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Benefit (fruit) (2590) (karpos) is used in its literal sense to refer to fruit, produce or offspring, which describes that which is produced by the inherent energy of a living organism. Karpos is what something naturally produces. Figuratively, karpos is used of the consequence of physical, mental, or spiritual action. In the NT the figurative (metaphorical) uses predominate and this is particularly true in the Gospels, where human actions and words are viewed as fruit growing out of a person's essential being or character. Karpos refers to that which originates or comes from something producing an effect or result (benefit, advantage, profit, utility). Karpos is used 66 times in the NT - 8" class="scriptRef">Matt. 3:8, 10; 16-Matt.7.18" class="scriptRef">7:16, 17, 18; Mt 12:33; 13:8, 26; 9" class="scriptRef">21:19, 34, 41, 43; Mk. 4:7, 8, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Lk. 1:42; 3:8f; 6:43, 44; 8:8; 12:17; 13:6, 7, 9; 20:10; Jn. 4:36; 12:24; 15:2, 4, 5, 8, 16; Acts 2:30; Ro 1:13; 22" class="scriptRef">6:21, 22; 15:28; 1 Co. 9:7; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:17; 2Ti 2:6; 4:13; Heb. 12:11; 13:15; Jas. 3:17, 18; 5:7, 18; Rev. 22:2 The NASB renders karpos as benefit, 2; crop, 5; crops, 2; descendants, 1; fruit, 43; fruitful, 1; fruits, 4; grain, 1; harvest, 1; proceeds, 1; produce, 4; profit, 1. Karpos is used some 96 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (31" class="scriptRef">Gen. 1:11f, 29; 3:2f, 6; 4:3; 30.2" class="scriptRef">30:2; 43:11; 10.12" class="scriptRef">Exod. 10:12, 15; 23-Lev.19.25" class="scriptRef">Lev. 19:23, 24, 25; 23:40; 25:3; 26:4, 20" class="scriptRef">20; 27:30; Num. 13:20, 26f; Deut. 1:25; 7:13; 11:17; 26:2; Jdg. 6:4; 1 Sam. 5:4; 37" class="scriptRef">2 Ki. 19:29f; Neh. 9:36; 10:35, 37; 21" class="scriptRef">Job 22:21; Ps. 1:3; 21:10; 8.11" class="scriptRef">58:11; 67:6; 16" class="scriptRef">72:16; 78:46; 85:12; 104:13; 105:35; 107:37; 127:3; 28.2" class="scriptRef">128:2; 132:11; Prov. 1:31; 3:9; 10:16; 11:30; 14" class="scriptRef">12:14; 13:2; 15:6; 18:20f; 19:22; 27:18; 31:16, 20, 31; Eccl. 2:5; Song 2:3; 4:13, 16; 8:11f; Isa. 27:6; 37:30; Jer. 2:7; 6:19; 12:2; 17:8, 10; 29:5, 28; 31:12; 50:27; Lam. 2:20; Ezek. 17:8f, 23; 19:10; 25:4; 34:27; 36:8, 30; 47:12; Dan. 4:12, 14, 21; Hos. 9:16; 10:1, 12f; 14:2, 8; Joel 2:22; Amos 2:9; 6:12; 9:14; Mic. 6:7; 7:13; Hag. 2:19; Zech. 8:12; Mal. 3:11) Other resources on fruit: ISBE Article; Torrey's Topic; Holman Bible Dictionary; Thompson's Chain References Fruit, sinful Fruit, spiritual Fruitfulness-unfruitfulness Fruitfulness ;Easton's; Baker's Evangelical Dictionary Paul uses karpos as an expression for desirable, righteous qualities in one’s life, the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). The author of Hebrews uses karpos to picture the results of the disciplined lifestyle (see note Hebrews 12:11) Scripture catalogs 3 general kinds of spiritual fruit... 1) Spiritual attitudes that characterize a Spirit-led believer - Galatians 5:22-23 2) Righteous actions - see notes Romans 6:22, Philippians 4:16; 4:17; Hebrews 13:5 3) New converts - see note Romans 16:5 Larry Richards summarizes the Biblical concept of spiritual fruit writing that... Fruitfulness is a consistent concept in the OT and the NT. The fruit God seeks in human beings is expressed in righteous and loving acts that bring peace and harmony to the individual and to society. But that fruit is foreign to sinful human nature. Energized by sinful passions, fallen humanity acts in ways that harm and bring dissension. God's solution is found in a personal relationship with Jesus and in the supernatural working of God's Spirit within the believer. As we live in intimate, obedient relationship with Jesus, God's Spirit energizes us as we produce the peaceable fruits of a righteousness that can come only from the Lord. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency) W. E Vine has an excellent summary of karpos explaining that... Karpos frequently in the New Testament in its natural sense of that which is produced by the inherent energy of a living organism, Matthew 13:8, and also, in a derived sense, of the result, in the spiritual and moral sphere, of the energy of the Holy Spirit operating in those who through faith are brought into living union with Christ, John 15:4-5. Fruit is thus the outward expression of power working inwardly, and so in itself beyond observation, the character of the fruit giving evidence of the character of the power that produces it, Matthew 7:16 (note). As lust manifests itself in works, the restless and disorderly activities of the flesh, or principle of evil, in man, so the Spirit manifests His presence in His peaceable Hebrews 12:11 (note), and orderly fruit. In this connection fruit presents an advance upon “works.” “Works” gives prominence to the notion of activity; fruit directs attention to the power that works within. Fruit is also used by the apostle Paul of the converts resulting from his ministry, Philippians 1:22 (note); and of the manifestation of the character of Christ in the lives of believers in consequence of his ministry of the Word among them, Romans 1:13 (note); and of the care of the believers for the poor, for this is the fruit, or outward expression, of love, attesting its reality, Romans 15:28 (note); and of the care of laborers in the gospel, for this is the fruit, or outward expression, of thankfulness to God for spiritual blessings enjoyed, attesting its reality, Philippians 4:17 (note). The singular form, fruit, is used here perhaps to suggest the unity and harmony of the character of the Lord Jesus which is to be reproduced in the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit, in contrast with the discordant and often mutually antagonistic “works of the flesh.” In Christ actually, and in the Christian potentially, the fruit of the Spirit is harmonious, the various elements being mutually consistent, and each encouraging and enhancing the rest in happy coordination and cooperation in that “new man, which after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth,” Ephesians 4:24 (note). The verb “fruit-bearing,” karpophoreo, is found in the New Testament in both the natural, Mark 4:28, and the spiritual sense, Matthew 13:23; Mark 4:20; Luke 8:15. The two states of men, the regenerate and the unregenerate, are contrasted in Romans 7:4, 7:5 (note); in the former “the passions of sins,” i.e., sinful impulses, see at v. 24, below, bore fruit unto death, that is these activities arose out of a state of alienation from God; in the latter the power of the indwelling Spirit, who unites the soul with the risen Lord, bears fruit unto God; so also Colossians 1:10 (note). Colossians 1:6 (note) corresponds with Philippians 1:22 (note), mentioned above. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson ) Here are a few illustrative uses of karpos in the New Testament (studying these in context will give one a good sense of the meaning of the word karpos)... Matthew 3:8 "Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;" In his proclamation John the Baptist called for repentance and insisted that any inner change produce fruit as evidence of its reality. Matthew 7:16-20 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits." Jesus explained to his audience that true inner character (and evidence of a new heart, a spiritually circumcised heart) is recognized in a person's good fruits or conversely bad fruits (from the unregenerate heart). When a tree is rotten it naturally produces rotten fruit. But when the indwelling Spirit of God Himself begins to express His mighty power in the inner being of believers, good things begin to happen. The nature of God Himself begins to manifest itself in our lives. (See notes on Matthew 7:16; 17; 18; 19; 20) Matthew 13:8 And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. Matthew 21:43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. Mark 4:7 Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” Luke 8:8 Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 1:42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! ("fruit of the womb" is a Hebraism = a linguistic usage or custom borrowed from or particular to the Hebrew language) Luke 3:8 Therefore bear fruits in keeping (axios = corresponding to or consistent with) with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham." Here karpos views the deeds as the outcome of some moral or inner force. John 12:24 Truly, truly (Amen, Amen), I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit (karpos) He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit (karpos), He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit....4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit (karpos) of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing....8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit (karpos), and so prove to be My disciples....16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit (karpos), and that your fruit (karpos) would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you." (Comment: In the Gospel of John and the Epistles of Paul that the concept of fruitfulness shifts from that of the product of character to the product of God's work within us. Jesus takes the image of the vine, with God as gardener, from Isaiah. We believers are carefully tended by the Father, pruned and cared for that we may "bear much fruit." Fruitfulness is possible, he said, if we remain in him and his words remain in us. The point Jesus makes is that fruitfulness is rooted in our personal relationship with him, and our personal relationship with him is maintained by living his words: "If you obey my commands you will remain in my love" -- John 15:10. God has chosen us. It is his intention that we be fruitful. It is for this reason that he has given us the most intimate of relationships and Jesus' own words to guide us, and it is our responsibility to walk in close fellowship with our Lord.) Romans 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. (see note) Romans 15:28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. (see note) Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," Ephesians 5:9 for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth (see note) Philippians 1:11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (see note) Philippians 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. (see note) (Comment: Vine writes that " The figure here is that of spiritual and eternal recompense for material assistance; there is blessing both in this life and the next. See Proverbs 19:17. The “account” (logos) is a financial metaphor suggestive of interest." (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson ) 2 Timothy 2:6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. (see note) Hebrews 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (see note) Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. (see note) James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 5:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. Revelation 22:2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (see note) The unsaved person is free—free from righteousness (v20). But his bondage to sin only leads him deeper into slavery so that it becomes harder and harder to do what is right. The Prodigal Son is an example of this (Lu 15:11-24). When he was at home, he decided he wanted his freedom, so he left home to find himself and enjoy himself. But his rebellion only led him deeper into slavery. He was the slave of wrong desires, then the slave of wrong deeds; and finally he became a literal slave when he took care of the pigs. He wanted to find himself, but he lost himself! What he thought was freedom turned out to be the worst kind of slavery. It was only when he returned home and yielded to his father that he found true freedom. Haldane offers an interesting point of clarification on benefit noting that... Fruit (in the KJV, NAS = benefit) here signifies advantage, and not pleasure. Many interpret this verse as if the Apostle denied that they had any pleasure in their sins at the time of committing them. This the Apostle could not do; for it is a fact that men have pleasure in sin. To say that sinful pleasure is no pleasure, but is imaginary, is to abuse terms. All pleasure is a matter of feeling, and a man is no less happy than he feels himself to be; if he imagines that he enjoys pleasure, he actually enjoys pleasure. But what advantage is there in such pleasure? This is the question which the Apostle asks. (Haldane, R. An Exposition on the Epistle to the Roman. Ages Classic Commentaries) Newell comments that... in those former evil days, they had been, as Paul says, free in regard of righteousness (see note Romans 6:20). They were altogether given to iniquity, without any check whatever. ("There seems to be a grave but cutting irony in this allusion to their old condition, when the only freedom they knew was in respect to righteousness! They were slaves of sin, and had nothing to do with righteousness!") And those were fruitless days of which they were now ashamed. Free and fruitless! What a pair of words to describe the life of one who is going on daily toward eternity! Let each believer look back to those days when God was "not in all his thoughts." The pleasures and treasures of sin we sought - free in regard of righteousness, like the beasts which perish. What saved one can say of his unsaved life, I can treasure this or that as fruit? of any particular iniquity, I cherish good results from it? What fruit had you? Shame, only: things of which ye are now ashamed. Furthermore, we were going on steadily in that path unto the end, which was death, and that eternal. Remember the relentless but true description of sin's horrid birth and end, in James 1:14,15. Now from all this, God has in sovereign grace rescued us, and should we not, do we not, gladly enter upon the path of loving service, yea, bond service, to Him? (Romans 6)

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