**“By Their Fruits You Will Know Them (Matt. 7:20)”** **By…

**“By Their Fruits You Will Know Them (Matt. 7:20)”**

**By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones**

**“By negatively we mean that if a person is not a true Christian, and if he has not the true Christian doctrine, we shall inevitably find somewhere in his life a certain slackness, a certain failure to conform to the true Christian character. If a person is not conscious of the utter, absolute holiness of God and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, if he does not see the real message of the cross of Calvary is that all of man’s righteousness is worthless and that he is an utter, helpless, foul sinner, he is going to show this in his life. There is always a failure to walk the narrow way, and a conformity at some point or other to the world and its outlook. Their outlook is secular and not spiritual, that although they never do anything outrageously worldly, their whole attitude is worldly.**

**But, to put it positively, what we look for in anybody who claims to be Christian is evidence of the Beatitudes. The test of fruit is never negative, it is positive. Certain apples may look all right, but you begin to eat them and you will find that they are sour. Now that is the positive kind of test. A true Christian must exemplify the Beatitudes, because you do not get grapes from thorns or figs from thistles. A good tree must bring forth good fruit; it cannot help itself, it is bound to. A man who has the divine nature within himself must produce this good fruit. He is poor in spirit, he mourns because of sin, he is meek, he hungers and thirsts after righteousness, he is a peacemaker, he is pure in heart, and so on.**

**Our Lord reminds us here that if a man is not humble, we are to be very wary of him. He can put on a kind of sheep’s clothing, but that is not true humility, that is not true meekness. And if a man’s doctrine is wrong, it will generally show itself at this point. He may be affable and pleasant, he will appeal to the natural man, and to the things that are physical and carnal; but he will not give the impression of being a man who has seen himself as a hell-bound sinner, and who has been saved by the grace of God alone.**

**Truth within must of necessity affect a man’s appearance. The New Testament man is a sober man, he is grave and humble, he is a meek man. He has the joy of the Lord in his heart, yes, but he is not effusive, he is not boisterous, he is not carnal in his life. He is a man who says with Paul, ‘We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened’ (2 Cor. 5:4). To say and to believe that is bound to affect the whole man, even his very dress as well as his demeanour. He is not interested in pomp and show and externalities, he is not interested in making an impression; he is meek and concerned about God and his relationship to God, and the truth of God.**

**The ultimate test of all, however, is humility. If we have the pride of life and of the world in us, of necessity we do not know much about the truth; and we should examine ourselves again to make sure that we have the new nature within us. What is within is going to show itself. If I am a worldly minded person, though I may preach a great doctrine, though I may give up certain things, it will come out in my “idle speech”. Our Lord says that we shall all be judged by our “idle words” (Matt. 12:36). We can make ourselves appear to be Christian; but it is what comes out suddenly that reveals our real nature.**

**The way in which a man preaches is often much more significant than what he says, because the way in which he speaks displays what the man really is. A man’s methods sometimes deny the message that he is preaching. A man who preaches judgment and salvation and yet laughs and jokes is denying his own doctrine. Self-confidence, self-assertion, reliance upon human ability and ‘personality’, proclaim that the man has a nature within him which is far removed from that of the Son of God who was meek and lowly in heart.”**

– **Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount”, page 512-514**

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