Continuing To Produce The Fruit Of Sin Forfeits Salvation
March 4, 2017
There is the Truth, and then there are counterfeits to the Truth. Counterfeits are error and they will not set a person free from sin, from sin’s bondage, or from sin’s penalty. The penalty of sinning is slavery to sin (John 8:34), and death. (Rom. 6:23) –Eternal death. This death is banishment from God and from all that is good, forever. (2 Thes. 1:8,9) It is eternal punishment dealt to someone due to a lack of righteous, Christ-empowered deeds he or she accomplished while on earth. (Mt. 25:45,46; see also John 5:29 and 2 Cor. 5:10 and Rev. 3:1-6)
The whole of Rom. 6:23 (literally from the Greek) says, “Indeed, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God, life eternal in Christ Jesus the Lord of us.” We must be IN Christ in order to be possessing eternal life, and we are in Him by obeying His commands and His Spirit in the Word. (John 6:63 & 14:23 & 15:10 // 1 John 2:3,4 & 3:24) If we are not continually submitting to Christ as Boss, we do not possess Him. (Rom. 8:9,13,14)
If we look at the verse right before Rom. 6:23 (verse 22), it says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” Therefore we are to understand that Christ-followers are expected and able to do everything God commands because they have been freed from sin, this provision producing the good fruit that results in sanctification, which in turn results in eternal life. Moreover this means that those who do not produce righteous fruit are not standing in a sanctified (cleansed / holy) position before God, and are thus not in Salvation. (Jesus says the same in John 15:2,6)
Verse 18 of Romans chapter 6 has already told us, “We have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness”, while verse 16 informs us that if we keep sinning, we show that sin is still our master and that this leads to death. The first two verses of this chapter, again from the Greek, read, “What then will we say? Shall we continue in sin that grace might abound? Never may it be! We who died to sin –how still will we live in it?” Then verse 7 says, “The one indeed having died has been freed from sin.” Verses 3-6 have already told us, that by being baptized into Christ’s death and resurrected life, each of us died to the old self and was raised to live as a new creature.
If we are truly a new creature / a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), then the old self is gone and it is with the new self –filled with Christ’s Spirit (same verse // Gal. 2:20 // Eph. 4:24)– that we conduct ourselves in thought, word, and deed. Such an existence means we are following Jesus and His words, which in turn means that we are not carrying sinfulness with us. 1 John 1:9 says from the Greek, “If we should confess the sins of us, faithful He is and just, that He might forgive us [our] sins, and might cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So if we have been cleansed, why would anyone think that Christ-followers would still be producing the fruit of sin? We absolutely must not!
Verse 7 of this same chapter (1 John 1) informs us that we walk purified as we walk in the Light. Jesus is the Light and we must keep in step with Him. (Gal. 5:25) For He says, “I am the Light of the world; whoever is following Me shall not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” (John 8:12) So why, if we are not walking in sin (the darkness) but are instead walking in the Light, would we need to keep confessing our sins?! Yes, IF we do sin, which can still happen when we are tired or caught off guard, then we must repent immediately and God will forgive us and again wash us clean. But falling into sin, even “small” sins, daily? –No! We are walking in the Light of Life, not in the darkness of sin! The person who tries to do both is not in the Truth and is thus not saved. (1 John 1:6 & 2:4)
Indeed, “This is how we know we are in Him [Christ]: The one who claims to abide in Him, ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” (1 John 2:6) Jesus says in John 8:28 that He always speaks exactly what the Father has taught Him, and in verse 29 that the Father remains with Him because, “I always do what pleases Him.” THIS perfection is what we are to make every effort, daily, to consistently achieve (Mt. 5:48 // Luke 9:23-25 // 2 Pe. 3:14) if we are claiming to be in union with Christ!
Let’s continue in this John chapter 8 passage, carefully considering what Jesus teaches here about sin versus freedom:
John 8:30: “As He spoke these things, many believed on Him.”
John 8:31: “Therefore Jesus said to those Jews who trusted in Him, ‘If you continue in [live by / walk in / hold to / abide in / put into practice / obey] My Word, then you are truly disciples of Me.'”
John 8:32: “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”
John 8:33: “They answered to Him, ‘Abraham’s seed we are, and to no one have we been under bondage ever. How can you say, ‘Free you will become’?”
John 8:34: “Jesus answer them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that everyone practicing the sin, is a slave to the sin.'”
John 8:35: “And a slave does not remain in the household [of God] to the age [forever], but a son does remain to the age [forever].”
John 8:36: “If therefore, the Son shall set you free, free [from sin / from bondage to sin] you will be.”
Many in Christendome like to quote this last verse as well as verse 32. However, they often seem to be unfamiliar with the rest of the passage. Yet if they would read all these verses, they could not legitimately deny that Jesus is saying, very clearly, that those who continue to produce the fruit of sin reveal that they are not free from sin, are thus not in the Truth, are therefore not in the Freedom, and are thus not sons of God –even if they have at one time trusted in Christ. (Numerous Scripture passages, just three being Rom. 8:13,14, Heb. 10:26-31, and 1 John 3:5-10, teach the same.)
So, we are to make every effort to be found spotless before God (2 Pe. 3:14), doing so by training ourselves to put into practice Christ’s teaching. (Mt. 28:20 // 1 Tim. 4:7) We absolutely CAN do this through the power of the Spirit of the All-mighty God! (Eph. 1:19) Truly it is a wicked insult to the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29) if we think He is not powerful enough to deliver us from all our sins and to help us live His divine nature (Gal. 2:20 // 2 Pe. 1:3,4) free of sin. (1 John 3:9) He IS able! (Eph. 3:20 // Phil. 4:13) Hence, if we produce the fruit of sin, we are of the devil (1 John 3:8), for we are only righteous by doing what is right. (v. 7) It is our choice to consistently walk in the power God’s grace has made available to us for obedience to Christ. (Titus 2:11-15)
These things being said, may we all diligently study the Word of God for ourselves while viewing other men’s teachings as a grain of salt in comparison. For as Scripture has made plain, there is no righteous position in Christ without abandoning sin (2 Tim. 2:19), without obeying Jesus (John 14:23), and without walking (continuous tense) in God’s will. (Mt. 7:21) We are on Christ’s road as we FOLLOW Him (John 10:27,28) and our position is secure if we do not fall from it through sin or through false doctrine. (Heb. 12:14-17 // 2 Pe. 3:17; see also Gal. 1:6-9 and 1 Tim. 4:16)
It’s either slavery to sin or freedom from it. The former leads to Death while the latter leads to Life, meaning: Hell or Heaven.