Commentary on "By Their Fruit"
Day 7: Friday, January 1, 2009
This lesson summarizes the idea that the person who abides in Christ will bear good fruit, that joining the church if one has not been joined to the Lord will not yield godly character. The lesson ends with some questions about the differences between “being good” and “doing good” and about how behavior indicates a person’s closeness to the kingdom of God.
The second question reads, “Read carefully Ellen White’s statement about how all those who join themselves to the church but not to the Lord will soon reveal their true character. What does that mean? Why should we each ask ourselves in which category we truly belong? How can we know for sure the answer?
While the summary statements of this lesson sound good as stated, again I want to point out that the entire concept of fruit of the Spirit in believers must presuppose that a person is born again. If a person has not surrendered to the Lord Jesus and been made alive by the Spirit, there is no possible way he or she will bear fruit of the Spirit even if there’s an abundance of good works.
The question asking how we can know whether or not we are joined to the Lord has a very simple Bible answer. Romans 8 directly addresses this issue.
The Bible teaches that saving faith is characterized by the absolute assurance of salvation.
John 5:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
Ephesians 1:13-14: “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.”
Romans 8:15-17: For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him un order that we may also be glorified with him.”
When we meet the Jesus of the Bible and repent before Him, accepting His blood as payment for our sin, we are made alive by the Spirit. It is an absolute promise of God that He testifies to us in our spirits by His Spirit that we are eternally safe as His adopted children. God always keeps His promises. We can take this promise to the bank.
If you do not have the deep assurance that you are saved and will stay saved, not by your “abiding” and continual obedience but by His own acceptance of you based on Jesus blood—nothing more, nothing less—then you may not have met the Jesus of the Bible and submitted to Him.
Ask Him to reveal Himself and His will for you. Ask Him to make your heart willing to serve Him, to know truth and to act in reality, not in deception or wishful thinking.
Any teaching you have received that says you cannot know for sure that you are saved if you’ve met Jesus, is non-biblical and false teaching. The Bible says we can know for sure. The Holy Spirit absolutely confirms our salvation and our eternal security when we are born again.
When we are secure in Jesus, alive with His Spirit, He will produce His own fruit in our lives. Our only “job” is to surrender to him, one step at a time as He reveals to us what He wants us to surrender. We must trust Him, because He is utterly trustworthy. His word cannot fail.
Copyright 2009 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised December 31, 2009. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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