by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday December 30, 2004
Reproducing Christlike Character
Matthew 7:15-23, 12:33
A believer's life and an unbeliever's life should look different. God has a great deal to say about the distinctions between the two and He uses an important metaphor: fruit. The fruit of the Spirit refer to the outward signs of a believer's transformation from sinner to saint.
Our fruit is made up of our actions and attitudes. If we confess to be Christians, but our conduct communicates otherwise, people will believe what they see. When our behavior do not align with what we profess, then our works are meaningless.
We cannot make our life and our works match without the aid of the Holy Spirit. Some people may appear successful to those who do not know them well. But simply performing in Jesus' name is not enough. Fruit is the outward expression that we are true followers of Christ; the inward proof is the presence of the Holy Spirit, who comes to us when we receive salvation. Jesus' own ministry was carried out by the power of the Holy Spirit within Him. When Jesus was accused of casting out demons through Beelzebub, He told His critics He performed the miracle by the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 12:28).
When we are walking with Jesus Christ and relying upon the Holy Spirit in us, we will have a different lifestyle than the rest of the world. Suppose someone asked one of your unbelieving friends, "What is a Christian supposed to look like?" Would your friend point to you and say, "A Christian looks just like that"?
Need gift ideas? The 2004 In Touch Christmas Catalog is here. Visit the In Touch online bookstore for more information.
Teen Connection is the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to tell your teen about this cutting-edge web site filled with practical content for teenagers of all spiritual maturity levels. The featured interview for December is best-selling singer/songwriter Bebo Norman. Check out Teen Connection today!