This sermon is part 4 in my Sunday night series that I’m preaching here at Faith United Church, Hempstead Texas. It is the art of bearing fruit part 4.
THE ART OF BEARING FRUIT PART 4
THE 9 FACETS OF GOD’S LOVE
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
AMP – 22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[f]that can bring a charge].
INTRO: This is part 4 in our Sunday PM series, “The art of bearing fruit.” So far we have seen that God wants every Christian to be a fruit bearing Christian. Also, that in order for us to be a fruit bearing Christian, we must make sure that our life (ground) is prepared to produce fruit for Him. We must dig down under the footpath, remove the rocks and thorns, and get to the good rich soil of our lives – deep in our hearts. When we’ve done our part, we can expect God to do His part.
Now remember, this PM series is not doctrinal in nature, but practical and devotional.
I want you to think of the 9 fruits as diamond facets in a ring. It is a gift, just like the Bride receives her wedding ring on her wedding day – we receive these fruit as gifts from God. Let’s look.
1. Our works produce things of the flesh or sinful nature.
Galatians 5:19-21 NIV – 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
AMP – 19Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 20Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 21Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
A. Before we go any further, the freedom we have to live in the Spirit and have His fruit be produced in us is a freedom that comes apart from the Law.
Galatians 5:1-18 NIV – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! 13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
1. Neither is this freedom from the law a license to live any ole way we please (v. 13).
B. Just a little background information here.
1. There were Judaizers (Jewish Christians or even Gentile Law-keeping Christians) who taught you must keep the Law faultless in order to be saved. They were going behind Paul and preaching legalistic law-keeping to these Gentile Christians.
2. Here is a question: Why is it we always do the same thing as these Judaizers did? We want people to believe like us, act like us, talk like us, wear the same clothes like we do, fellowship like us, have services like us, etc…
3. Why can’t we just let God be God and speak to each one through His Word and Spirit to each person.
4. Now I’m not talking about sin, we are to loving approach and rebuke and endeavor to restore when we see sin amongst believers.
5. I’m talking about the non-essentials. I mean, does everyone have to act like a Baptist? Or maybe a Pentecostal? Or a Charismatic? Does everyone have to dress up in their Sunday best?
C. If we live by the Spirit (v. 16) we will not live by the sinful nature.
1. First surrender your entire life to Him.
2. Get to know the Lord through prayer.
3. Get to know about Him and listen to Him, and apply His principles in your life through the Word.
4. Fellowship with mature believers in the Lord. Imitate their life of faith.
D. Now let’s go to the works of the flesh. They are basically listed in 3 catagories.
1. Sensual sins: Sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, indecency, orgies.
2. Religious sins: Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery, drug addiction), dissensions (divisions), factions, discord, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies.
3. Temperate sins: Hatred, jealousy, fits of rage (uncontrolled anger), selfish ambition, envy, drunkenness.
E. The Scripture is very clear here: Those who do these things and live this way will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
1. Doesn’t matter if they walked an aisle and said a prayer, been water-baptized or shook the preacher’s hand. Living in the Spirit first starts are being born again, a new creature who God has redeemed from these works of the flesh.
2. The fruit of the Spirit is not produced by works, but by the Spirit Himself.
v. 22a AMP – But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes]
A. The Spirit seeks to produce these fruit by forming the character of Christ within the believer.
Galatians AMP – My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) within you,
Romans 13:14 AMP – But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).
B. In other words, this fruit is a by product of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.
C. So if the Holy Spirit produces in fruit, then we must get in tune with the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do in us.
3. How do we begin to see this fruit being produced in our lives?
A. First off, it is not through struggle and effort on our part.
B. First, ask the Holy Spirit to control your life. Surrender to Him.
C. Ask Him to help you be more Christ-like in your daily walk.
D. Be open to the doors being open to see the fruit be produced in your life.
E. While it is not produced through struggle in effort on our part, it is seen through our obedience to Him and His Word.
CONCL: Next time we will start getting into the fruit specifically.