Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
It is only by God’s grace that we are saved.
If He had not extended to us His grace, we would be just animals roaming this earth, dead to our thoughts of only ourselves – seeking only the desires of our animal flesh, our selfish minds, and our sinful nature.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But God is so full of mercy and love. These things that we know are not animal nature, they are not of the flesh, they are not born from progress in the dead, earthly, flesh and self nature of Man – these things come from a different source, they come from God.
Galatians 5:22-24 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
It is those things that are evidence of Christ’s love alive in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Because if we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, of Christ alive in us, we will be taught and refined so we grow and produce the fruits of His Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 ESV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
So let us know that we have Christ alive in us, and let others know that we have Christ alive in us by the way that we love –
John 13:35 ESV
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Because the fruits that we bear in our lives are a reflection of the state of our inner attitudes – they will show fruit on the outside that reflects the either an alive and healthy vine of Christ’s love on the inside of an empty tomb of decay and death:
Matthew 7:16-20 ESV
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
I cannot judge a man’s heart or the state of His salvation, but I can see the fruit that his life produces – and a person’s consistent words and actions and the affect that it has on others – this is the fruit of our lives unto others, the overflowing of Christ’s love onto others. And the fruit will either bear witness to the truth and goodness and Christ alive in us, or it will betray the truth that we are evil and dead on the inside –
Matthew 12:33-37 ESV
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
And we cannot fool God, he knows our hearts, he knows what we really desire –
Jeremiah 17:10 ESV
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
So if we are changed, if we are renewed, we have Christ in us who teaches us and uses us for the purpose of good, and we are to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. The Greek word for conformed is symmorphos, which means “having the same form as another, similar, conformed to”
Romans 8:27-29 ESV
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
So I cannot judge whether or not you are a Child of God because I do not know what season of your life you are walking through, and I don’t know where the Holy Spirit is in His process of remolding you, nor do I know if you are lost unless you confess and tell me yourself. But I do know right from wrong. I do know what fruit is good and what is evil.
A single example of bad fruit in someone’s life is not evidence of death, because we are all unfinished works. Yes, we all fall short and battle against the weakness of our flesh and the temptations of this world, and anyone that says he does not sin is a liar.
Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
1 John 1:8 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we are in Christ, there is no condemnation for us. Sin does not have power over us.
Romans 8:1-2 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
We confess our sin, and we are forgiven.
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
However, we cannot say that we are in Christ if we continue to walk in sin.
1 John 1:5-7 ESV
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Yes, I do know what weeds are visible in another’s life that can use prayer for healing in those areas of their lives, and I should pray for healing for the stumbles:
1 John 5:16 ESV
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.
But we are not meant to pray and hope that God would allow sin to remain in someone’s life as an active, ongoing choice – because that road leads to death. Active and open defiance and rebellion against God’s will is not what the Holy Spirit produces.
1 John 5:18 ESV
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
A life producing evil and wickedness and rebellion against God is under the power of evil, and does not yet know the truth or have Christ living in them.
1 John 5:19 ESV
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
But let us hope and pray that they will experience the same grace and mercy and forgiveness that we have experienced. Because it is not our job to condemn, accuse, or judge our brothers and sisters hearts, but to share the truth, and to love and serve – understanding how we might best share Christ’s love for them through our lives. Our hope is that they will receive the same mercies and forgiveness that we ourselves have received, because we too were undeserving and were once an enemy of God. Salvation is not something we earned, but is the free gift, available to all who are chosen to receive it.