Show me your deeds
Por Adauto Rezende
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds." Acts 26: 19-20
The apostle made a remarkable statement in the Scriptures, as he was sharing to Agrippa his encounter with Jesus, the mission given to him by Christ and his efforts to fulfill it. According to Paul, the message delivered by him was to sinners to repent and turn to God – a brief explanation of the gospel. However, he affirmed that a simple confession without a real character transformation was not an indication of salvation in the life of an individual.
Jesus spoke to Paul in the context of the passage saying that once the Christian was removed from Satan’s kingdom to God’s Kingdom ‒ his eyes opened, his sins forgiven and immediately he will find a place where he might be sanctified together with others believers.
“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’"Acts 26: 15-18
Sanctification is the work of the Spirit into the heart of a believer; therefore, his behaviour must change. Paul said to the Ephesians who believed in Christ: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesian 4: 2-3-25-32
In order for a person to undergo a true change, they must exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, reject their former evil behavior, and display Christ's character through their actions. This transformation begins with repentance and an inward change. A genuine believer demonstrates their Christianity through:
Turning away from sin
Hatred to wickedness
Witnessing of Jesus to others
Fighting against self
Member of a community of believers
Desiring to grow in the knowledge of Scriptures
Praying and worshiping
Longing to serve Jesus and all his commands
If you call yourself a Christian, check out your deeds.
Jesus made an observation to his disciples about a test to recognize a false from a true follower: “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 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. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." Mathew 7: 15-20
To Jesus all the glory!