Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Thursday, 28 October 2021

An ABC of Faith


We have probably heard a preacher speak of the Fruit of the Spirit, but I must admit I have never heard a sermon on the text, “By their fruits you shall know them!” 

Here is the whole passage,  “Be on your guard against false religious teachers, who come to you dressed up as sheep but are really greedy wolves. You can tell them by their fruit. Do you pick a bunch of grapes from a thorn-bush or figs from a clump of thistles? Every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree is incapable of producing bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. The tree that fails to produce good fruit is cut down and burnt. So you may know men by their fruit.”

But the question I want to ask today is what are the false teachings that we generate, indeed germinate within us? What do we allow to seed in the garden of our hearts?

How does this passage touch me? Am I given to judging the book by the cover? Do I sometimes use this image to condemn others, as what would one expect from that family or that society or nation

Might this passage be inviting me to look again at the talents, gifts that I have been given and being grateful for them and asking that I might be able to use them for the good of others?

Remember, Jesus frequently asked the people to judge him on his ‘works’.

Have you notice that Jesus speaks richly in images: wolves, trees, sheep and fruit are brought to mind. If I were to speak to Jesus in images, to what might I compare my life?

A tree does not go bad overnight. Rather, decay begins from within and it takes time to show on the outside. On the other hand, growth in goodness is evident. By my fruits others will know my inner worth.Saint Irenaeus says: ‘The glory of God is the human person fully alive!’ I am meant to become ‘fully alive’ myself, and to help others to become fully alive also. There is the agenda for a lifetime!

As I draw close to Jesus in prayer, I realise that he is the source of truth and meaning. Other leaders may inspire and encourage, but I trust Jesus as the Truth.


Lord, it is your will that we should bear fruit. I want to bear fruit so much that the world will see it in me and that your name may be glorified. Help me Lord to achieve this. Because the world is expecting our manifestation, I will bear fruit that will make me manifest, to your glory alone. Amen.

No comments:

Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.