Read Jeremiah 32-33 at Bible Gateway.
‘In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In those days Judah will be saved,
And Jerusalem will dwell safely.
And this is the name by which she will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ Jer 33:15-16
Branch is in Hebrew, Strong’s H6779, tsemach, a sprout or branch, fruit or produce. One of the first laws of the universe which God created, is the law of like kind: a seed will produce the same thing as itself. The Seed of David, who is Messiah, will be a Branch of Righteousness, which will produce justice and righteousness in the earth.
If the produce of the Branch is righteousness, that means that the root from which the branch sprouted forth, would also have to be righteousness. In fact, the Promised Seed of Gen 3:15, is not only the Branch of David, but also the Root of David. He is the Seed of Righteousness, that produces the Root of Righteousness, from which grows the Branch of Righteousness.
This is why it is such a big deal with God, that the fruit of righteousness exists among His people. The fruit of a person’s life doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It has a source. The fruit, which is visible, in fact reveals the source, which often times isn’t visible. A tree which produces apples comes from an apple seed. A bush which produces thorns, comes from a thorn bush seed.
So if the Seed of Messiah truly dwells in our hearts, then the fruit of our lives will be the fruit of righteousness, because the law of like kinds is in effect. The Seed of Righteousness will produce the fruit of righteousness. If the fruit of righteousness does not exist, then the Seed of Righteousness is not there either.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Mat 7:15-20
This is why it is important, for those who are His, to learn what behavior God considers righteous and unrighteous, so we can repent of the unrighteous and enact the righteous, in our lives. This is the value of the written Word: it agrees in every detail with the Living Word, and the written Word moreover acts as a true plumb line in this crazy world, so that we may know whether we are on course or not. We want the fruit of righteousness in our lives to increase!