Monday, May 12, 2008

Quacks like a duck

You've heard it said that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, then it's probably a duck!

Matthew 7:15 says... "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.

Wow stern warnings for us isn't it? BEWARE.. be cautious, pay attention, be careful or you'll be deceived. What appears to be genuine can be false or fake. The good news for us though is that we can tell the false prophets from those that speak the truth. Matthew 7:16 tell us how... 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, a bad tree can not produce good fruit. In other words, if it looks like a duck.... it probably is.

What is the fruit of the spirit? You can look in Galatians 5:22. If a person doesn't have these characteristics in their life, then they might not be a Christian at all. Beware, the bible says of false Prophets. The bible tells us that a person that belongs to Christ has a marked changed in his or her life. They're different now. Their life will produce fruit because they belong to Christ. How do we know we belong to Christ? By the way we act. Our actions give it away!

(22) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things!

(19) When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear; sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, (22) envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these...

Galatians 5:24 says that... (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. (25) Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.

A personal salvation experience changes us. There will be a difference in our life, we are a new creation! If we're not bearing fruits of the Spirit.... then Watch Out! There's a problem. Somethings just not adding up. One of two things could be happening here.

1. We don't really belong to Christ at all... a bad tree can not produce good fruit. or

2. We haven't nailed the passions and desires of our sinful nature to the cross, we're not obedient to the Spirit's leading. The question we need to ask our self is this... Have I completely sold out to Christ. Which Nature am I following and committed to?

Beware of those that say they belong to Christ but their actions don't measure up. But not only should we watch out for others... what about ourselves? How do we measure up? Take the test for yourself, let no one else be the judge... you look in your own mirror and ask yourself this question. Do I act and look like a Christian? Do I talk like a Christian? Do I walk like a Christian? Do the fruits of the Spirit describe who I am, or do the desires of the sinful nature describe who I am?

Be careful here... I'm sure you'll see yourself in both areas to some degree. Another way to help you here is to ask yourself this question. Am I more like Christ today than I was the day I gave my life to Him as my Savior? If you can answer yes to that question but can still see evidence of the desires of the sinful nature within you... there's hope! Most likely you do belong to Christ, you're simply struggling in obedience. The battle of the natures within you is causing you to struggle. The thing to remember though is this... The Spirit within you is more powerful than the sinful desires within you. There is no law against the Spirit... nothing can overpower the Spirit. So work on crucifying those passions and desires on the cross. Drive the nails by repenting of your sins and giving in to the Holy Spirit's leading in your life. If you can't answer yes to the question... Am I more like Christ now than I was the day I gave my life to Him as my Savior? Then repent and be saved!

God bless you.