Many people claim to be Christians, but are they?
It’s been said that you can’t tell a book by its cover, or that the proof of the
pudding is in the eating. So how can you tell if you’re really a Christian? We must arm ourselves with the same mind of Christ and live our lives according to the will of God.
1 Peter 4:1-2
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
The transformation of a true Christian to be like Christ and be changed so that sin is cleansed from his heart and mind and he begins to show the fruits of the Holy Spirit seems to be simple enough. Yet the actual bearing of fruit seems to be unclear, so lets take a look at what the scripture says:
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
So if we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law, does that mean we can sin and go against it, I dont think thats what is meant. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit does not stop us from doing Gods will and showing love as that is the essence of the law, but it will put into our hearts and minds the spirit of the law which is even better than the "letter of the law" that sinners use every means to 'get around'. Those who are transformed by the Holy Spirit follow Gods will so there is no need of the Law to show them sin.
It's possible as we see from story the rich young ruler to keep the "letter of the law" even without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their lives, but those who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their lives will not only keep the "letter of the law" but the spirit of the law as well.