"let not your right hand know what the left hand doesth"
"by your fruits ye shall know them"
I think that when it comes to charitable giving, we should not be doing it for recognition. Because of this, many people may not know who is sacrificing grately and being truly charitable.
On the other hand, if our righteousness in everyday life is missing, for example if we are consistently mean and dishonest, I think the fruits aren't just "invisible" they are missing and I think that it is unlikely that God or his salvation has much place with us.
---doug on 10/6/08|
I think that if you are truly saved and the spirit of God lives in you, you can't help but to show the good fruit. Even if it is something as small as a smile when someone is feeling down. We aren't suppose to hide our light under a bushel. When you are saved, God's goodness comes out in us. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't help but to have joy in the Lord and people just see it. People I haven't seen in years see me now and they even ask how it is I am so much happier. I tell them it is God. We Christians should be happy all the time! I know I am because He saved me. GOD BLESS!!!
---ginger on 9/16/08|
Yes, just because we can't see the fruit, it doesn't mean the person doesn't have any fruit.
The question states visible fruits.
What about the invisible fruit?
Does anymore have to have our stamp of approval before going to Heaven?
If Jesus who reads the heart, sees the fruit, the person is saved.
How many people have false visible fruit.
We think they are in HEAVEN but they are burning in hell as we speak.
---Nicole on 9/14/08|
Don't subject yourself to other people's approval/disapproval or their standards. They should not be DECIDING/judging you because you don't measure up to THEIR standards (they should have the ambition to SHUT UP and get off your case)...
1 Thessalonians 4:11
"to aspire to live quietly (shut up), to MIND your own affairs...".
God will teach you not to SHOW fruit (and to instead HAVE the FRUIT of GENUINE humility within) so that you REST in The Lord (don't show off or pray in public).
Very often, people will PICK ON/resent you because your noble character makes them look bad (THEY don't have a Godly character/spirit/demeanor).
---more_excellent_way on 9/14/08|
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
---jerry6593 on 9/13/08|
Yes it is one way of living, but it is not recommended. If we abide in Christ, His Holy Spirit abides in us. If we believe but do not abide in Christ, John 15 says that we wither up like branches that are cut off from the sap. Then men gather them up and burn them. What happens then, is that we are turned out of the fellowship, or handed over to Satan to be taught a lesson. It might result in illness or even death. However the believer is always saved for eternity. We have that promise. God calls and if we answer with faith, no matter how bad a Christian we are, we are still saved. However, you do not want to take that route, I think.
---frances008 on 9/12/08|
""But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law""
Seems to me that the very words "such things" indicate that this is NOT an exhaustive list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
---katavasia on 9/12/08|
gal. 5:22-26 speaks of this and gives some answers, here it is.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
1 corinth. 13:1-13, tells how we should show it and some of what happens if we don't.
---ginge7376 on 9/12/08|
Mima, No, it doesn't prove he is a Christian just because he helps others, but if you know he has given his life to Christ and you don't see him helping anyone in need, his evidence to you would seem like he is not saved. But that is only evidence to our eyes, not God's. Because of our depravity we have the habbit of looking at others even when they are our brothers in Christ. We know how the world conducts itself so we don't worry about them but we do check the people that go to church with us or someone you thought was a great Christian and you hear what he says and does. Yet that does not in anyway proof anything. Only God know's what is in his heart. Maybe there is a good reason he never helps. We don't know for sure if he is truely saved.
---Mark_V. on 8/28/08|
Mima, nobody can do anything good without the Holy Spirit being in them. A good act cannot be called bad because a person was not called a Christian. Likewise many people who call themselves Christian are not going to make it into heaven (Matthew 7 towards the end) So some people who have the Holy Spirit, as witnessed by their good actions, (fruits), do not actually know about Jesus Christ. Whether they would call themselves Christian, or whether we would call them Christian, does not matter. What matters is whether they produced the fruits of repentance, and understood their need for mercy. The fact that they do good to others seems to be evidence of faith in the real Jesus that they have yet to meet.
---frances008 on 8/28/08|
Every one of us judges each day. Don't think so? How many of you witness to your pastor about his need for salvation? Why not? Because you have judged him saved and not in need of salvific witnessing. How do we know who to witness to if we have not judged from their fruits that need Christ?
God is going to judge why you did good deeds not that you did them. Humans judge the deed but can't know the motive. Motive are all God is concerned with as from our heart comes good and bad. Right deeds with wrong motives are condemning and that is what James was speaking about.
---Brooks on 8/28/08|
I imagine it's possible considering the thief on the cross, who found salvation while unable to even scratch his nose if it itched.
However were not nailed to a cross like he was, those who do not help gather have a hand in scattering them(the lost) about,
A tree(christian)that doesn't produce fruit(works of your labor) is hewn down and cast into the fire.
We are known by our fruit's(works/labors)!
Read the parable of the 10 talents and ask yourself, Am I as this one who has hid what he has been given OR have I gained interest for God(He's NOT talking about money).
So unless your bed ridden or in wheelchair unable to go forth and produce fruit you err in your slothfulness(laziness)...
---Duane_Dudley_Martin on 8/28/08|
"James is speaking about our conduct. Of those who call themselves Christains but never help someone in need."
This statement by---MARK V raises this question. Does helping someone in need make the person doing the helping a Christian?????? amazingly many people would say yes!!!!!
---mima on 8/28/08|
there are plenty of christians who thinks that the definition of maturity is to be sinless & holy. I have met plenty of christians who are arrogant & self-righteous. they know how to spin the issues around in order to blame others but themselves.
---mike on 8/27/08|
Precisely! Unfortunately, many Christians get caught up in the whole "corporate profit" mentality, and try to play it by the numbers, treating people as "basic income units" (or "basic salvation units") rather than human beings.***
Strongaxe, years ago I went to a Church who played this game. Every month a bulletin would come out from the Corporate Office posting the Church who had the MOST saved and members that month.
Many people already saved were getting saved AGAIN, and AGAIN, because the pastor kept preaching condemnation....
He LOVED seeing HIS NAME and Church in the Bulletin...bragging every month....
Eventually, he was let go!!!!
---kathr4453 on 8/21/08|
Mathew 3:8 "Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance,
John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.
It is clear in the Holy Scriptures that a saved person should have visible fruits that are seen by others. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such thing there is no law.
I hope the Biblical quotes have given you the answer to your question. God bless you.
---caroa9397 on 8/19/08|
There is two passages that are been used, "You will know them by their fruits" Luke 7:16, and "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?"
"Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" James 2:17.
The passage in Luke is speaking about false prophets, as Christians we are to watch out for ravenous wolfs. Those who distort the Word of God, those are their fruits.
James is speaking about our conduct. Of those who call themselves Christains but never help someone in need. They give evidence to us only of the committment they made. We don't know for sure even with the evidence since God is the only one who knows.
---Mark_V. on 8/19/08|
Precisely! Unfortunately, many Christians get caught up in the whole "corporate profit" mentality, and try to play it by the numbers, treating people as "basic income units" (or "basic salvation units") rather than human beings.
---StrongAxe on 8/18/08|
*****On the other hand, Jesus didn't seem to be about numbers - he was often recorded as talking to individual people, clearly not an "efficient" use of resources.****
This is the MOST efficient way....
AND I would say...most people don't witness, because they depend on the MASS communication to do it for them.
Regardless of Mass or individual...Christianity IS NOT, and has never been or will never be.....POPULAR.....
Christianity is NOT a Movenment to join...like a club.
Christianity is not a PROGRAM to follow.
Christianity is a person...Jesus Christ!!!!
---kathr4453 on 8/18/08|
Years ago I had a good friend who was a Jehovah's Witness. One very telling thing was that they go out knocking on doors and passing out free Watchtower and Awake magazines, but that they would suddenly step up the pace at the end of every month.
This was because everybody had a certain quota that they had to meet, and (people being human) would often not quite keep up, and then race to catch up at the end of the month so that when they filled up their end-of-month reports, their quotas would be met.
They were more interested in meeting artificial numbers than in the actual evangelism itself.
---StrongAxe on 8/17/08|
Yes, of course, otherwise the word would not say, that the tree needed to be dug around and fertilized... then.. if still no fruit, it was to be cast in the fire ( of affliction - designed to burn off the part that was not of God - that was causing unproductivity) God did not give it to us, to judge a mans soul, this he reserves for himself. We are to nurture & encourage, not judge and destroy.
---gayla on 8/17/08|
****If one wants to play the "numbers game" that many churches play (especially television ministries), of course one would say that such a record would be unsatisfactory.****
And how very sad that many are caught up in the Numbers game, feeling as though their ministries are dead because they are not growing by leaps and bounds.
The Emergent Package of the Purpose Driven Church is now the popular program to use to have a great bottom line!!!!!
SOOOOOO, the Truth is being exchanges for visible results, as the blind lead the blind in groves to the shores of hell.
What does the Bible say about the last days....Read 2 Timothy 3 for starters!
---kathr4453 on 8/15/08|
---StrongAxe in China I was introduced to a lady missionary who in 13 years on the field had never had one conversion. She was working in the colleges as an English teacher and apparently had never openly testified or witness to anyone at least that was the drift of the conversations I heard about her. I believe one on one witnessing to be the most effective way of witnessing however it is my hope and my wish(my stated wish) that the message does not stop with the conversion of the listener. But that they would carry a message on to others.
---Mima on 8/15/08|
****Can a person be saved without ANYONE seeing any visible fruits of his salation?***
Depends on what you mean by fruits.
Love, Joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, self control, long suffering. etc, etc. These fruits are the very Life of Christ in you, and are given to those who have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts of this world.
Other fruits we must remember....some plant....some water...but it is GOD who gives the increase.
Some are called to prayer....who quietly intercede for others who NEVER NEVER make an open show of it.
We're not called to be fruit inspectors....we're called to mind our own business...doing our own work....
---kathr4453 on 8/15/08|
If one wants to play the "numbers game" that many churches play (especially television ministries), of course one would say that such a record would be unsatisfactory.
Of course, by that logic, Jesus would have done much better if he had come today instead rather than 2000 years ago, because he would have had access to mass communications (a sentiment mentioned in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar).
On the other hand, Jesus didn't seem to be about numbers - he was often recorded as talking to individual people, clearly not an "efficient" use of resources.
Thinking about that one convert those missionaries made - where would he be if they had been recalled for lack of results?
---StrongAxe on 8/14/08|
---StrongAxe I know of a missionary couple in Ireland(Speaking English there means there is no language barrier) that told me they had had one conversion after 11 years on the field. Is this satisfactory? Is this growing fast enough? Please comment
---Mima on 8/14/08|
The gospels mention that all tbe apostles went out and did miracles like Jesus did. It doesn't say "all the apostles except Judas", so we must conclude that he was included - yet it didn't do him much good.
On the other hand, there are some plants that may live an entire lifetime and bear only one single fruit before dying. We should be slow to criticize someone because they aren't growing fast enough for our own expectations.
---StrongAxe on 8/13/08|
Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruit (not their gifts). If a person doesn't have the fruit of the Holy Spirit, at least ONE fruit, then he isn't growing in the Lord. And if he isn't growing in the Lord Jesus, is he really saved? If what Jesus said is true, "You shall know them by their fruit." Then does he mean if they have no fruit of the Spirit, they aren't saved? I believe so.
Did anyone see visible fruit in Judas? Did Was Judas saved? Jesus said it would have been better if he was never born (which indicates where he went when he hung himself).
---donna8365 on 8/12/08|
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I believe that a person is saved by Grace and not by works and only God knows the sincerity of that salvation and committment. However I do believe that a walk without fruit certainly should be challenged, but be careful. I recently went to a funeral of a business associate that I knew was a Christian however I was totally unaware of his Philanthropy towards charities. He kept his faith and his works very private during business hours. I falsely assumed that he was a dry Christian while all that time he was growing fruit faster than me.
---TIMOTHY on 8/11/08|
James chapter 2 is very clear that of there is no works, faith alone will not save. It says if there is nothing to show for faith then that faith is dead.
---john on 8/10/08|
"Can a person be saved without ANYONE seeing any visible fruits of his salation?"
This question can not be answered with a yes or no simply because salvation is a matter of the heart. We can not accurately know the heart of another.
Furthermore, that which is sensually perceived and used for the discerning of the spiritual, can be, and usual is, deceptive.
However, we are given to know that we can recognize the deceivers, by their fruit, for that which is produced in their lives, in both word and deed, will be demonstrative of that which is most prevalent in their heart (as their central focus and desire in life).
---josef on 8/10/08|
Humans are not the Judge.
Only Jesus has to know about our fruit.
But, I do not like the question form.
You are Saved by Baptism which is mostly public.
You can be baptized in secret in emergency situation.
But, to kept your Salvation you must have fruits.
NOT WORKS! FRUITS!
---Nicole on 8/9/08|
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I think it's possible, but nobody should go on for years without their newness of life showing.THAT would cause me to wonder if perhaps they really had not been saved.
I think we tend to be too impatient with new believers ...maybe old ones too... The Lord doesn't necessarily change everything about a person immediately. God has priorities and He knows the personality and needs of each person. If the Lord is teaching me about prayer, for instance, you may not notice. If I'm learning patience through a trial, you may not see it...perhaps not knowing my past...but it doesn't mean my life is fruitless.
A person is not always accountable to his peers. Rather he is accountable to God as a servant is accountable to his master.
---Donna66 on 8/9/08|
When I was agnostic about Jesus, I decided still His way was the best to go by. So - - how to give to the poor without them knowing it was me, and without my left hand knowing what the right was doing?
Roll up fives and tens and maybe twenties inside ink pens, mix them up so I didn't know what I was giving. And get at a distance from someone before saying to look for a "coupon" inside the pen.
An officer accosted me after I gave a minority person some pens. And I thought of how Jesus wants us to confess Him before men. So, I told the officer what I was doing, "because Jesus wants us to love everyone". He said, "Well, I can't stop you."
---Bill_bila5659 on 8/8/08|
Salvation has no 'bells and whistles'.
Jesus made salvation available to all humanity (Luke 3:6). The guarantee of our inheritance is having a peaceful and just (Godly) spirit (Ephesians 1:14), NOT "fruits". NO ONE ON EARTH has any right to expect anything of you except your boss.
If it is YOU who are disappointed in yourself,...GOOD, Jesus came for the spiritually destitute who realize they are not 'worthy' (poor in spirit, Matthew 5:3) of heaven. Learn genuine humility and PATIENCE.
In time, when you learn to accept yourself (and can share a true SELF to God), you will have a more intimate and PERSONAL relationship with God (and He with you).
You're accountable spiritually to THE LORD only. Verses RSV.
---more_excellent_way on 8/8/08|
The question is a bit confusing Mima.
INDEED someone can be saved, even if no one SEES their fruits.
I say this because MANY things that we do as unto God are not shouted from the housetops.
Many of us quietly help our neighbors, work in soup kitchens, are prayer warriers etc without even family members being aware of our deeds.
Our fruits will often show themselves to others by the love they see in us, and the Spirit that indwells within us.
---NVBarbara on 8/8/08|
YES. I accepted Jesus & got saved back when I was 15 my freshman year, however I didn't get baptized for the real cause (not membership wise) until Sept 2007 at the age of 30! I got baptized in 2002,but I guess looking back it was membership reasons. My fruit, or gifts are now showing. Sometimes it takes awhile for it to come through when we pay attention to it, others are immediatly.
---Candice on 8/8/08|