What should be the fruit of a follower of Christ? Should we stand out in the world or should we blend in? A better question might be, "should unbelievers be able to see the evidence of whom be belong to?" The enemy has a goal to create gray areas of confusion, especially within the church and to give the world authority over what happens there. What happens if your church begins to favor worldliness over God's Word or when your church/denomination divides over cultural issues?
But you (believer) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who were once not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. ~1 Peter 2:9-10
Before we discuss the good fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit, we need to take a look at the bad fruit of worldliness to help us in wisdom and discernment as the gray areas increase.
"Beware of false prophets (and false believers), who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." ~Jesus, Matthew 7:14-20
Worldly Works Of The Flesh
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:
adultry, fornication (this includes homosexuality - 1 Corinthians 6:9) - any sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
uncleanness - morally or spiritually impure, continually ignoring the call of the Holy Spirit
lewdness - anything such as foul language, music, pornographic images, etc. that promotes sexual promiscuity
idolatry - includes any obsession that consumes us and interferes with our worship of the One true God, Who Is Yahweh, Who sent His One and Only Son, Yeshua/Jesus to save us from sin. He is not Allah, Buddha, Hari Krishna, Yoda, popular TV New Age Guru, nor is He a god who can be molded together with popular Bible verses while throwing out the rest of scripture that makes one feel uncomfortable.
sorcery - witchcraft and occult practices, including mind manipulation, ouija boards, tarot cards, communication with the dead, human sacrifice (including abortion), etc.
hatred - Folks, speaking even harsh truth (in love) and presenting scripture and facts is not hatred. Hatred is when one feels such contempt for another person that one or more is/are willing to do anything to bring their downfall including lying, cheating, stealing, etc.
contentions - continuous quarreling about trivial issues
jealousies - involves at least three people, one person being jealous over another person's relationship with a third person or people
envy - between two people, one envious of the other one's blessings
outbursts of wrath - out of control anger, harsh words, throwing objects, slamming doors, etc.
selfish ambitions - putting one's personal well being above others
dissensions - not being able to settle arguments by agreeing to disagree which eventually leads to incivility
heresies - false teaching and belief that clearly contradict scripture
murders - purposely causing the death of an innocent person or people including the unborn. It is Biblical as well as (US) constitutional that a person, either perpetrator or victim, is innocent until proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt is a just court of law.
drunkenness - purposeful and constant abuse of alhohol and drugs, using as a means to escape unpleasant circumstances
revelries - boisterous partying with no regard for decency and civility
and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in times past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. ~Galatians 5:19-21
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles (unbelievers), that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. ~1 Peter 2:11-12
It is important to note the difference between temporarily falling into sin, and continuous practice and promotion of sin, calling it good and acceptable. Praise God for His unending mercy and grace in allowing repentance, which means coming into full agreement with God and His ways and allowing the Holy Spirit to remove the sin in our hearts which bears bad fruit to get us back on the right track.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. ~1 John 1:8-10
Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. ~James 1:22
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My Words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's Who sent Me. ~John 14:23-24
Fruit has always been an issue. Nothing new under the sun here:
How bad can evil progress? Chaurisse is a survivor of Satanic Ritual Abuse. Please take some time to listen to her testimony. And pray for the children who suffer in this daily, that they would be set free and justice take place. Awareness is the first step in the help they need.