This morning we are going to talk about fruit.
This fruit is circular, soft, yellowish-orange, 3 or 4 inches wide and fuzzy.
This fruit is big, oblong, red inside, green outside, and very hard.
This fruit is long, yellow, squishy, and white inside.
5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [g]gentleness, self-control.
Life comes from life.
Non-life can’t and won’t produce life.
Just as regular fruit is the result of plant life and reveals the kind of plant life it is …
The true evidence of God’s life in us His fruit.
It is not acts of service or spiritual words.
Spiritual fruit is the result of God’s life and reveals His Spirit in us.
It may be a flower or growing bud or a big, red, apple…
…but in a healthy Christian life…there will be fruit.
The last couple of weeks we have discussed the things people do that they think will bring life to their life…(works of the flesh)
…but life comes from God and without the life of God…
…these works don’t bring life.
The works of the flesh are damaging and burdensome.
The works of the flesh are produced by our labor not God’s Spirit.
The works of the flesh are damaging and eventually deadly.
God’s life brings life.
And God’s life in us produces His fruit.
And the fruit that God’s Spirit produces is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [g]gentleness, self-control.
2. The Spirit’s fruit grows all at once.
It is not just individual attributes, but all in one fruit.
I will be growing in all of these attributes- not just one at a time.
Fruit grows in shape and color and size all at the same time.
3. The Spirit’s fruit has potential for more fruit.
…Fake fruit ends with itself.
Our bearing fruit is key to the advancement of the church and mission of God.
The Spirit’s fruit is what spreads His life to others.
…They will know that you are Christians by your love.
…It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.
…It is the peace that passes understanding people desire.
The fruit of the Spirit in us is the way many people come to Christ.
Bearing fruit is an important aspect.
4. The Spirit’s fruit is not for the fruit.
Fruit is meant to be eaten not just sit there and be admired.
Remember: motive matters!
The fruit of the Spirit is for the glory of God…
…and the benefit of others .
The works of the flesh are for me, my benefit, and my glory.
So it could look like this…
See the problem with all of these motives is me!
Who enjoys your fruit? Who would enjoy your fruit being fresher?
5. The Spirit’s fruit is supernatural.
This is where I think we often get things wrong.
We equate personal attributes or character qualities with spiritual fruit.
We might say…
I am a very patient person, but I need to work on love.
I am a very joyful person, but I need to work on self control.
I am a very gentle person, but I need to work on longsuffering.
I am a very peaceful person but I need to work on goodness.
Just because your mom taught you to be patient
Or your grandpa taught you to be joyful
Or your significant other taught you to be gentle
Or you are just a mellow peaceful person by temperament…
Doesn’t mean that those things are the fruit of the Spirit.
They are just our natural temperament or personal habits.
Training doesn’t produce the fruit of the Spirit only God’s Spirit does.
…But training can produce good character.
The Spirit of God will produce fruit and that fruit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control.
We cannot just work on being more patient or work on being more gentle when we are talking about the Spirit of God.
As God’s Spirit works, we change, we become like Him…
…and He is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.patient, we become gentle.
When I am just trying to work on these areas individually…
…I find myself frustrated and failing…
…and it even can become a work of the flesh!
Remember the Spirit wants to glorify God and love others, but the flesh wants to glorify itself and loves itself.
If the result of my love, patience or peace leads me to pride…
…it is not a fruit of the Spirit.
But when it is God who is working…
…I am often surprised at my patience or shocked at my joy.
I haven’t “worked on it”, but God has worked in me…
…And He has produced fruit…and all of a sudden there it is!
…Some of you may be thinking what about God’s commands?
As we go through this list, many of these attributes of the fruit of the Spirit you may notice are also commands.
How do we reconcile bearing fruit and obeying His commands?
…Is this my responsibility? Or my opportunity?
Just like many things in Scripture, we reconcile two seeming opposite things by bringing them together not apart.
…They work interdependently not independently.
Two sides of the same coin.Two songs from the same album.
This idea is a tension to manage not a problem to solve…
…a dichotomy to hold, not a decision to make.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
…God is working in me and in my will.
I John 5:1-5
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christa has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Because I believe that Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God…
…I have His love and His commands are not a burden.
…I also have his victory by my faith in Him.
How come my fruit is not always love, peace, patience etc?
If God is working, why are we not producing a boundless harvest?
The First one is about your heart…
It is the condition of your heart not the power of your will that produces fruit.
The Spirit is like the wind. You and I are like sailboats.
…When I am walking in the Spirit I am powered by the wind.
The wind is always blowing…
The question is, what are you doing with the wind?
Are you pointed in the right direction?
Are you seeking the Lord, are you looking to Jesus, going His way?
Is your sail raised?
Are you open to God’s work? You can quench the Spirit.
Is your sail wide open?
Is your heart and life wide open to receive whatever God has?
Is your sail adjusted to catch the wind?
Is your attitude adjusted to spiritual life or fleshly works?
If yes, then just stay in that place and wait on the Lord, He is working.
When you find yourself off in one of these areas, readjust.
It is not about producing more wind, it is about harnessing the wind that is already there.
ALSO…Some of us harness what is available better than others because of experience, desire, or attention.
The second analogy is about your actions
How can I actually produce more fruit?
The same way a plant can produce more fruit.
BIG IDEA: Health not hard work produces more fruit.
It is not about harder work but a healthier life.
…But sometimes, being healthy is hard work.
BUT… our focus is not on the fruit, but the health.
I don’t focus on being more loving, more patient, more kind…
I focus on Christ and being healthy as a Christian.
So what do healthy Christian actions look like that will produce more of the fruit of the Spirit?
Yes, we are bearing fruit supernaturally…
…and yes, we are directed to obey.
…It is a matter of our hearts and our actions.
We have God’s life and we can and want to bear fruit.
…But because I still have my old nature…
…I don’t always do it.
And that is why we can be thankful God is…
…a gracious gardener.
He is working in the garden, and his work is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.