Sheep or wolves? Matthew 7


Matthew 7:15-16  “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.”

From Study–>See–>Savor!

One false doctrine floating around out there is that we can change ourselves. But the Bible says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.” The nature of a tree determines or defines the kind of fruit it produces.  Jesus said in Matt 12:33 that the tree is known by its fruit. So, for our fruit to change, our nature must change.  Ezekiel 36:25-27 says ”I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”  And in John 3:37 “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

We need a new heart.  We need to be born again.  We need a new nature.  We can’t bear good fruit without being born again.  God looks deep within us at our desires.  God changes our desires by giving us a new heart.

 

Think about a WOLF…he doesn’t eat hay, and would starve to death before he would eat hay.  Consider a LAMB…he wouldn’t eat a steak if his life depended on it.  In the same way, we have a nature that doesn’t see righteousness as good.  It all looks boring, uninteresting.  The heart of a sinner CAN’T WANT the things that please God.  We can’t change what we WANT without a change in our nature.  The wolf is not free to choose to eat hay.  We have freedom of choice-yes-like how we are going to offend God next!  Without God’s grace, we don’t have any other option.  Our righteousness is as filthy rags.

BUT when we are born again, God makes us a new creature. We get a new heart.  The heart of a lamb.  However, we are still stuck in a wolf-body.  There is an ongoing battle in the Christian between his new lamb heart and his wolf body.  Romans 7:15-8:1 says“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Are you a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  A “Christian in name only?” (CHINO)  Or are you a lamb trapped in a wolf body?  What does the desire of your heart say?