By Scott Phillips
There is a great move today in the world of agriculture and science within the field of genetic manipulation. They use this technology to produce redder tomatoes, juicer oranges, and more productive crops. They even went so far as to produce a brand of cotton that has a special gene added. You can spray “Round Up,” a plant killer, on it and it won’t be killed.
I heard a story the other day on public radio where they are producing seed, special seed that gives these “great” results. But the catch is that the plant it produces does not produce seed. If my memory serves me correctly it is a type of wheat seed. This is done to ensure the farmers always must buy seed, instead of saying seed.
Science has created “ornamental trees,” such as the Bradford Pear. It is a beautiful tree. The blossoms are stunning. But don’t look for any fruit. It is a pear tree without pears. Men breed different levels of species to create hybrids, such as a donkey and a horse, which creates a mule.
Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating the genetic structure of a species to change or modify to bring about a desired result. The goal is improvement. There is nothing new under the sun. And the concept and idea of this is not new either. Men have been doing this for centuries.
Is this happening in the Christian world? And why would I suggest this is happening? Why does it seem that we find fruitless trees in the orchards of organizational structure? Stubborn mules graze in fields of labor. Millions of seed are sown with a very small return. The nature of seed is multiplication, not division. The purpose is not to be critical but to examine my own life and ask the million dollar question, “What kind of SEED am I sowing?”
I must realize that I and others can see the origination of the seed I sow by the lasting results I have. Results are not found in the first generation. Results are found in the spiritual grandchildren. Can we find any? By my physical efforts, charisma, talent, and ability I can make some things happen. Everyone can show some visible effects. If I wanted to start a Boy Scout troop, I could do that by persistence and having a good reputation. Results that are built in this realm are not eternal. They are what the Bible calls wood, hay and stubble. These results will not make a difference.
Eternal results cannot be assessed now. They will be assessed in the process of time. Some results will not be seen until the resurrection. They are seed sown to the wind. For example, if the effort I expend on writing is being sent to the wind. I will never know all the fruit that is harvested for His kingdom. He will be the Judge. My works will be tried in the fire just like yours will be.
I have heard the difference between wheat and tares is hard to distinguish while they are growing. But at harvest time the wheat bends under the burden of the fruit and the tares stand tall because there is no fruit on its stem.
The Gospel works. The Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We fulfill the gospel by dying in Repentance, by being buried with Him in baptism, and by being filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead.
This is the seed that works. If we have experienced this Gospel, we must be sure that we “examine ourselves to see if we be in the faith.” How can we tell? What is growing? Where is the fruit? If I have no fruit, it is safe to say I am not connected to the Vine. Fruit is more than the fruit of the Spirit. Thirty, sixty, and hundred-fold does not mean that we will display 30, 60 and 100% of the nine qualities of the fruit of the Spirit. If you don’t have the fruit of the Spirit you will not have any lasting fruit.
The fruit of an apple tree is not ultimately an apple, but apple trees. Apples contain the seeds of reproduction. If Gospel faith is in you, you will have all nine attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. If you have them, they will cause people to respect you, listen to you, pray with you, and believe in you and ultimately believe what you have is real and receive it.
If you don’t have the fruit of the Spirit you are not in the faith. I don’t care if you quote the whole book of Acts. I don’t care if you can preach good, sing good, and shout good. You can do these things without the Gospel. The world is full of people doing it. Too many religious folks get so high and mighty because they don’t drink, cuss, smoke and dance.
But they allow open festering infectious sores of attitudes and concepts to grow in their life. I don’t think saved people should drink alcohol, cuss, smoke, chew, dance, listen to secular music, be entertained with sin and abomination, run around showing their nakedness, or dressing in a way that can be sensual or sexual. However, abstaining from the above is not proof of salvation. Proof of salvation is found in the fruit of the Spirit. So many are sowing seeds that give people the sense of security in the things they don’t do. I believe, preach and practice abstaining from these things. However, my salvation is found in the grace of God empowering me to have a right attitude, perspective and conduct around other believers and those that are not believers.
The Spirit of Christ was shown when He was betrayed, beaten, and crucified. He opened not His mouth in defense or retaliation, and when He did open His mouth, He was praying for their forgiveness. The evidence of salvation is how we act when the pressure is on, when the enemy is taunting us. We don’t cuss, strike out, get revenge or carry a grudge. We keep our mouths shut and pray for the mercy of God in their life.
God could be using these people to work on your stinking attitude. Pray through. You can be an honest person without the Holy Ghost. You can be faithful to your wife without the Holy Ghost. You can be a hard worker without the Holy Ghost. You can be a good provider without the Holy Ghost. You can be a good person in the view of the world without the Holy Ghost.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
To have the fruit of the Spirit, you must have the Holy Ghost. When you get the Gospel, you walk right, talk right, and spit white. If we will allow the Spirit of Christ to grow in us we will be fruitful. This means not only do we live a holy life, but we also have holy conversation, relations, and interactions with the church and the world.
The seed of the Gospel works. If we will cultivate the Spirit of God in our life, we will be found fruitful and faithful. Beating my body under subjection, Seasoning my conversations with grace, Walking in the Spirit, Dying daily, Making my calling and election sure, Stirring up the gift of God that is within me, Praying in the Holy Ghost -For fruit that will remain. In Him, By Him, Through Him, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:17-19)
The above article, “Genetic Engineering” was written by Scott Phillips. The article was excerpted from chapter nineteen in Phillip’s book, In Him By Him Through Him.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.