spirituality, our rectitude, ought to shine forth clearly and unmistakably from our daily life.
IV. THE PRACTICAL TRUTH which we must apply to ourselves - that, if we would live a life of uprightness in the sight of God, we must be right at heart in his esteem. It must be out of the fulness of our soul that we do right actions; it must be out of "the abundance of the heart that our mouth must speak" his praise and his truth; or our proprieties of behaviour and our suitableness of language will weigh nothing whatever in his balances. The first thing for every man to do is to become right in his own heart with God; to return in spirit unto him; to go to him in humility and in faith; to find mercy of him in Jesus Christ, and, having thus entered into sonship, to live the life of filial obedience to his Word; then and thus will the good tree bring forth good fruit. - C.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart. 1.
Christ referred true religion to the heart as the seat of its vitality.
2. Nor is it in essence alone that religion is thus intensely spiritual and inward; religious acts, to have reality and value, must proceed from the heart, and fairly represent its spiritual frames.
3. What, then, is this good treasure of the heart? True religion is an inward principle of holy living, through consecration to a holy God.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; and our best abundance of the heart must be slowly and in quietness prepared. The cattle, when they rest, are yet working to prepare from the grass that sweetest and most wholesome of beverages — milk. So must we prepare the abundance of the heart. If the milk of our word is to flow from us nourishingly, we must turn the common things of daily life — the grass — by slow and quiet processes, into sweet wisdom. In retired, meditative hours the digesting and secreting powers of the spirit act; and thus ourselves are nourished, and we store nourishment for others.
Our words are the commentaries on our wills; for. when we speak we make, as it were, a dissection of our own hearts, and read an anatomy-lecture upon ourselves. Our wanton talk discovers a stew in our heart; when our words are swords, our hearts are a slaughter-house; when we bear false witness, that is the mint; when we worship Mammon, that is the temple. The heart is the shop and workhouse of all evil (Proverbs 4:23, 24
; Matthew 15:19
()The rising of the sun is known by the shining beams; the fire is known by its burning; the life of the body is known by its moving: even so certainly is the presence of God's Spirit known by the shining light of a holy conversation; even so the purging fire of grace is known by the burning zeal against sin, and a fervent desire to keep God's commandments; even so, certainly, the life and liveliness of faith is known by the good motives of the heart, by the bestirring of all the powers, both of the soul and body, to de whatsoever God wills us to be doing, as soon as we once know He would have us do it. He that hath this evidence hath a bulwark against despair, and may dare the devil to his face; he that bath this hath the broad seal of eternal life, and such a man shall live for ever (Acts 9:6; 1 John 2:3).
TopicsAbounding, Abundance, Bring, Bringeth, Brings, Evil, Fills, Forth, Full, Gives, Heart, Mouth, Overflow, Produces, Speak, Speaketh, Speaks, Store, Stored, Treasure, Wicked
Outline1. Jesus reproves the Pharisees;12. chooses apostles;17. heals the diseased;20. preaches to his disciples before the people: the beattitudes;27. Love your Enemy37. Do not Judge43. A Tree and Its Fruit46. The House on the Rock
Dictionary of Bible ThemesLuke 6:45
5547 speech, power of
6021 sin, nature of
6185 imagination, desires
5173 outward appearance
LibraryLaws of the Kingdom
'And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God, 21. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture
Three Condensed Parables
'And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceiveth not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42. Either, how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. 43. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture
LUKE vi. 36-38. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again. One often hears complaints against this world, and against mankind; one hears it said …
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God
Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity
(From the Gospel for the day) This sermon telleth us of four measures that shall be rendered unto man, and of two grades of a godly life, and how we ought to love our neighbour. Luke vi. 36-42. WE read in the Gospel for this day that our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, …
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler
The Blessing of Mercy,
(Fourth Sunday after Trinity.) S. LUKE vi. 36. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." "Mercy" is the one great cry of human nature. We dare not ask for justice, we can only plead for mercy. David, after his great sins, could utter nothing but the mournful cry, the model for all penitent sinners, "Have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness." The publican standing afar off, and looking at his faults, and not at his virtues, offers the pattern prayer for all men, "Lord, …
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2
4th Sunday after Trinity. S. Luke vi. 37. "Judge not--condemn not--forgive." INTRODUCTION.--Our Lord here condemns all rash judgments. We know not the motives of other men's actions, and therefore have no right to pass a sweeping condemnation upon them. From our ignorance, we ought to be cautious and merciful in our judgments, and from our own weakness, we should be forgiving to those who have trespassed against us. Rash judgments arise from pride. It is because we are puffed up with a high opinion …
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent
The Reward of Obedience.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'--Matthew, v. 7, 10 11, 12. Mercy cannot get in where mercy goes not out. The outgoing …
George MacDonald—Hope of the Gospel
"Be Doers of the Word. "
I want to remind you again that the mission of this little volume is to teach you how to live. The life beyond depends on the life here. Let me emphasize what I have repeatedly said before: to live as we should, we must live by every word of God. To live by every word of God is not only to hear it but also to do it. We have learned that, in order to enter the city of God and eat of the tree of life, we must do his commandments, and also that it is not "every one that sayeth, Lord, Lord, that shall …
C. E. Orr—How to Live a Holy Life
The Golden Rule of Life.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them like wise." Luke 6:31. This is a good rule for every-day living. It is known throughout the Christian world as "The Golden Rule." It has great depths. It contains more no doubt than any of us comprehend. But let us study it for a moment. We might divide it into two rules: First, Do good to all; second, Do harm to none. We would that all men should do us good, and we would that none should do us harm. But if we would see the greater depths …
C. E. Orr—How to Live a Holy Life
That all Hope and Trust is to be Fixed in God Alone
O Lord, what is my trust which I have in this life, or what is my greatest comfort of all the things which are seen under Heaven? Is it not Thou, O Lord my God, whose mercies are without number? Where hath it been well with me without Thee? Or when could it be evil whilst Thou wert near? I had rather be poor for Thy sake, than rich without Thee. I choose rather to be a pilgrim upon the earth with Thee than without Thee to possess heaven. Where Thou art, there is heaven; and where Thou are not, …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
Judged by Fruit
A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.' (Luke vi. 43, 44.) Jesus Christ, in the few sentences quoted, indicates the true secret or principle of holy living. They show that holy living works from the heart of things--beginning within--to the outside. Many judge their religion the other way about. They take up religious …
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service
The Christian Assisted in Examining into his Growth in Grace.
1. The examination important.--2. False marks of growth to be avoided.--3. True marks proposed; such as--increasing love to God.--4. Benevolence to men.--5. Candor of disposition.--6. Meekness under injuries.--7. Serenity amidst the uncertainties of life.--8, 9. Humility,--especially as expressed in evangelical exercises of mind toward Christ end the Holy Spirit.--10. Zeal for the divine honor.--11. Habitual and cheerful willingness to exchange worlds when ever God shall appoint.--12. Conclusion. …
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul
We Shall not be Curious in the Ranking of the Duties in which Christian Love...
We shall not be curious in the ranking of the duties in which Christian love should exercise itself. All the commandments of the second table are but branches of it: they might be reduced all to the works of righteousness and of mercy. But truly these are interwoven through other. Though mercy uses to be restricted to the showing of compassion upon men in misery, yet there is a righteousness in that mercy, and there is mercy in the most part of the acts of righteousness, as in not judging rashly, …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude which Corresponds to the Gift of Fear
Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude which Corresponds to the Gift of Fear We proceed to the twelfth article thus: 1. It seems that poverty of spirit is not the beatitude which corresponds to the gift of fear. For it was explained in Art. 7 that fear is the beginning of the spiritual life, whereas poverty of spirit pertains to the perfection of the spiritual life, according to Matt. 19:21: "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor." Hence poverty of spirit does …
Aquinas—Nature and Grace
Whether the Beatitudes Differ from the virtues and Gifts?
Objection 1: It would seem that the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts. For Augustine (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4) assigns the beatitudes recited by Matthew (v 3, seqq.) to the gifts of the Holy Ghost; and Ambrose in his commentary on Luke 6:20, seqq., ascribes the beatitudes mentioned there, to the four cardinal virtues. Therefore the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts. Objection 2: Further, there are but two rules of the human will: the reason and the eternal …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Epistle xxxii. To Anastasius, Presbyter .
To Anastasius, Presbyter  . Gregory to Anastasius, &c. That a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things (Matth. xii. 35; Luke vi. 45), this thy Charity has shewn, both in thy habitual life and lately also in thy epistle; wherein I find two persons at issue with regard to virtues; that is to say, thyself contending for charity, and another for fear and humility. And, though occupied with many things, though ignorant of the Greek language, I have nevertheless sat …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
Of Christian Liberty.
1. Connection of this chapter with the previous one on Justification. A true knowledge of Christian liberty useful and necessary. 1. It purifies the conscience. 2. It checks licentiousness. 3. It maintains the merits of Christ, the truth of the Gospel, and the peace of the soul. 2. This liberty consists of three parts. First, Believers renouncing the righteousness of the law, look only to Christ. Objection. Answer, distinguishing between Legal and Evangelical righteousness. 3. This first part clearly …
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion
How the Joyful and the Sad are to be Admonished.
Admonition4. Differently to be admonished are the joyful and the sad. That is, before the joyful are to be set the sad things that follow upon punishment; but before the sad the promised glad things of the kingdom. Let the joyful learn by the asperity of threatenings what to be afraid of: let the sad bear what joys of reward they may look forward to. For to the former it is said, Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall weep (Luke vi. 25); but the latter hear from the teaching of the same Master, …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
The Present Life as Related to the Future.
LUKE xvi. 25.--"And Abraham said, Son remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." The parable of Dives and Lazarus is one of the most solemn passages in the whole Revelation of God. In it, our Lord gives very definite statements concerning the condition of those who have departed this life. It makes no practical difference, whether we assume that this was a real occurrence, or only an imaginary …
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man
In the Name of Christ
"Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do. If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it. I have appointed you, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you. Verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. At that day ye shall ask in My Name."--JOHN xiv. 13, 14, xv. 16, xvi. 23, 24, 26. In my name--repeated …
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession
"For as Many as are Led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For Ye have not Received the Spirit of Bondage
Rom. viii. s 14, 15.--"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear,", &c. Children do commonly resemble their parents, not only in the outward proportion and feature of their countenances, but also in the disposition and temper of their spirits, and generally they are inclined to imitate the customs and carriage of their parents, so that they sometimes may be accounted the very living images of such persons; …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
In the Bitter Cold of Winter the Trees Stand Bare of Leaves...
1. In the bitter cold of winter the trees stand bare of leaves, and it seems as if their life, too, had departed for ever, yet in the spring time they put forth new leaves and beautiful flowers, and the fruit begins to show itself. So was it with Me in My crucifixion and resurrection, and so it is with my faithful cross-bearers (2 Cor. iv.8-11; vi.4-10). Though they seem to be crushed and dead beneath their cross they still put forth the beautiful flowers and glorious fruits of eternal life which …
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet
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