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Jun 16, 2019

Not what I was expecting

Not what I was expecting

Passage: Matthew 7:15-23

Speaker: Walt Childs

Series: The Highest Good

As Jesus approaches the end of his sermon, he has some sobering words of caution to give to his hearers. Specifically, Jesus warns against the appearance of faith (ex. “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”) when in fact there is no genuine relationship with him. But how can we know the difference, both in others, and more importantly, even ourselves?

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text:  Galatians 5:25
Call To Worship:  Zephaniah 3:14-17
Old Testament Reading:  Psalm 1
Sermon Title:   Not what I was expecting
Central Text: Matthew 7:15-23
Benediction: Romans 16:25-27
Post-Service Text: 1 John 4:7

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Galatians 5:25
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Call To Worship: Zephaniah 3:14-17
LEADER: Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.

ALL: The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.

LEADER: On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;

ALL: he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Central Text: Matthew 7:15-23
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Benediction: Romans 16:25-27
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Post-Service Text: 1 John 4:7
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Related Scriptures:

  • Deuteronomy 13:1-4
  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3
  • Acts 20:29-31
  • Mark 13:22-23

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Read Psalm 1 that contains the image of a tree planted by streams of water. What other images can you think of to communicate how God uses nature to show us how he calls us to live?
  2. What are some examples of ‘good’ fruit? What about ‘bad’ fruit?
  3. Read Galatians 5:22-23. How would you describe the fruit produced by the Spirit in your life at this time? How has this changed over time?
  4. We are saved by grace through faith (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9). How does today’s scripture text, especially Matthew 7:21-23, reinforce this doctrine? How is knowing Christ personally also reinforced by this passage? Consider also what Jesus says in Luke 10:17-20.


  • To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ.  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • It is a blessing to agree with the word of the Lord. But agreement does not test us much. The test of loyalty, the test of our submission to the Lord, comes when his will crosses ours. We truly obey God whenever we obey a command that requires painful or strange actions. ~Dan Doriani
  • "He had, in fact, got everything from the church and Sunday School, except, perhaps, any longing whatever for decency and kindness and reason.” -Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
  • "The calisthenics of this sermon is to move repeatedly from kneeling to walking.  The direction of the sermon is toward the neighbor through the Father." - Frederick Bruner