Discipleship – Level 3 Lesson 12

Level 3 Lesson 12

THE FRUIT OF SALVATION (Part 1)
By Don Krow

Can a one-time act of faith “save” if it does not continue? Can it cease and still
receive the promise? Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him as righteousness
(Gen. 15:6). If Abraham’s faith ceased (stopped), would imputed righteousness cease?

From Scripture, we know that “faith” begins as a complete one-time action (aorist
tense) but continues in the Christian life as is brought out by the Greek present tense.
Commands that are given in the present tense are expected to have continuous, or
repeated, application. When using the present tense, if we would supply the following
words or phrases to the Bible reader, we would significantly enhance his or her
understanding of Bible passages. These words are: repeatedly; that is, over and over
again, constantly, continuously, customarily, as a habit or lifestyle, or uninterruptedly.

Consider the following passages and how the Greek present tense affects them:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth (present tense: believes and continues to believe) in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.

Hebrews 10:14 – For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
sanctified (present tense: those that are set apart and continue to be set apart, that one
offering has perfected forever. The New King James Version says “being sanctified.”
The New International Version says “being made holy.”).

1 John 3:9 – Whosoever is born of God doth not (present tense: i.e., he does not
continue to sin as his lifestyle, showing an unrepentant heart) commit sin; for his seed
remaineth (present tense: God’s seed remains and continues to remain) in him: and he
cannot (present tense: as his lifestyle or uninterruptedly) sin, because he is born of
God.

Mark 1:15 – And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand:
repent ye (present tense: i.e., repent and continue to repent as often as the situation or
need arises), and believe (present tense: i.e., believe and continue to believe) the gospel.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth
(present tense: and continues to believe) on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and
shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Luke 15:7 – I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that
repenteth (present tense: and continues in repentance), more than over ninety and
nine just persons, which need no repentance.

204Acts 17:30 – And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth
(present tense: and continues to command) all men every where to repent (present
tense: and to continue in repentance).

John 6:47 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth (present tense: and
continues to believe) on me hath everlasting life.

Romans 4:5 – But to him that worketh not, but believeth (present tense: and
continues to believe) on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness.

Acts 26:20 – But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and
throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should
repent (present tense: and continues in repentance) and turn (present tense: and
continues to turn) to God, and do (present tense: and continues to do works, or deeds,
that prove your repentance) works meet for repentance.

Conclusion: The present tense is used hundreds of times in Scripture. It is not my
intention to show all the scriptures that relate to this subject. The truth about saving faith
is that it is continuous and is taught by both Arminianism and Calvinism theology,
although they come from different perspectives.

Calvinism, which professes eternal security, teaches that genuine believers may
stumble or fall, but they will nevertheless persevere in the Christian faith (1 Cor. 1:8).
Those who believe in eternal security believe also that true Christians have experienced a
death to sin and will not continue in it (Rom. 6:1-3). Those who would later turn
completely away from Christ show that they were never truly born again (1 John 2:19).

Arminian theology teaches that genuine believers can fall away from the Christian
faith. They generally believe and teach that those who do fall away lose, or forfeit, their
salvation. Their system makes no room for so-called Christians (those by name only) to
live in continuous rebellion or deliberate sin with no fruit that proves their repentance.

The Apostle John said “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1
John 1:8), but he also said, “Whosoever is born of God doeth not commit sin” (1 John
3:9). Here we have a paradox, but not an inconsistency in Scripture. All Christians sin (1
John 1:8), but all Christians also obey (1 John 2:3). Sin and carnality are still present with
Christians, but sin cannot be their master or distinguishing trait (1 John 3:9). True
repentance and faith requires a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of direction,
even though it is not perfection (Acts 26:18 and 1 John 1:8). “Fruit” is still a test of
faith’s reality and genuineness. Faith is a firm supernatural conviction that governs the
true believer’s behavior and results in accompanying actions. This is shown from the
examples of faith in Hebrews, chapter 11, that results in corresponding actions. In other
words, what we do is the outcome of what we believe. The book of James 2:18 says,
“Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”

When the apostles speak in a negative way about works, they are referring to
“works of the Law”; that is, anything one is doing to earn, or work for, their salvation.
205
The Scriptures also speak of the fruit of salvation, which is good works, or works
of faith. Those are the works, or actions, that proceed from repentance and faith (Acts
26:20, Matt 3:7-10, 1 Thess. 1:3, and James 2:14-26), they show the evidence of
salvation. The unity that is expressed between both repentance and faith is that they both
have the same fruit or evidence: good works. We are not saved by good works, but we
are saved unto good works (Eph. 2:8-10 for the contrast of being saved by and unto).
Works are a test of faith’s reality, and grace that does not eventually affect one’s life and
actions cannot be considered being the true grace of God (Titus 2:11-12). Jesus teaches
that by fruit, true believers will be known (Matt. 3:8, 7:16-20, 25:34-40; John 13:35,
14:23; Acts 26:20; Rom. 2:6-11; James 2:14-18; and 1 John 3:10).

Discipleship Questions

1.  Commands that are given in the present tense are expected to have
_______________________________________________________________________.

2.  Read John 3:16. According to the present tense in the Greek, what is John 3:16
stating?
________________________________________________________________________

3.  Read 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. What does this
mean?
________________________________________________________________________

4.  Read Luke 15:7. There is joy in heaven over one sinner that
_______________________________________________________________________.

5.  Read Acts 17:30. God commands all men everywhere to
_______________________________________________________________________.

6.  Read Acts 26:20. What is this verse stating?
________________________________________________________________________

7.  Read 1 John 2:3. What is the outcome of having a personal relationship with God, that
is, knowing Him? _________________________________________________________

8.  Read James 2:18. James says, “Show me your faith without your works (which is
impossible to do), and I will show you my faith by ______________________________.

9.  Read 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Works, or actions, that proceed from faith are referred to as
_______________________________________________________________________.

10.  Read Galatians 2:16, 21. Works of the Law are works that people do in order to try to
obtain salvation or _____________________ (verse 21). They cannot save, they have no
saving power.

20611.  Read Romans 2:7-10. These verses are describing the fruit of what two groups of
people? _________________________________________________________________

Scriptures to Use with Questions

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1 John 3:9 – “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in
him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

Luke 15:7 – “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that
repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

Acts 17:30 – “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all
men every where to repent.”

Acts 26:20 – “But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and
throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and
turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

1 John 2:3 – “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”

James 2:18 – “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith
without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.”

1 Thessalonians 1:3 – “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of
love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.”

Galatians 2:16, 21 – “[16] Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law,
but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be
justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the
law shall no flesh be justified. [21] I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if
righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Romans 2:7-10 – “[7] To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory
and honour and immortality, eternal life: [8] But unto them that are contentious, and do
not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, [9] Tribulation and
anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
[10] But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and
also to the Gentile.”

Answer Key

1.  Commands that are given in the present tense are expected to have continuous, or
repeated, application.

2072.  Read John 3:16. According to the present tense in the Greek, what is John 3:16
stating? For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth (present tense: believes and continues to believe) in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.

3.  Read 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. What does this
mean? Whosoever is born of God doth not (present tense: i.e., he does not continue to
sin as his lifestyle, showing an unrepentant heart) commit sin.

4.  Read Luke 15:7. There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents and continues in
repentance.

5.  Read Acts 17:30. God commands all men everywhere to repent and continue in
repentance.

6.  Read Acts 26:20. What is this verse stating? But shewed first unto them of
Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to
the Gentiles, that they should repent (present tense: and continue in repentance) and
turn (present tense: and continue to turn) to God, and do (present tense: and continue to
do works or deeds that prove your repentance) works meet for repentance.

7.  Read 1 John 2:3. What is the outcome of having a personal relationship with God, that
is, knowing Him? Doing what He says, keeping His commandments.

8.  Read James 2:18. James says, “Show me your faith without your works (which is
impossible to do), and I will show you my faith by works, or by what I do.

9.  Read 1 Thess. 1:3. Works, or actions, that proceed from faith are referred to as works
of faith.

10.  Read Galatians 2:16, 21. Works of the law are works that people do in order to try to
obtain salvation or righteousness (verse 21). They cannot save, they have no saving
power.

11.  Read Romans 2:7-10. These verses are describing the fruit of what two groups of
people? Believers and non-believers.

Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org

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