Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bear Much Fruit and Prove to be My Disciples

I was reading an article, this morning, over at the “Grace to You” website and the following quote by Cameron Buettel jumped out at me. He wrote,
Paul made it clear elsewhere that our confession and faith are proven false if there is no fruit of repentance in our lives (Romans 6:1–18).
Having this understanding is very important to me because there are some who try to convince others, myself included, they claim Christ Jesus as Lord yet their actions prove differently. I have even been asked, “Who are you to say I am an unbeliever?” But, it is not I who says. I only do as I am called…in this case, to be wise.

As John MacArthur stated,
Many people acknowledge that Jesus is both the Son of God and Lord of the universe. But Paul is speaking of the deep, personal, abiding conviction that, without any reservation or qualification, will confess . . . Jesus as Lord, that is, will confess that Jesus is the believer’s own sovereign, ruling Lord, in whom alone he trusts for salvation and to whom he submits.

James teaches that even demons acknowledge truth about God. In a purely factual sense, they are completely orthodox in their theology. “You believe that God is one,” he writes. “You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19). In other words, demons are monotheists. Satan and his fallen angels are also confirmed creationists, having watched God form the heavens and the earth simply by speaking them into existence. . . .

James’s point is that men can hold such demon belief, belief that is theologically correct but that does not include reception of Jesus as Lord. People may be well aware of their sin, be under deep conviction about it, and even have a great emotional sense of guilt from which they long to be delivered. But they do not repent and forsake the sin that causes the guilt, nor do they trust in the Savior who can forgive and remove the sin. Speaking about such people, the writer of Hebrews gives one of the most sobering warnings to be found in Scripture: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame” (Hebrews 6:4–6).
(John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 9–16 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994) 73.)
You can read this article in its entirety at http://www.gty.org/Blog/B150921.

Yesterday, God’s word from Matthew 10 was fresh in my mind. It is one of the most sobering texts for me because I have witnessed it with my own eyes and know it to be true. It says,
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39. ESV.)
I even tell my youngest children, “You must love God more than you love me!” I should have told my oldest children the same when they were little.

John MacArthur reminds me,
True Christianity is not about adding Jesus to my life. Instead, it is about devoting myself completely to Him—submitting wholly to His will and seeking to please Him above all else. It demands dying to self and following the Master, no matter what the cost. In other words, to be a Christian is to be Christ’s slave. (John MacArthur, Slave, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010) 22.)

I shall close this post with scripture from John regarding “fruit”. It says,
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:4-11. ESV.)

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