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Is it true that if there is no evidence or fruit in the life of a professing Christian, they are not saved? Doesn't the Bible say, "By their fruit you shall know them?"

The latter question is in Matthew 7:16 and is associated with false prophets. This is often applied to a person who claims to be saved but who is not.

It would depend on what is meant by this question. If you are thinking that a person that is genuinely saved should have some fruit showing in their lives, then this is correct. We have too many now who profess without any evidence of them ever having been born again.

However, if you are saying the fruit is the means to get or to keep salvation, then you are all wrong. The fruit is not the root. The root of salvation is in Christ and His sacrificial death.  It is only obtained by repentance of sin and faith in Christ. (Acts 20:21). Salvation is not obtained or retained by the fruit. It is by grace through faith and once you enter into this salvation He will preserve and keep you until He comes. After all, He is the Saviour, He's not you.

Some people seem to believe that the fruit in your life is what really saves. If you live it, you keep it; if you don't live it, you lose it. This means it depends entirely on you.

A tree is known by its fruit; but the fruit doesn't make it that kind of a tree. A real Christian should have some measure of fruit in their lives according to the Parable of the Sower in, Matthew 13. The fruit of a Christian should be both internal or external.  That means, what we are on the outside should be a product of the inner man. One might have certain characteristics of a Christian and still not be one. People may look at us, and see what they think may be fruit. But, in reality there may not be any root there. It may be just an honest effort, on our part, to live like a Christian, in order that we may become one. This is vanity. Christians are born (again), not made.

Are you a real Christian or do you just look or act like one? Only those who have bowed (kneeled) as sinners at the foot of the cross, and have trusted in Jesus Christ, are the ones who are real.  Have you done that?

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated March 9th, 2014 by Sandra Felix