The Evidence of Saving Faith—Fruit; Treasuring Christ
It is a sad fact that many people who claim to belong to God, who claim to be followers of and believers in Jesus Christ, will not reach heaven and do not have everlasting life (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?’ And then I will declare to them ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Many call themselves ‘Christians’ but their lives show that they belong to themselves, the world and the devil (2 Peter 2:1-3, 13-15). Jesus said that a person will be known by the fruit he/she bears. A good tree is known by the good fruit it bears and a bad tree by its bad fruit. In the same way the deeds you do, the fruit you bear, will show whether you belong to Jesus Christ or not (Matthew 7:16-20).
If the real Jesus is in your life and heart, then you will be loyal to God and love your fellow human beings. You will be loving, good, kind, peace-loving, patient, joyful, faithful, self-controlled and humble (Galatians 5:22-2l3). You will not continue living sinfully. Adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, sorcery, idolatry (serving other gods), theft, envy, untruthfulness, contentions, selfish ambitions, covetousness, murders, heresies, foolishness, pride, drunkenness, revelries and taking God’s name in vain, will fall from you like withered leaves fall from a tree in autumn (Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7:21-23). A preacher once said: ‘The proof of the fact that you belong to Christ, that you are a true worshipper of God, is that you have a heart that treasures Christ above all other things.’
Jesus said in Matthew 13:44: ‘The Kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man finds and reburies, and for joy over it goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.’ And in Matthew 13:45, 46 it is written: ‘The kingdom of God is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found a pearl of great price went and sold all that he had and bought it’. Jesus Christ, and all the excellencies He possesses, is that great Treasure and the Pearl of great price. True faith in God esteems God for Who He is and cherishes Him above all else. In the pressure cooker of life, when things get tough, a person who belongs to God will value Him above all the other things the world can offer.
Consider a tree that is planted by a river. In a gale, a storm, a flood, a hurricane or tornado the tree will not be uprooted because the tree’s roots have gone deep into the ground to make it strong against the elements (Psalm 1:1-4; Jeremiah 17:7) When a Christian faces the storms of life, his/her foundation will be on a rock which stands firm in adversity (Matthew 16:17,18; Matthew 7:24-27) and his/her roots will be deep in Christ. The building that will stand against the wrath of God on judgement day (1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10) is the building whose foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9-11). Those who trust in uncertain riches or in the strength of man will be utterly disappointed and ashamed when God comes in judgement. If a Christian must choose the most valuable thing from all that is valuable, he/she will choose Jesus Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 10:36: ‘He who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who does not take up his cross [endure suffering] and follow Me, is not worthy of Me.’
Questions to consider: Is Jesus Christ more valuable to you than your close family: your wife, husband, child or mother? Is Jesus more valuable to you than all your possessions and friends? Is God the Treasure you hold fast to when all else is taken away from you?
Read: Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Peter 2:1-3,13-15; Matthew 7:16-20; Galatians 5:22, 23; Galatians 5:19-21; Mark 7:21-23; Matthew 13:44-46; Psalm 1:1-4; Jeremiah 17:7; Matthew 16:17, 18; Matthew 7:24-27; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 3:9-11; Matthew 10:36.