Matthew 7:15-20

15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit.18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits.

  1. Matt. 7:15-20 - Principles about fruit used to warn of false prophets.
  2. The nature of fruit is such that:

a. It identifies the plant which bore it - v. 16.

b. It has the same nature as the plant bearing it - v. 17-18.

c. Corrupt fruit is destroyed - v. 19.

3. v. 20 - Used to identify false teachers.

4. Rom. 7:4; 6:22 - We are to be bearing fruit -- from the heart:

a. Fruit is the visible expression of power working inwardly & invisibly.

b. Matt. 12:33 - We choose what type of fruit we will produce!

Romans 7:4

4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.

Romans 6:22

22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

Matthew 12:33

33 "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.


A. Spiritual Maturity - Col. 1:9-12.

Colossians 1:9-12

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

B. Godly Influence & Examples - Matt. 5:13-16; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Pet.2:11-12.

Matthew 5:13-16

13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Philippians 2:14-16

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;15 that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

1 Peter 2:11-12

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

C. Teaching The Gospel - Matt. 9:37-38; 2 Tim. 2:2

Matthew 9:37-38

37 Then He *said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.38 "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."

2 Timothy 2:2

2 And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

D. In The Home - Col. 3:18-21

  1. Wife - Fruit of subjection (fitting).
  2. Husband - Fruit of love (not bitterness).
  3. Children - Fruit of obedience.
  4. Parents - Fruit of tender care.

Colossians 3:18-21

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them.20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart.

E. On The Job - Col. 3:22-4:1.

  1. Employee - Fruit of honest labor.
  2. Employer - Fruit of justice and fairness.

Colossians 3:22-4:1

22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.

F. Love For Brethren - Jno. 13:35; 1 Jno. 3:16-18.

John 13:35

35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

1 John 3:16-18

16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

G. Obedience To Christ - Matt. 7:21; Jno. 15:10, 14.

Matthew 7:21

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

John 15:10

10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.

John 15:14

14 "You are My friends, if you do what I command you.


Luke 13:6-9

6 And He began telling this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, and did not find any.7 "And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?'8 "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.'"

A. Abide In Christ - Jno. 15:1-4.

John 15:1-4

1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

1. We abide in Christ by obeying His word - v. 3-4; 1 Jno. 1:7.

1 John 1:7

7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

2. Be careful for our fellowship with Christ - Eph. 5:6-11 (2 Jno. 9).

Ephesians 5:6-11

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

2 John 9

9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

B. Bible Study - 2 Tim. 2:15; Psa. 119:97-104.

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.

Psalm 119:97-104

97 O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.98 Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine.98 Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers,For Thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged,Because I have observed Thy precepts.101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Thy word.102 I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances, For Thou Thyself hast taught me.103 How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!104 From Thy precepts I get understanding;Therefore I hate every false way.

-The fruit of wisdom, understanding, avoidance of sin, hatred of evil.

C. Prayer - Jas. 5:16; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Matt. 9:37-38.

James 5:16

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 Timothy 2:1-2

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

Matthew 9:37-38

37 Then He *said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.38 "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."

D. Be Led By The Spirit Of God - Gal. 5:16, 18, 25 (Be led by truth).

Galatians 5:16

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Galatians 5:18

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Galatians 5:25

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

E. Self-examination - 2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Cor. 9:26-27.

2 Corinthians 13:5

5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

1 Corinthians 9:26-27

26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

F. Correct Our Sin In God's Way - Acts 8:22; 1 Jno. 1:9.

Acts 8:22

22 "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.

1 John 1:9

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


1. Jno. 15:4 - We cannot bear fruit unless we are in Christ.

John 15:4

4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

2. Gal. 3:26-27 - Obey His gospel to be in Christ.

Galatians 3:26-27

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

3. Jno. 15:8 - Glorify God by bearing much fruit.

John 15:8

8 "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

taken from outline by -Joe R. Price

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