Summary: In this passage of Scripture, Jesus discusses the difference between PROFESSION and PRACTICE. The premise is this. Following Jesus is not determined by our profession, but by our practice. The true evidence of conversion and faith in Christ IS T
A NAME IS NOT ENOUGH
I have to share with you something I find rather humourous. This week, Pam and I
were at a Teacher’s Conference which was held at a very large church. On the last day of
the conference, later in the day, I noticed a sign that someone from the church had put
up. It was obviously an announcement cancelling some exercise classes, possibly due to the
bad weather. But this is what the sign said, “FIRM BELIEVERS -- CANCELLED
Do you detect the irony in that statement? FIRM Believers! Cancelled tonight.
Now I don’t mean to sound belittling to the Firm Believers (and I’m sure that they
probably had some very good reasons for cancelling their meeting) but that sign reminded
me of a great truth that we find in Scripture. The truth is this. A name isn’t everything.
Or as the old expression goes, “Just because you call a thing a thing doesn’t make that
thing a thing!” Sometimes, a name is not enough.
Such is especially true when it comes to Christianity. You can call yourself a Christian
all day long, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a Christian. Calling yourself a
Christian does not make you a Christian, believing in Christ and living in Christ does!
In this passage of Scripture, Jesus discusses the difference between PROFESSION
and PRACTICE. The premise is this. Following Jesus is not determined by our profession,
but by our practice. The true evidence of conversion and faith in Christ IS THE WAY WE
LIVE! Jesus makes this point clear by 3 examples or evidences. If we have these 3 areas
evidenced in our lives, then, and only then, do we have the right to call ourselves true
disciples of Jesus Christ.
I OUR FRUIT v 43-45
A Illustration. One of our silk trees with a sign on it. It says, “APPLE TREE”.
1. Did you notice this tree that claims to be an apple tree?
2. Does having a sign on it somehow magically turn it into an apple tree? NO.
3. How can you detect an apple tree? IT SHOULD PRODUCE APPLES!!
4. Jesus says here, “For every tree is known BY IT’S FRUIT”
B Illustration. Tape a few apples onto the tree.
1. Now then, this tree has some apples on it? Is it NOW an apple tree?
2. Of course not, because although it contains some good fruit, it does not produce
the good fruit!
3. Religion in this world is a lot like that. It has some degree of goodness to it,
but it doesn’t produce real fruit of it’s own because it’s not tapped into Christ!
abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
D So what is God teaching us here? He is teaching us that IF WE ARE TRULY
BORN AGAIN, we will produce EVIDENCE of that fact.
II OUR FAITHFULNESS
A Jesus then moves on. He has made the point quite clear that a name for ourselves
is not enough. We must provide evidence for that name. Then, He asks a very
brash and startling question (in verse 46):
1. “And why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say?”