Today’s Scripture: But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. II Peter 1:9

Many times people will become “fruit inspectors” and claim that because they don’t see the fruit of a Christian life in someone the person is not saved. They take it upon themselves to condemn people who are not living as they should. But the Bible doesn’t give any indication we can judge someone’s salvation because of their actions. The Bible does talk about judging fruit but that is in relation to false teachers. Jesus said we will know false teachers by their fruit.

Instead, we are told quite clearly we are saved apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 4:5). There is nothing we can do to earn or keep our salvation-it is simply a gift from God. Does this mean God doesn’t care how we live? Of course not! God has given many commands on how we are supposed to live as Christians. We should serve Him and follow His commands, but an ungodly life is not proof of unbelief.

Peter exhorts the believers to add a list of traits to their faith. He tells us we should add virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (II Peter 1:5-7). He tells us if we have these things and abound in them, our service will be fruitful. After telling the result of adding these things, Peter gives the explanation for the Christian who doesn’t obey. He concludes that a Christian without these spiritual character traits is not unsaved, but rather, carnal.

The Christian who doesn’t work to add these things is the one who doesn’t see things from an eternal perspective. If we truly understood the importance of serving Christ and the impact our lives could have on the lost, we would serve God with everything we have. Peter goes on to say the Christian is living as if he was never saved. The carnal Christian, instead of living under the blessing of God, lives under the bondage of sin from which he was once freed.

Friend, Christ has given us a new life in Him. Don’t waste it by surrendering to sin! Remember what Christ has done for you, and serve Him. In reality, your “fruit” doesn’t show whether or not you are saved, but whether or not you love your Savior.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder