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Good Tree or Bad Tree?

Jesus is clear that those who belong to Him produce good fruit. A healthy tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree produce good fruit (Matthew 7:18). Through this agrarian metaphor, Jesus tells us how to know if we are His or not. If we produce good fruit — characteristics such as love, joy, patience and compassion — that is evidence that we are walking with Him. If we produce bad fruit — such as anger, envy, cowardice and selfishness — then we are not walking in obedience to Christ.

Sanctification is a process we undergo. The proper response to God’s gift of salvation is to change, and change comes through obedience to God’s Word. James says that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). I cannot mosey along in life thinking, “I prayed to receive Christ. I can do whatever I want, and I’ll go to Heaven.” No, Jesus is clear that everyone with this attitude will not receive eternal life. Rather, those who seek God daily, struggle against sin, and exercise faith and obedience are the ones who will spend eternity with God. Salvation by grace is a free gift, but it is not to be taken lightly. It should change us forever, starting now.

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