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  • Alan Salwei

Matthew 7:15-20 - Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

The fruit you bear isn't meant to impress others, but to assure yourself you're not a wolf.


Read / Listen

Read Matthew 7:15-20


Listen to passage & devotional:

 

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 86

Q. We have been delivered

from our misery

by God’s grace alone

through Christ

and not because we

have earned it:

why then must we still do good?


A. To be sure, Christ has redeemed us

by his blood.

But we do good because

Christ by his Spirit is also

renewing us

to be like himself,

so that in all our living

we may show that

we are thankful to God

for all he has done for us,

and so that he may be praised through us.


And we do good

so that we may be assured of

our faith by its fruits,

and so that by our godly living

our neighbors may be won over to Christ.

 

Summary

Scripture attests to God speaking through the prophets. The words given to these prophets were not their own but the words of God. A prophet is not the source of the words, but a vessel through which God speaks to humanity.

The warning Jesus shares in Matthew 7:15 is to be aware of false prophets. These false prophets are those who falsely claim to speak on behalf of God. And like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the danger can lie in their ability to blend in. That although their words are falsehoods, they might sound close enough to the truth to go undetected.


Knowing of these wolves hiding amongst the people of God, plotting to lead them astray, Jesus gives a means to test those who claim to come as prophets. We are to judge them by their fruits. What is the outcome of those claiming to be prophets? If they are leading others away from God, then this attests to the falsehood of their message.



Dig Deeper


The presence or absence of spiritual fruit does more than make us aware of the wolves in our midst. Just as you can recognize those sent of God by the fruit of their labor, the spiritual fruit in your own life can attest to your faith in Christ.


While you are not able to see the presence or absence of faith in others any more than you can see gravity or the wind; like these other examples you are able to see the effects of their presence. Spiritual fruit is the outcome which points to the presence or absence of a genuine faith in Christ.


Healthy trees bear good fruit while a diseased tree will produce bad fruit. The outcome of good or bad spiritual fruit is based upon the source feeding into the fruit. If your faith is rooted in Christ, this will manifest itself with good spiritual fruit. However, if your faith is placed elsewhere, this will be shown in the presence of bad fruit.


Though you may have times where you doubt your faith, the presence of good spiritual fruit in your life can give you assurance that your faith is sincere. Be on the lookout for God working in your life because you can trust the sign of faith that is the good fruit produced by God’s work through you.

 
  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who expects good fruit from His creation;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that you're created in His image, and pray that your life will produce fruit that corresponds to His image;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Corinthians 7

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