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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Fruit Is Change, #3
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16—NIV)
We were called by the Lord for the purpose of bearing fruit, the fruit that is change from ungodliness to godliness. We were not called by the Lord to go to Heaven but to be changed.
We did not choose the Lord Jesus. He chose us and appointed us to go and bear fruit. When the Lord sees His image coming forth in us He is very pleased. When there is no evidence of a change in our personality He becomes concerned.
Notice the following:
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2—NIV)
"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit." What do you make of this statement?
"He" is God the Father. "Every branch" means every Christian. "Me" refers to Jesus Christ. "No fruit" is speaking of an absence of signs of the new creation in the believer's personality. I can't believe anyone would object to this interpretation.
Consider: if there is no change in our personality after having been a believer for a while, we stand in scriptural danger of being cut off from Christ. Is there any manner in which the verse can be interpreted so it does not mean this?
It is not enough to believe in Christ. (What is belief anyway?) We must live in Christ to the point that we are changed. If not our belief is vain and brings no salvation.
I have wondered how the officials of the Catholic Church, supposedly Christians, could murder those who did not agree with them.
I have wondered how the Irish Catholic and Protestants could murder each other.
I have wondered how the leaders of Yugoslavia, reportedly believers in Jesus Christ, could slaughter Muslims?
I understand now how this can be. They are Christians in name only. There is no eternal life in them, only the death of the untransformed carnal nature. They are not part of the Kingdom of God. They have not become new creations in Jesus Christ.
After observing Christians for over fifty years I have come to the conclusion that there is hardly any relationship between membership in a Christian church and salvation. In fact, sometimes people become worse after they become members of the Christian religion.
How many times have Christians tormented Jews? Numerous members of the German armed forces were Lutheran Christians. Yet they tried to annihilate the Jewish race. That their government ordered them to kill Jews is no excuse whatever. They could have refused at the cost of their lives. The truth is, their membership in the Lutheran Church profited them nothing. They were not saved, not members of the Kingdom of God. They had no eternal life. With their mouth they confessed the Lord Jesus but with their actions they revealed the nature of Satan. The voice was Jacob's but the hands were Esau's.
To be continued.