About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
In today's 2020, Covid
19 environment the word "asymptomatic" is commonplace.
In relation to the Coronavirus, an asymptomatic person is one who
has the virus within him but exhibits no visible symptoms of the virus.
In relation to being a Christian, can one be an asymptomatic
Christian who exhibits no visible evidence of the Holy Spirit residing
within him? Jesus answered
this question in Matthew 17:17 to 20.
good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A
good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown
into the fire. Thus, by
their fruit you will recognize them."
We recognize an apple
tree by its production of apples. Jesus
said we can recognize a Christian by his production of fruit that the
apostle Paul called the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 and 23.
If there is no visible Holy Spirit grown fruit production
exhibited in a person, we can safely say that the Holy Spirit does not
reside within him. If the
seed of the Holy Spirit has never been planted within him, he does not
belong to God. Romans 8:9
"You, however, are
not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if
indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the
Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ."
I realize that not every
Christian produces the same quantity or quality of Holy Spirit produced
fruit. Jesus concluded that
in His seed-sowing parable found in Mark 4:20.
"And these are they
who on the good ground have been sown: who do hear the word, and
receive, and do bear fruit, one thirty-fold,
and one sixty, and one an hundred."
The fact that a
Christian may only produce thirty percent of his capacity of fruit
production does not mean he is not a Christian.
Also, even though a person may not yet be producing fruit but is
in the stage of leaf and blossom production does not mean he is not a
Christian. If you see
blossoms in his life, you will eventually see fruit.
It is clear to me that
there is no such thing as an asymptomatic Christian, that is, one who
claims to be a Christian but has no visible evidence of the Holy Spirit
residing within him. A true
Christian will exhibit outward evidence of the inner residency of the
Spirit of the Almighty God, who by His very essence creatively produces
visible evidence of His existence.