WHY DID JESUS TELL US TO LOOK AT THE FRUIT? IS IT BECAUSE OF BIEBER LIKE BELIEVERS (THE BELIEBERS)?
Beloved, in Matthew 7:15-23, the Lord strongly emphasizes to us that we must look at the fruit and not just the appearance or the words. What does ‘fruit’ mean in this instance? It means the actions of a person, the visible evidence of what they truly believe in their heart or say they believe. In the English language there is a saying ‘Talk is cheap, talk is easy’. Yes, it is easy to talk about the Lord and post on social media about Him but the most important thing is whether we ‘walk the talk’. Do we put what we say into action? What does scripture say about our actions? I give you a whole lot of Bible verses which will clearly help you understand the mind of God.
Luke 6:46 ‘But why do you call Me, Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?’
John 14:15 ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’
Romans 6:1-22 ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.’
Romans 12:1-2 ‘present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’
Romans 13:13-14 ‘Let us walk properly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts.’
1 Corinthians 6:20 ‘For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.’
1 Corinthians 9:27 ‘But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.’
2 Corinthians 5:9 ‘Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent to be well pleasing to Him.’
2 Corinthians 7:1 ‘Therefore having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’
Galatians 5:16 ‘I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.’
Ephesians 2:8-10 ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of work, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’
Ephesians 4:1 ‘I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.’
Ephesians 4:17-5:11 ‘This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbour,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labour, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.’
Philippians 1:27 ‘Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.’
Philippians 4:9 ‘The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do.’
Colossians 1:10 ‘that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.’
Colossians 3:5-13 ‘Therefore, put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.’
1 Thessalonians 5:22 ‘Abstain from every form of evil.’
1 Timothy 6:11 ‘But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.’
2 Timothy 2:19 ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’
2 Timothy 2:22 ‘Flee from youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.’
Titus 1:16 ‘They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.’
1 Peter 1:15 ‘but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.’
1 Peter 2:11-12 ‘Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honourable among the gentiles, that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.’
James 1:22 ‘But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only.’
James 2:26 ‘faith without works is dead.’
1 John 3:9-10 ‘Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.’
1 John 3:22 ‘And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’
1 John 5:3 ‘for this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments’
Grace brings change
Beloved, I do hope you read all of the above verses carefully. We do not receive salvation or earn righteousness by doing good deeds/ good works. Our salvation is because of the finished work of Christ on the cross where He redeemed us as His own. We are now saved through faith in Him. He forgives all our sins when we repent and ask Him to forgive us. He clothes us with His righteousness and gives us a new spirit. That is the meaning of being born again. However, the result of God’s grace and being born again is a changed life, a new life. Change follows Grace (Titus 2:11-14). If change of life is not happening then that person has not really encountered the Grace of God. Grace teaches us to live obedient and faithful lives to Christ. This is reflected in the changes to the way we live, behave and conduct ourselves. Our actions change. We do not do the same sinful things we use to do before. There is a progressive but visible change in our lives. This is called sanctification (Ephesians 2:22, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2 Timothy 2:21). This does not mean that your actions become perfect in one day but there will be progressive changes in your mind and life to bear good fruit visibly day by day (Philippians 3:12-14). There will be stuff from our past life we have to overcome/give up. We may fail sometimes but when we repent and ask forgiveness the Lord is faithful to forgive and give us the strength to overcome that area of weakness completely (1 John 1:7-2:6, 2 Corinthians 12:9). However, the most important thing to remember is that change/sanctification will most definitely take place if you are truly born again. This happens when you give room for Holy Spirit in your life by submitting to Him and obeying the Word of God when He speaks to you through it (Ephesians 5:26-27, Hebrews 4:12 Thessalonians 5:19, 23-24)
In the past week or so most of the major news networks even Christian ones were carrying the news of Justin Bieber’s engagement to Hailey Baldwin. Both claim to be born-again Christians. Both have their social media accounts filled with Christian posts. Both publicly speak of their faith and spirituality. Now doesn’t all of this sound just great. Imagine the number of young people who follow these two famous personalities of the world receiving the Gospel through them. Is this great news or is it? Remember what I said before ‘talk is cheap, talk is easy’
Bieber is supposed to have proposed to Hailey whilst they were holidaying together in the Bahamas. Well, I do not want to add words to this news report but going by what they post on social media, it is kind of clear that they were sort of living together without being married. Both of them do not seem to have left behind their worldly lifestyles or careers and there are a lot of disturbing images and news reports of breaking the law, drunk behaviour and so on and so forth. Now some may say ‘do not judge’ and ‘you need to give them time’. Well the Word says to judge with righteous judgement which means if there is a violation of the Word of God we must speak up for it. As for ‘you need to give them time’. Well they have been claiming to be believers for a long, long, long time. There is a lot of talk of Jesus from them but no fruit to show His saving Grace in their lives. Yes, the Lord is longsuffering wanting us to be saved. Hence, He gives all of us many chances. However, once you close your eyes on this earth or when Jesus comes a Second time then the gift of Grace is no longer available for you and it is judgement only thereafter (2 Peter 3:9-10, Hebrews 9:27, Hebrews 10:26-31, Matthew 7:23, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:12-15). Do not buy into the devil’s lie of ‘once saved always saved’ just because you repeated a salvation prayer so many years ago. We are also called to be faithful to Christ till the end (Matthew 24:13, Colossians 1:21-23) or we will be cut off from the elect (John 15:2, Romans 2:4-11, Romans 11:21-22).
God looks at the heart
There are more than 50 Bible verses which say God looks at the heart and not the outward action. Many people take cover under this statement and try to justify their sinful actions. Well the fact that God looks at our hearts should actually terrify you. He knows your heart. So, He knows all your talk about Him is really fake and you have no real commitment or love towards Him. If you really did love Him, you would do what He says. You would know that one day you would have to stand before Him and give an account to Him for all your actions (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Beloved are you a BELIEBER or a BELIEVER? A BELIEBER talks Grace but has no fruit of Grace. A BELIEVER talks, walks and lives Grace. The fruit of holiness is visibly manifest in their lives. Sadly, today we have a lot of Justin Biebers in the body of Christ because of many churches not speaking or touching on the holiness aspect of the Gospel of Grace. The leadership of this Australian church must take responsibility for the souls of this couple on that day when they stand before Christ to give an account what they did in the Name of Christ here on earth (Ezekiel 3:17-21). (For those who do not know this, the fans of Justin Bieber, the singer are called Beliebers; a play on the word ‘believer’).
Beloved, Jesus looks at the fruit. You can say you are born again but He looks into your heart. He looks for the fruit of His grace in your life. That fruit is holiness (Romans 6:22). It is also called the fruit of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:9, Galatians 5:22-23). True evidence of Holy Spirit living in your is a life being sanctified (transformed to have the image of Christ – His nature, attitude, behaviour). Holiness is the fruit we must all have. May Grace prepare you for the soon 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.