Rather LIFE is a major subject of the New Testament. In fact it is really what salvation is ALL ABOUT.
What we hear preached today as salvation comes way SHORT of what the Bible teaches about salvation. It is NOT merely having our sins forgiven and then going to heaven when we die! In fact the Bible does not even have one verse about going to heaven. But it has a great deal to say about what God is after, what GOD wants.
"I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly". John 10:10
Life is a major theme that runs all the way from Genesis 2:9 to Revelations 22:19. It's ALL about LIFE!
In Romans 5:10 it says that, "we shall be SAVED BY HIS LIFE." NOT His death but His life. His death reconciled us to God, that He might begin the work of transforming us into the image of His Son Jesus. Rom. 8:29
In the garden was the Tree of Life and when Adam and Eve sinned God set an Angel there, before the Tree of Life with a flaming sword, to keep them away so they could no longer eat of the Tree of Life. "..., to guard the way to the tree of life." Gen 3:24
Jesus spoke a great deal about life and often spoke about the life of trees and vines. In one verse Jesus said that, "...a BAD TREE cannot produce good fruit", Matt. 7:17-18. Get it, CANNOT produce GOOD FRUIT. He also spoke about Christians producing good fruit. In fact He/God requires that we bear fruit, and fruit that lasts (or endures). John 15:16, "... I chose you, and appointed you that you should go and BEAR FRUIT, and that your fruit would remain..."
Many teach today that all of this, how we live, etc. does not matter, because God loves us anyway! It is all by faith and EVERYTHING else is WORKS! Sounds like what Paul warned Timothy about in II Timothy 3:1,2,5, "... in the Last Days perilous times shall come ... men will be lovers of self ... holding to a FORM of godliness (going to Church, reading their Bibles, some are even pastors), although they have denied its power ... " They deny that GOD has the power to change them, to be like Jesus (see Romans 8:28) "AVOID SUCH MEN AS THESE" , II Timothy 3:5
It is a fact, in the Bible, that God loves us but that alone does not save us! One of our favorite verses is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ..." But most people know and would agree that the whole world will not be saved!
So what does fruit and life have to do with each other? The TYPE of life that is in a tree determines the type of fruit that it will produce. And the same is true of us. Therefore, the issue is LIFE. Going to Church, saying a certain prayer or repeating the Four Spiritual Laws will not save us. Get it, WILL NOT save us. These things will not and CANNOT change the life that is in us. There is only one hope, "Christ in you the hope of Glory." Col. 1:27 Glory is an attribute ONLY of God, but He wants to share His Glory with us. Our hope is that Christ in us will change us, transform us to be like Jesus, and that His Glory will be seen in us.
An apple tree can produce apples but it cannot produce oranges. If on the other hand God performed a miracle and gave that apple tree the life of an orange tree it would then produce oranges instead of apples.
We being human - are of the flesh and "flesh can only produce flesh"! The fruit that God requires us to produce is also called the fruit of the Spirit. So is it the fruit of the spirit, that is spirit with a small 's' or Spirit with a capital 'S'? Some may think this is a silly question but spirit would mean our spirit. However, IF it is capitalized as in Spirit then it is referring to the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ. So which is it? Spirit or spirit?
Ephesians 2:10 says, "...we are His workmanship..." We are not our own workmanship but His.
I Peter 5:10, "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." Remember we are HIS workmanship. It is true that it is by faith but we MUST believe that this IS what He wants, and that He is able to do it IN US, and then we must live it out, in faith. You say you have faith, "I will SHOW YOU my faith by works (works that show forth the work and Glory of God, by my fruit you WILL know if I am a real Christian or NOT)." James 2:18. Can we see YOUR FAITH?
The REST of God, mentioned in Hebrews chapter 4 is speaking about TRUSTING Jesus to finish that 'good work', which He began in us. Therefore, the rest of God is learning to trust God to do what we cannot, and ceasing from our own effort, and resting in HIS EFFORT, work in us.
So the key is you give up your life to Jesus and He will live HIS LIFE in you, and HE will produce the fruit that GOD REQUIRES.
I am afraid that many will be surprised when they meet the Lord with NO FRUIT, because they are only living their own life. God will judge them as being UNFIT for the Kingdom of God!
Their defense will be, "But they told us that all this does not matter because we are saved, NO MATTER how we live! No matter IF we do not repent and do not STOP going our own way, living for ourselves.
The Church is full of teachers that tickle the ears and tell us just what WE WANT TO HEAR!
Jesus said, "You must lose your life to save it." Mat. 16:24-25, and Mat. 10:38-39; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:23-24, 17:33; and John 12:24-25.
(More to come)