that you bear much fruit.”
An orange tree is an orange tree as soon as it is planted, even before it produces fruit. It is not an orange tree because it produces oranges; it produces oranges because it is an orange tree. The fruit is the evidence of what it already is. If it were to suddenly produce rotten apples then we know for certain that it is not what we thought it was. The one who has really been saved will produce “much fruit” and will “walk worthy” of their calling (Ephesians 4:1).
That is to say, the evidence of a “born again” person is not in what they say they believe, but in how they actually live. Even the phrase “born again” indicates more than just a change of heart; it represents a spiritual death, burial, and resurrection; a new life. Thus, no one can be truly “born again” until and unless they embrace the Cross, die with Christ, and are raised to Life in Him.