“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
We best understand this difficult verse in the light of verse sixteen that sets forth the thesis that envy and self-seeking bring confusion and every evil work. Bad seed produces bad fruit. Verse 17 shows the value of divine wisdom. In verse 18, the good seed produces good fruit.
Now the fruit of righteousness
The “fruit of righteousness” is the fruit that comes from people who walk in God’s wisdom and under divine viewpoint. This is the fruit described in verse seventeen. “Fruit” then, in this verse, is a term for spiritual maturity.
“Fruit” carries the idea of harvest. The harvest is spiritual maturity that comes from divine viewpoint. Maturity always bears a sense of justice and truth. Wisdom from above makes us think and act righteously.
Ga 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Divine viewpoint produces maturity.
In the sowing of seed, there is a hope of a harvest. The farmer labors for the harvest. As there is an inescapable relation between seed and harvest, so there is an inevitable correlation between wisdom, peace, and maturity. Divine viewpoint produces a peace that results in maturity.
2 Co. 9:10, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness…”
Php. 1:11, “…being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
There is wisdom in knowing what is right and then doing what is right from God’s viewpoint. Human wisdom will fail us if we depend on it.
Ep 5:15-16, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
“Righteousness” is a characteristic of God’s wisdom. All God’s wisdom is inherently right because He is absolute in His nature. He never falters or fails in His judgments. God never learned anything because He always knew everything. He knows everything exhaustively, completely, thoroughly, and with infinite perspicacity. When Christians apply the principles of Scripture to their experience, they acquire a divine viewpoint on their lives.
The Lord is so determined to produce this righteous maturity (wisdom) in us that He will chasten us to achieve it. If we are on the receiving end of divine discipline, we should not be anxious about it but realize God’s purpose in it. The quicker we learn the lesson from it, the soon He will take the heat off.
He 12:11, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”