Contend Earnestly: Known by Your Fruit

Friday, November 10, 2006

Known by Your Fruit

I have been wrestling with this issue in my own life as I deal with my sin, both outward and inward. We are told that we will known by our fruits, whether or not we will saved or not. We are also told that some of our fruit that isn’t godly will be burnt up (1 Cor 3) yet still be saved. We are told that those practicing righteousness is truly a son of God and an heir with Christ and those who practice evil is of the devil. (1 John 3)

My question is that it seems in my heart that I practice evil and that most of the fruit that I produce is always followed up by either a temptation of selfishness or actually done out of selfishness. I do see that, my godly fruit is increasing but to say that I don’t practice evil would be foolish. I know of the fight that Paul was having in Romans 7 and I know that I am still in the flesh, but I am really sick when I see my sin.

I have been reading “Jonathan Edwards: A Life” and just got done with “A Bruised Reed” by a puritan named Richard Sibbes and they both make me feel a little better about myself saying that a Christian must or a person must go through a time of complete distraught over their sin before they can realize the depths of God’s love and mercy in salvation by sending His Son.

In Isaiah 6, Isaiah isn’t given the burning coal until he realizes how sinful and evil he was compared to the holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ, only then were his sins forgiven.

Micah 4:11-13 speaks of this as well; notice not until God’s people are laid on the ground, defeated, will He then gather them like sheaves.

Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.

So here is the real question. Which is it? Am I sinning more or is it because I am understanding more of God’s holiness and His wrath and hate against that sin? Is this just a part of sanctification? Or should I fear that I am not saved? The puritans would definitely say this is part of our walk and I know as I read Jonathan Edwards he definitely dealt with this. Fleshly, that comforts me, spiritually I can answer to God by no man’s words or experience only His.



Justin Evans said...

To be honest, Seth, I think that it's both. I believe that a true believer will lessen their frequency of sin (granted, the extend and speed of this process is different for each person), and there is a heightened awareness and sensitivity to the heinousness of sin.

And, not that it is in itself conclusive, I believe that concern and remorse over sin can be a proof of true salvation. The sinner who is not saved relishes in his sin, and does not want to stop. If they do want to stop, it is because of the consequences, not because they have offended a holy God. And I believe that to be the challenge, even for believers. Do I feel remorse over the consequences, or over the fact that I have offended YHWH?

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