Faithlife Sermons

The Gospel and Our Character

Matthew   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Welcome
If you would, grab a Bible, and turn to . Jesus is responding to a group of Religious leader’s and their accusations against His beliefs and His ministry… His words and his deeds
Jesus responds to them and now he gets to the heart of the matter.
If you’re able, please stand with me for the reading of God’s Word.
Matthew 12:33–37 ESV
“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. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Again, today we see Jesus cutting past the religious leader’s arguments and aiming straight at their heart, their identity, their character! (1) Jesus identifies their desperate and hopeless situation — and ultimately articulates how all of us are in a desperate situation. (2) Jesus ascribes great value to the words we use. What comes out of our mouth reveals our character and tells us more about ourselves than we probably realize.
“How can you speak good, when you are evil?” (v. 33-35)
Matthew 12:33–35 ESV
“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. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks...
You brood of vipers…” Elsewhere, Jesus calls these leaders whitewashed tombs… they have the appearance of genuine faith but it is worthless… Because their hearts, their intentions are wrong!
Jesus is saying that the religious leaders struggle is with their character and he uses this analogy of fruit. “Good and bad fruit...”
What specifically, is Jesus talking about here? What constitutes good fruit?
Paul writes in Galatians:
Galatians 5:22–26 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
If we remember from a few weeks ago… the religious leaders disagreed with Jesus so much that they wanted to murder him! PAUL GIVES US A WAY TO KEEP A SCORE CARD… but it’s not as cut and dry as we might desire… “So what kind of actions do I do and what do I abstain from?”
Is what you’re doing loving? Is it kind? Does it display self-control? Does it represent a faithfulness to God? Can you call it good?!” This is the fruit of the Spirit! This is what determines whether we have a heart that is being changed or not.

Despite all the gradations in humanity we perceive, ultimately there are only two kinds of people: “good” and “evil.” The distinguishing criterion is their response to Jesus.

Because without God, we are always going to have a heart allegiance towards our own glory! Towards selfishness!
Only the Gospel of Christ makes us humble and gracious… where desire to be a blessing to others, with no strings attached.
Where we can practice what Paul says in
Philippians 2:4 ESV
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Think about that idea? Paul encourages us to look to others interests! How often do people have other’s interests in mind?
We typically always have our own interests in mind!
It takes a move of the gospel to genuinely have other people’s interests in mind with no personal agenda!
We pray for that! “God help us!
Let’s notice another thing Paul refers to about the fruit of God’s Spirit, specifically in
Galatians 5:24 ESV
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal
Another indicator of good fruit is that our desires change… >>>and ARE CHANGING<<< Q — Are we in the process of becoming more like Jesus? ASK YOURSELF… WHAT AM I BECOMING?
Paul uses the analogy: “just as Jesus’s body was literally crucified, we should crucify our passions and desires that do not give glory to God!
This is intense language because Paul is trying to communicate a very important idea! This is absolutely serious to Paul!
A big part of being a Christian is that we are growing in Christ, we are becoming like Jesus! Our character is changing, our identity is changing, our passions are changing, our desires are changing.
We’re never stagnant… we’re never NOT becoming something! We’re always being discipled by something/someone.
The fact of the matter is that unfortunately, most of us are just being discipled by the wrong things!
We are all trying to find “treasure” as it were! We’re all looking for something to fill our life with meaning and purpose.
Matthew 12:35 ESV
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
Out of his good treasure… out of his evil treasure...
Ultimately, what we should be treasuring, what Jesus is calling us to treasure is God himself!
Because it’s when we treasure God that we can actually enjoy the life God has given us.
[EX] Think about a good thing like marriage. Marriage is a gift of God for those whom are married. But marriage becomes a crippling and dissatisfying experience when we’re trying to find our ultimate purpose and hope from it! So it comes down to our expectations! What we treasure is what we’re ultimately finding our identity, purpose, and value from!
Our identity, purpose, and value can only be found in God!
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
We have full life when we live fully committed and connected to God… “WHEN OUR HEART US GOD’S...”
Therefore, the only way to enjoy something is to not try and find value and purpose from it… Purpose and value ultimately come from God… and when we find our purpose in him, we can enjoy other things as the simple gifts of grace that they are!
When our heart us orientated towards God, we can have life… when our heart is worshipping other things, we will inevitably continue to flounder and live with discontentment.
“By your words you will be justified and condemned.” (v. 36-37)
Matthew
Matthew 12:36–37 ESV
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Our words reveal a lot about who we are!
This is vitally important for us to pay attention to, from Jesus.
the way we speak is actually more of an indicator of what is in our heart than we actually realize…!
Our words reveal our character, our identity, who we really are!

When people speak lightly without paying serious attention to what they are saying, the careless90 word, the word uttered without any thought of the effect it will have on other people, then that word shows something of what they are, deep down

The New American Commentary: Matthew 2. Opposition Experienced in Christ’s Mission (11:1–12:50)

But, as in 10:26, all words ultimately reflect one’s more fundamental commitments

What Jesus is saying is that at the judgment what we are is what matters, and that our words, especially those to which we give no particular thought, reveal what we are.

So what is COMMON for us to talk about?
Gossip
Gossip
Anger
Sensuality
Bragging
Where does our speech go? Are we always talking about ourself? Are we tearing others down? Are we always critical?
Don Carson writes:

Our whole lives come under review on judgment day. Particularly telling, however, is our speech, because it reflects what exists in our hearts.

And this removes the opportunity for us to try and make excuses regarding our speech:
This is killing the idea that, “Oh, I didn’t mean to say that…” Or “I’m not that kind of person, I just messed up...
Remember — NO — we act from what is actually within us… We can’t spin our struggles and mistakes as being from outside of us… They come from within!
We are the problem, not our circumstance. “Oh, they made me do that… Oh, I was tired. Oh, it was a hard day at work...”
So I said this or that terrible thing… but that wasn’t me, I don’t say things like that...”
WE MAKE EXCUSES!
BLAME, EXCUSES, DENIAL VS. OWNERSHIP, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY
Because Jesus says here that what we say actually reveals what is in our heart!
Matthew 12:37 ESV
for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
3. Does this mean we save ourselves?
We justify ourselves?
NO

Since words express the heart, good words demonstrate a good heart, and bad words a bad heart. On judgment day, words will provide evidence for vindication or condemnation.

Our words reveal what is already there! Our words are the litmus test, the diagnostic for what is actually going on within us.
Are we always comparing?
Are we always negative?
Or are we uplifting, positive, joy-filled?
Our words reveal the condition of our soul!
Application:
Application
We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners.
We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners.
It’s not, “I’m a good person that makes mistakes every once in awhile. We make mistakes because we have a flawed heart. We need God’s grace. We need God’s Spirit to renew us, to make us whole!
We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners.
What flows from your mouth? Pay attention to internal talk you say to yourself as well! The internal dialogue.
Good fruit comes from God’s Spirit within us when we believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. We must surrender to God.
As a result, we are able to use our words in a manner that points to Christ!
We can become a blessing to others! We can become worshippers of God. We can begin having a different internal dialogue… believing in God’s love for us!
Community Group Reflection:
Remember, it’s not only about the actual words we say but the heart behind them. Reflect on . Do our words reflect the Fruit of God’s Spirit?
Reflect on . What are some ways we can foster a pure, undefiled, and undivided heart towards Jesus?
Communion
L: In the night in which he was betrayed, Our lord Jesus took bread,He gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.Do this for the remembrance of me.
L: Again, after supper,He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying; this cup is The new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.Do this for the remembrance of me. Silent Reflection – to prepare our hearts toCome to the Lords table
L: Jesus' death brings us life and this meal reminds us that we are fed by Jesus and forgiven because of Jesus.
C: We rejoice that You have died, have risen, and are now with the Father advocating for us. Amen.
L: With our money, time, and talent we give generously, knowing that through Your Son, Jesus, You have generously given to us.
C: We rejoice that You have given everything and we joyfully give everything back to Your care. Amen.
L: If you believe Jesus died to forgive you your sins you are welcome to come,
L: Come for all is ready
Benediction
As you go, may the Father’s light shine in your darkness. May the Spirit open our eyes to see the glory of Jesus. May He cause us live in and proclaim the grace we have received. Go in hope of the peace He brings to the world. Peace be with you.
NOTES:
(v. 33-35)
Galatians 5:22–26 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
No we act from what is actually within us… We can’t spin our struggles and mistakes as being from outside of us… They come from within!
We are the problem, not our circumstance. “Oh, they made me do that… Oh, I was tired. Oh, it was a hard day at work...”
EXCUSES!
BLAME, EXCUSES, DENIAL VS. OWNERSHIP, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPONSIBILITY

Despite all the gradations in humanity we perceive, ultimately there are only two kinds of people: “good” and “evil.” The distinguishing criterion is their response to Jesus.

(v. 36-37)

Our whole lives come under review on judgment day. Particularly telling, however, is our speech, because it reflects what exists in our hearts. See Jas 3:1–12.

The New American Commentary: Matthew 2. Opposition Experienced in Christ’s Mission (11:1–12:50)

But, as in 10:26, all words ultimately reflect one’s more fundamental commitments

Gossip
Anger
Sensuality
Bragging

When people speak lightly without paying serious attention to what they are saying, the careless90 word, the word uttered without any thought of the effect it will have on other people, then that word shows something of what they are, deep down

What Jesus is saying is that at the judgment what we are is what matters, and that our words, especially those to which we give no particular thought, reveal what we are.

The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Fourth, One’s Words for or against God’s Purposes Reveal One’s Character and in the Judgment Will Testify for or against the Person Who Utters Them (12:33–37)

In this context, Jesus is saying that one expects people like these Pharisees to be the kind of people who would blaspheme the Holy Spirit because their hearts are so corrupt, though they appeared righteous to most other observers

Since words express the heart, good words demonstrate a good heart, and bad words a bad heart. On judgment day, words will provide evidence for vindication or condemnation.

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Pulpit Team:
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