A Professing Christian vs a True Christian

The three sons of a lawyer, a doctor, and a minister, respectively, were talking about how much money their fathers made. The lawyer’s son said, “My father goes into court on a case and often comes home with as much as fifteen hundred dollars.” The doctor’s son said, &q … More

Professing

The Scribes and Pharisees had fooled themselves into believing that they were righteous and others were sinful. These Jews had the mistaken notion that they were righteous by birth into their race, and by the fact they were circumcised. It is possible for people to know the right language, believe the right doctrine, obey the right rules and still not be saved. In this passage we find Jesus using two pictures to help us judge ourselves and others.

The first picture is that of two roads(vv. 13-14). The first road has a narrow gate in which each person must enter it alone and this way leads to heaven. The second road has a broad gate and people can enter it in groups and it leads to Hell. Jesus points out the necessity of choosing whether to follow God or not and the fact that the choices are only two. Also beware of false prophets (v. 15)!

The second picture is that of two trees (vv. 16-20). These two trees are contrasted in relation to the fruit which they produce. Good fruit comes from a good tree and bad fruit comes from a bad tree. Man cannot produce good fruit out of his own sinful nature. Therefore, the normal production of fruit, whether good or evil in a person’s life will give evidence of whether or not he is saved or lost.

Not everyone professing Christ is genuinely saved (vv. 21-23). Even the outward verbal acknowledgment of His lordship is in itself not enough to save the unbeliever apart from true repentance and faith. Willing and eager obedience is the hallmark of someone who has truly come to faith in Jesus Christ. They obey, not because they want to earn God’s favor, but because they feel delighted already to have received it.

Application

What kind of a tree best typifies my life. A strong oak, a weeping willow, a fruitful apple etc?  Why?

Matthew 7:13-23 (English Standard Version)

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 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. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness."'

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