If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God. Verse 12-13 (MSG)
Have you ever been charged with the accusation that, “You just think you are holier than me & my friends.” I have a few times, and it always makes me feel a little sick inside. I don’t ever want to appear or act like I am better than someone else, however the truth is that if we walk with Jesus, we may appear “a little more holy.”
Trying to be “holy” in what I do is not the same as trying to earn my salvation by aiming to be righteous. We are saved only by God’s grace. It has nothing to do with how well I perform as/or like a Christian. But once we are saved and declared righteous through Christ, there is an expectation that we will try to live a righteous life out of thanks for our salvation. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that the way I live says something about who I am and how I really understand the faith journey. Jesus taught that you can tell something about a tree by the fruit it bears (Matthew 7:16-20).
Just doing good things is not really Paul’s point. The question is whether or not the good things I do come from a heart that belongs to Jesus. Is the fruit of my life reflecting that I am grafted into the tree of life (Proverbs 11:30)? Do all the things I do reflect that my heart belongs to him?
I also do bad things, because I am still a sinner. But God wants me to have integrity; God wants my faith connected with all I think, do, and say. And God’s Spirit helps me to live that way. God wants to shape me from the inside out. When I belong to him, that’s what I want God to do as well.
Lord make me a bearer of good fruit that I might reflect you in my life. Guide me in my walk for your name’s sake. Amen.