SUNDAY 15TH JULY 2018 AZANIA ENGLISH SERVICE SERMON
7TH SUNDAY AFTER HOLY TRINITY, THEME: THE GRACE OF GOD ENABLES US TO PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT.
Psalm 64, Ephesians 2:8-9, Matthew 7:15-23
Ephesians 2:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Matthew 7:15-23 New International Version (NIV)
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
We recognize trees by their fruit. It is true that the overall shape and size of the tree might give us a clue as to what type of tree it is . For instance Mango trees and coconut trees are a different shape. The leaves also give us a clue. But fruit are distinctive especially mature ripe fruit. Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit all look similar when they are very small and immature but they taste different and are a different shape size and colour when they are mature and ripe.
A good papaya tree produces sweet fruit because it is a good tree. Good people produce good fruit. Their good character produces a good outcome in kind, wise words and helpful deeds.
Martin Luther says a good person produces good deeds because he is good but good deeds do not make a person good.
However the Bible says “ All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:23
We all need salvation . We can not make ourselves righteous . We need to have our sins forgiven by the Grace of God.
We can only be a good person by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control, ( Galatians 5:22-23).
We are warned about false prophets. Today there are many different denominations and many different preachers each with person and church has its own emphasis. Some are even miracle workers . They may apparently have a great anointing or the Holy Spirit and be able to heal the sick and cast out evil spirits and even raise the dead. Let us know that there are some counterfeits. Satan can mimic the Gifts of the Holy Spirit but he never mimics the fruit of the Spirit.
We should desire holiness. We should come to Jesus to know Him personaly not just so that we can be blessed or healed.