How to Become a Christian: Chapter 21 - Assurance of salvation
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The vital importance of fruit from a person's life as an indicator of what that person really is

Let's now consider a series of verses, all of which focus on the question of fruit. These verses all address the crucial importance of what a person really is and what fruit their lives produce, if any. I have included a long series of passages because I want to demonstrate that the concept of fruit coming from a person's life is a major theme throughout the Bible.  I could have chosen very many more.

A person is justified only as a result of their repentance and faith in Jesus. However, the test from that point onwards to determine whether their conversion was real, and/or whether they are still genuine believers, is the quality and quantity of fruit that their lives produce. Please read the following verses carefully. Note the emphasis that is repeatedly given to the subject of fruit:

15"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16"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. Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB)

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. Matthew 12:33 (NASB)

7So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8"Therefore bear fruits in keeping 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. 9"Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Luke 3:7-9 (NASB)

43"For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44"For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:43-45 (NASB)

4"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit 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. 6"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.  7"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. John 15:4-8 (NASB)

"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.   John 15:16 (NASB)

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

3But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

7Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light  9for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; Ephesians 5:3-11 (NASB)

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. Hebrews 12:11 (NASB)

So we can conclude from these passages that:

  • a) the purpose and aim of our lives as Christians is that we should bear fruit
  • b) real Christians do bear fruit
  • c) false Christians don't bear fruit
  • d) people who bear fruit will be rewarded and praised
  • e) people who bear no fruit will be cut off, just as a farmer will eventually chop down a tree if it produces nothing of value

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