Can Someone Be Born Again and Have No Fruit at All? (Further Examination of This False Teaching)

Again, some (not all) within the “Free Grace” movement believe something that is not taught in the Bible. Some have embraced the notion that it’s possible for a born again believer to never bring forth any fruit during the course of his or her entire lifetime after conversion. That’s right…some believe that it’s possible for a born again believer to not do a single good work (no fruit). They base this on a wrong interpretation of the Parable of the Seed and the Sower, claiming that those on the “stony ground” became born again believers. But what the Bible says is in opposition to such false teaching.

The Bible says:

(John 8:34-36) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant [1401] of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [but] the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

G1401 – Outline of Biblical Usage: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition

(1 John 3:6-11) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Here we see that anyone who does not righteousness is a servant (slave) of sin and is a child of the devil. Do these passages support the idea that it’s possible for a born again believer to bring forth no fruit at all during the course of his or her entire lifetime? The above passage indicates that whosoever does not righteousness is manifesting that he or she is a child of the devil. We become children of God when we become born of the Spirit (born again). The false teaching that a born again believer can live a life of doing not righteousness and manifest the opposite of what he or she is become, is deception.

(Romans 6:20-23) For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Notice what this passage is indicating. Before anyone is made free from sin (born again), they are a servant (slave) of sin. So, it doesn’t matter how good any of us lived our lives before we became regenerated (born again). The bottom line is we were in bondage to sin. No matter how much we may have tried not to be, we still sinned. We were not made free from that bondage until we became born again. An unregenerate man or woman can no more live a life of no sin, than a born again believer can live a life of no good works (fruit of the Spirit). All born again believers will bring forth fruit because it’s their nature to do so. But again, Mark 4:8 indicates that the fruit varies greatly. The flesh is still there, even though the Holy Spirit is now working in the believers. But the Bible is clear that all born again believers will bring forth fruit without exception.

(Ephesians 2:8-10) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(Philippians 2:13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

Notice that God works in the believers, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. The very will of the believer to do good works (fruit) is inspired by God who works in every born again believer.

As we saw in a previous post, self examination is biblical. The Bible indicates that love is how believers know (not just hope) that Christ is in them, and they are in Him. Love is a fruit of the Spirit. So, it’s wise to examine yourself to see if you’ve experienced the love of God towards others, in your life. To believe that you’re saved, and later find out that you weren’t when it’s too late, would be a terrible tragedy with eternal consequences.

(John 11:25-27) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

(1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

(Romans 10:8-11) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Conclusion:

The Bible indicates that all born again believers bring forth fruit (do righteousness). And, while the amount of fruit can vary greatly, none do not bring forth any fruit at all. Rather, all who are born again are become servants (slaves) of righteousness. They are no longer servants (slaves) of sin. No born again believer in the Vine (Christ) brings forth no fruit.

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This entry was posted in apologetics, Arminianism, Bible, Calvinism, Christian theology, Christianity, faith, free grace, lordship salvation, religion, salvation, soteriology, systematic theology, theology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Can Someone Be Born Again and Have No Fruit at All? (Further Examination of This False Teaching)

  1. Sean, I’ve not read every free grace writer/theologian and am unfamiliar with those you say hold the belief that you argue against here. I would add that I, too, would argue against this view. Would you please give a couple of names and documentation of this? I’d like to read how someone would defend such a belief.

    Thanks.

    • Sean Budde says:

      Hi Steve, sorry for the very late reply. There are a few people on YouTube teaching as such, but as for names of ministries with some name recognition, the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) seem to teach that one’s behavior has nothing to do with whether we are saved or not. Like some individuals on YouTube, they seem to believe that following Christ in discipleship is optional and that believers could exhibit no fruit at all. They have videos at YouTube, some of which i have watched. I know that they’re wrong about the meaning of outer darkness. If i recall correctly, they believe that those unprofitable servants who will be rejected by Christ and not enter the Kingdom of God, will still be saved, even though they will experience weeping and gnashing of teeth for a time. GES seem to teach that faith can be completely divorced from following Jesus and doing good works. I disagree.

      Another ministry that teaches as such is the Bibleline Broadcast Network (BBN) pastored by Ralph “Yankee” Arnold. While i like this ministry and don’t have the same ‘warning bells’ about it as i do with GES, Pastor Arnold seems to put an emphasis on standing on the word and doesn’t seem to place any emphasis on self examination. The Bible does teach self examination, though (I posted about that subject previously on this blog).

      One more ministry is Jesus is Savior (http://jesus-is-savior.com/). While i also like this ministry, i have found an error in the teaching. This is basically a one man ministry and he does tremendous work for the Lord. I’m not knocking him, but he does interpret Matthew 7:21 wrong. He ties that verse to John 6:40. In my latest blog series, i explain why such an application is not possible. I used to hold the same view as him, but then looked at John 6:40 more carefully one day, and then it dawned on me that i had been wrong about the meaning of the verse. So, based on an initial misinterpretation, it can be easy to place an emphasis on simply standing on the word, rather than on seeing if spiritual fruit is present.

      Thanks for the reply. May God bless,

      Sean

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