GREAT GRACE & FREEDOM #9: THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
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INTRO TO SPEAKER: Story of my fixing of the leak under the kitchen sink. Third attempt!
ILLUSTRATION: A man applied for a job as a handyman. The prospective employer asked, “Can you do carpentry?” The man said, “No.” “How about bricklaying?” Again the man answered, “No.” The employer asked, “Well, what about electrical work?” The man said “No, I don’t know anything about that either.” Finally the employer said, “Well, tell me then what is handy about you?” The man replied, “I live just around the corner.”
OPENING TEXT: “Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree beside a fountain. His branches reach over the wall.” (Gen. 49:22, NLT). This is what God wants for our lives and our church!
THE BIG IDEA: In response to the grace of God in our lives, God wants us to live a life of freedom, love for others, and walking in the Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
1. LIVE A LIFE OF FREEDOM IN GRACE: (Galatians 5:1-6, NLT).
“So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Gal. 5:1).
- It’s all about Jesus – He set us free! The closer we get to Jesus, the further away from sin.
2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the regulations in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
- We can’t be made right with God by trying to keep the law.
- Christianity isn’t about legalistically following a bunch of rules!
5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
- God wants us to live by the Spirit and be made right with God through faith.
- How do we know if we have faith? We walk in love – loving God and loving people!
- John wrote: “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” (1 John 3:14-15).
- This is true freedom – serving one another in love! Love, acceptance and forgiveness.
“7 You were getting along so well. Who has interfered with you to hold you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9 But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others – a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough! 10 I am trusting the Lord to bring you back to believing as I do about these things. God will judge that person, whoever it is, who has been troubling and confusing you.” (Gal. 5:7-10).
- The false teachers were affecting the whole church, but Paul said God will judge them!
2. LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE FOR OTHERS: (Gal. 5:13-15, NLT).
“13 For you have been called to live in freedom — not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”
- The essence of the Christian life – walking in love. Love = summary of the whole law!
- Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NKJV). And: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13, NKJV).
3. LIVE A LIFE WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: (Gal. 5:16-26, NLT).
a) THE BATTLE:
16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.
- ILLUSTRATION: It’s like the little angel and demon on your shoulder.
- ILLUSTRATION: Playing Laser Tag with the youth on Friday night. I challenged the youth: Anyone who could beat me I would take out for pizza. Six did in the first round. However, next round, I fought harder and got the highest score. We need to be vigilant in the battle of the flesh versus the Spirit!
b) THE DESIRES OF THE SINFUL NATURE: (old Bible version = the flesh)
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results:
- sexual immorality (adultery & fornication – NKJV) – premarital sex
- impure thoughts (lust)
- eagerness for lustful pleasure (chasing after sins)
RELIGIOUS SINS: This is a false spirituality. Sin tries to separate us from God.
- 20 idolatry (“American Idol” culture: worship of anything as more important than God)
- participation in demonic activities (sorcery – NKJV; witchcraft – KJV) – the occult.
RELATIONAL SINS: Sin not only tries to separate us from God, but also from people.
- hostility (hatred – NKJV)
- quarreling (fighting)
- outbursts of anger
- selfish ambition
- divisions (strife – trying to divide, gossip, slander)
- the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your little group (heresies – NKJV)
- 21 envy
- wild parties
and other kinds of sin (note: not an exhaustive list!). Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Strong Warning!)
c) THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:
22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
- Love – agape – unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness
- Joy – Not happiness based on circumstances, but an inner satisfaction
- Peace – peace of heart (no worries or fears, not tense)
- Patience – (longsuffering – KJV) – endurance, steadfastness (not hurried)
- Kindness – moral goodness or integrity; thoughtful or generous (not selfish)
- Goodness – uprightness of heart and life (not bitter, angry or aggressive)
- Faithfulness – the character of one who can be relied on – faithful to friends, church
- Gentleness – mildness, meekness – not harsh
- Self-control – one who masters his desires and passions – doesn’t give into the flesh
How can we have more fruit of the Spirit in our lives? We are like a TREE:
What are three things a plant needs to survive and thrive? Sunlight, water and food.
- Water: Abide in Jesus: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5, NKJV).
- Food: Abide in the Word: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7, NKJV).
- Sunlight: Abide in God’s love: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9, NKJV).
- If we do these things, we won’t have to try to be more loving, we will be!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/