“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)
God looks at the heart. He isn’t impressed or duped by our righteous behavior. If our hearts are sinning; lusting, envying, greedy, bitter, etc., He sees it and is not pleased by that.
Not to say good works don’t matter at all. They do matter, but if the person committing good works isn’t right in his or her heart, what he or she does is void in God’s eyes.
Now interestingly, Jesus says this earlier in the chapter:
“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 … Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:17, 18, 20 NKJV)
So if a fake can’t bear good fruits, and only a true disciple can, we need to first know what good fruit and bad fruit look like in order to properly discern.
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance — as I told you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”(Galatians 5:19-23 HCSB)
Okay. So good fruit is not church attendance, modesty, niceness, beauty, or bible knowledge. Meaning, just because a girl or guy contains these attributes does /not/ mean they’re a true disciple of Jesus Christ. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing, and there is no gender-bias when it comes to these counterfeits.
True disciples will display good fruit. They won’t display the “works of the flesh.”
How to display the fruits of the Spirit:
You need to become born again. Born again does not mean you said a “sinner’s prayer.” Born again means you have repented of your sins and committed your entire life to Jesus Christ. You have truly embraced Him as Lord of your life and because of that, your heart has been regenerated, renewed. The Holy Spirit has now made His home in your heart, and your old sinful desires have been crucified.
If you notice you still crave sin, you likely have yet to be regenerated. You need to make a decision, a genuine move to obey Christ’s call: “deny yourself and follow Me.”
Once you did this, you must abide in His word. Jesus says His true disciples will remain in His Word and they will know the truth and the truth will set them free.
If you walk away from the Word, you walk away from Jesus, and you cannot bear good fruit unless you remain in the Vine, in Jesus.
Please be wise and know the difference. Don’t just accept when someone professes to be a Christian. Watch their fruit for a while and then decide.