QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE FRUITS OF SALVATION?
STUDY REFERENCE: Philippians 2:12-13, Philippians 1:11, Galatians 5:22-23
We need to continue growing the things that accompany salvation in our lives, and God will not forget them (Hebrews 6:10-12). Jesus put the same lesson this way: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." (John 15:1,2; 5-8).
So, what are these things to which the Hebrew writer refers which accompany salvation? These things are natural fruits of being saved. They are what God expects of us. Like a tree producing what is natural for it to produce, saints must produce what is natural to them. You get tomatoes from tomato plants; not bananas. You also get certain things from lives lived by faith. The point is that what accompanies salvation is of the same nature as the salvation which it accompanies (James 1:21,22).
The following are some natural products of salvation:
1. Fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22,23).When the Spirit abides in a person; these are some of the things that result. There is no law against these things! How strange it is to hear someone claim "I have the Holy Ghost!" when he has little evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life!
2. Sanctification: What is "sanctification"? (Hebrews 12:14). It means "to be set apart." We must be willing to live by a separate standard than the world (vs. 15-16). There must be a transformation (Romans 12:1,2).
3. Unselfishness: There would be no salvation if not for the unselfish nature of Jesus, the Savior. He is our example in this (Philippians 2:2-4). Developing the mind of Christ in oneself must accompany salvation.
4. Evangelistic enthusiasm: One theme we see throughout the New Testament is the enthusiasm of the disciples for bringing the gospel to others. Good news is worth sharing and eternal salvation is as good as it gets! (Acts 4:20; 1 Corinthians 9:16). And what joy there is in the heart of one whose efforts have resulted in a lost one being brought to God!
5. Benevolence: We also see a great willingness to help others in need by the disciples of the first century. "Pure religion" on the part of the disciple is helping his or her fellow human beings. (James 1:27).
We are urged to "prove" (demonstrate) our faith (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 6:4). What do others see when they look at you? Do they see Christ? How sad it is when people profess that they are Christians but then allow their lives to be controlled by the Evil One. What an insult to our Savior and Lord! Those who make Christ and his salvation their plea and ground had better maintain a high quality of life, pure and disciplined. The Enemy is looking for something to criticize, something to tear down, something to malign, in each of our lives, so that through us who claim to be followers of Jesus he can bring hurt to the Lord and His cause.