Like a lot of movies, if you ask your friends what they think about the movie “Forrest Gump” you’ll hear one of two reactions. They either love it or hate it.
Regardless of what you think of the movie, there is one line that Forrest uses several times that makes a lot of sense. Any time Forest is asked if he’s stupid he answers with the famous line, “Stupid is as stupid does.” What he was saying was that someone only could call him stupid if he was doing stupid things.
Biblically, I can assume this statement when it comes to a true believer. You can do it to. If someone walks up and asks you if you’re a believer (by that I mean a true believer in Jesus Christ) you could answer, “believer is as believer does.”
The only way to truly know if someone is a believer is if it is lived out of their life. (Church attendance is not a way to know if someone is a true believer by the way.)
Jesus said it this way in the context of spotting false prophets:
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:16-18)
Both James and Paul later write according to this teaching of Jesus. Paul states in Galatians 5 that Spiritual “fruit”, the fruit of the life of a believer, is as obvious as the “fruit” of the flesh.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
James teaches that it’s important that believers “be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” (James 1:22)
Jesus, Paul and James are not teaching that you should act a certain way to try to “look like” a believer. As a matter of fact, the Bible has a term for that too; hypocrite. What is true, however, is that both you and those around you will know whether or not your a believer by what you do. Believer is as believer does.
You’ll never see me try this illustration in a sermon but here’s a video excerpt by Francis Chan that delivers this question: how many are true believers? Take a look: