Pastor Chris Oyakhilome talks in-depth about the ‘Trees of Righteousness’ in the daily devotional, Rhapsody of Realities, and also covers this topic in many sermons on Pastor Chris Digital Library. When the Bible talks about the tree of life, it is talking about eternal life. We receive that reward when we admit our sins, believe in Jesus as Redeemer, and confess God as Sovereign Lord.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11: 30).
One of the primary roles of being a Christian is winning souls for Jesus. Pastor Chris is passionate about our opportunities to be ambassadors for Christ, commissioned to take the message of salvation to everyone in your world. He goes on to say: “You’re a missionary here on earth, an ambassador for Christ!”
Soul winners are precious and influential people in the sight of God. As a child of God, nothing should mean more to you than leading those in your world who have not yet known the Lord into salvation.
Fruits of Righteousness
What does it mean by “fruits of righteousness”? Fruits is another word for rewards. Pastor Chris looks at how God rewards His people for living righteous lives.
Fruit is the produce of trees or vines and Galatians 5:22–23 helps explain the fruit that God produces in us:
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Notice that these qualities are the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit creates new life in the believer, and the evidence of the new life is the fruit the Spirit produces in that life. The source of the fruit of righteousness is not “righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Philippians 3:9).
The fruit, or result, of righteousness, is the outgrowth of righteousness in the heart. A truly righteous person will display certain actions and attitudes that confirm the nature of the heart: honesty, kindness, meekness, goodness, love, etc.
The fruit of righteousness, like all fruit, springs from a seed—in this case, the seed of grace implanted in the heart of all believers at the moment of salvation. Without that seed, fruit would not be possible. Prior to God’s work of regeneration, we are incapable of producing righteous fruit. Clearly, unrighteous people cannot produce the fruit of righteousness.
Trees and Vines
What are the trees and vines in our lives as disciples? This describes our character and how we live our lives for God. Because we are repenting of our sins, we are to demonstrate that commitment by following our job description. Repentance is not only expressing sorrow for things we’ve done wrong but also making the commitment to changing ourselves so that we no longer do the wrong things.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome explains the significance of the fruits of righteousness from the verse 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.
Not only has God given us the gift of righteousness, He’s also made us His righteousness. Part of what this means is that we bear fruits of righteousness. Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches…” (John 15:5). The beauty of a tree is in its branches. You’re the “branch” of Jesus Christ, which means you carry the beauty of the Son of God.
The description of the vine and the branches depicts a beautiful picture of the process by which the fruit of righteousness is produced. A grapevine is that from which the branches receive the life-giving nourishment of water and nutrients. Only as the branch is attached to the vine can grapes come forth from the branch. Branches do not produce fruit on their own. In the parable, Jesus is the true Vine, and only from Him does spiritual nourishment come to the branches (His people) so that fruit is produced. Believers are the branches attached to the true Vine. They do not produce fruit on their own; they merely display it. All branches attached to the true Vine will display fruit; righteous fruit comes from the righteous Vine.
Pastor Chris expands on this by saying that the people of the world should see you and recognize the excellence and elegance of the Spirit that you exude. The Word says so: “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
The “trees of the field” are the people of the world; they clap their hands as they recognize and acknowledge the glory, beauty, and perfection of God in your life. As you manifest the joy and peace of the Lord, the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you, in rejoicing. What a glorious life we have in Christ!
The Lord has produced in each one of us, trees of righteousness. We’re the planting of the Lord; He planted us in His garden and has made us co-workers with Him. 1 Corinthians 3:9 tells us, “…we are laborers together with God,” meaning as Christians, we’re God’s field; we’re His garden, and in that field, there are trees and there are grasses. We’re in God’s farmyard as fellow laborers with God, as trees of righteousness, producing other trees of righteousness.
That’s our message to the world. He sent us with the Holy Spirit to go and preach His message and bring people out of bondage and out of darkness; to bind up the brokenhearted. That’s what we do as trees of righteousness. We bear fruits of righteousness.