Thank you. I have friends that exhibit these traits but according to many would not be considered christians. The latter part of verse 23 is the key that gets ignored.
Paul, did those friends atrribute those good things to Christ or did they attribute them not to Christ. Because if they attributed them to Christ then they indeed were Good things but if they didn't then they robbed Christ of His Glory and thus they were not Good things. Christ is the Copyright holder of all GOOD deeds that men can perform.
So Paul . .according to you and this theory here . . .Mother Theresa that impacted the world with her outreach . . you're saying if she doesn't acknowledge God, or Christ as her savior . .all of those wonderful things she did were actually bad things???
Secondly . . . the recipe of righteousness . . .it doesn't start with faith for me at all guys . . .it starts with grace. Remember . . .man wasn't even around when the decision was made to create him . . .Grace ignites faith . . faith births response to that grace. I still don't think that the response of others should be what we are looking at in others. Not everyone's nature is the same, so even though two people may recieve the same exact salvation, their personalities will dictate what kind of response they will have to that salvation.
The purpose of knowing the fruit of another is not to judge whether or not there salvation is real . . .but that their message is pure . . .that whole thing is about discerning false prophets . ..not brothers and sisters in the Lord.