The Test for False Prophets

Series: MasterClass | Week 10: Be Real

Day Two Matthew 7:16-20

16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. – Matthew 7:16-20 (NLT)

Learn From the Word
Jesus now gives us the test for identifying these wolves that come disguised in sheep’s clothing. He says to look at the fruit of their lives. Similar to the narrow path and the wide path, there are only two options in God’s Kingdom – good trees and bad. The tree that appears neutral because it simply doesn't produce good fruit is thrown into the fire with the bad. Jesus is clear – a good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.  

Put It Into Practice
The book of Galatians later describes fruit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Do the teachers you follow display these fruits in their lives? This Enduring Word commentary expounds further on this idea, telling us to pay attention to:

1. The manner of living a teacher shows. Do they show righteousness, humility, and faithfulness?
2. The content of their teaching. Is it truth from God’s Word or man-centered?
3. The effect of their teaching. Are people growing in Jesus or merely being entertained?

Ask God now to give you discernment to identify good fruit and bad fruit in the lives of those you follow in this Christian life.

For Families with Kids at Home
When we follow Jesus, the fruit of the Spirit should be at work in our lives – not perfect every time, but active and growing. As you look through the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, are there any that stand out to you when it comes to your relationship with your kids? Are there any that you could characterize as lacking or missing? If so, resist the temptation to feel shame. Instead, repent and ask the Holy Spirit to begin to do work in you to grow those specific fruits in your life and your relationships. The process takes time, but the Holy Spirit is a faithful helper who desires to equip you!