"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."
The fruit I bear is a concept I struggle with constantly. I know, by the grace of my Lord, that I am not even nearly righteous enough to be in His presence, and no matter how many charities I give to, good deeds I perform, and hoops I jump through, I am not worthy. My sinful nature outweighs my ability to earn my way into heaven, and the penalty each of us may pay is far beyond the depths of our spiritual bank account. In other words, to be in His presence, we are going to need some help.
God provided that help through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ died on a Roman Cross more than two thousand years ago, and as He did He was bombarded with every sin that was ever committed, or any sin that would be committed in the future. He bore it all, and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we don't have to. But the washing away of those sins is not automatic. It is a gift that must be asked for.
Once such a commitment is made, the battle with sin is not over. In fact, it is then that the battle is just beginning. Our fruits do not earn us placement with our Heavenly Father, but our fruits do reflect our faith and our walk with the Lord. The relationship with the Lord, when in the proper context, will produce good fruit. Does that mean we stop sinning? Absolutely not. And the fiery arrows from the enemy become more intense, because the enemy does not wish us to follow the path to Christ, or to maintain such a path. And even more alarming is that Satan's greatest weapon against God is the lukewarm Christian, or one that claims to be a Christian and is not, meaning that when we fail to stay on the path, we are actually doing the bidding of the enemy.
There are those out there in the world that proclaim, "I am a Christian," but they are out drinking alcohol excessively. They say, "I am a Christian," but they are having premarital sex or are committing adultery by being unfaithful to their husband or wife. There are those out there in the world that ardently shout, "I am a Christian," but in their daily business they lie to people, distort things, take money that is not really theirs. There are a lot of people today who think they are Christians but are not, because they have not really changed in their heart because they have not given their heart completely to Him. They are not living according to what the Bible teaches because they have not surrendered their heart, life, and soul to Christ.
As I stated earlier, I am not saying that a Christian cannot sin. I am not saying that a Christian won't slip up. But I am saying that there is a big difference between a person who slips up, sins, is sorry for it, and wants to change, and a person who lives in continual, willful, habitual sin.
If you live in the way of continual, willful, habitual sin, then the Bible says that you do not know the Lord. And perhaps they don't know God because they have not committed themselves to Him. The minions of darkness believe in God, and that Christ died and rose again, but that does not secure them salvation. Some people think that being a Christian is just having Jesus along for the ride. Jesus just simply is hanging out in the bed of their spiritual truck, waving his hands to stop the storms from reaching the life of the driver. These folks don't realize that it is those storms that build character, and shape your life as a potter shapes a lump of clay, and that the roadway being followed is an avenue in the wrong direction unless He is driving. The Lord wishes to carry you through these moments of tribulation, leading and guiding you through a distinct and unique plan and purpose for your life.
It is difficult. I know this from experience. I struggle daily with my relationships and daily walk. I struggle greatly, anyway, until I remember that He is in control, and no matter what path I take, Jesus Christ is the Lord of every aspect of my life. He wants to be the Lord of your business, your free time, your relationships. He desires to be the Lord of all, for He knows that if He is not Lord of all in our lives, then He is not Lord at all.