The Fruit of the Spirit

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings
· 1 view

Proverbs 14:4

Proverbs 14:4 NIV
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
At Bethel Church we accept this basic idea: If you want it neat and tidy, you can have that. Alone.
If you want to be in community, that will require something of you. Church and community will sometimes be messy, and that’s part of the plan.
Accepting mess does not mean accepting REMAINING in our mess, but it means we accept the work involved in cleaning it up.
So what is the mess? It’s our lives intersecting and pulling out the good and the difficult in each other as we pursue God together.
And the ultimate ox that we want in the barn is the Holy Spirit. He will expose our messes, SO THAT WE CAN BE HEALED and grow together.
Our invitation in Jesus is to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. And the promise is that we will be given the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us as we do it.
The outcome is that we will be the light of the world, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
This is how the world will know that we truly belong to Christ, by the love we show to one another.
As we grow in the life of the Spirit, there is a predictable divine exchange that begins to occur, as we begin to exchange the life of our flesh, and its sinful desires, and instead learn to live by the spirit, and satisfy the desires of the spirit.
When we believe in Jesus and put our faith in Him, we are born again by the Spirit. This is a new life, and the old life is no longer relevent. However, we have wounds and well worn paths of behaviors and ways of thinking that must be brought out of us, and exchanged for the new.
Galatians 5:13–26 NASB95
13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Paul draws a comparison between the deeds of the flesh when living out of our wounded and broken sinful nature, and the fruit of the spirit. I draw that conclusion that in the same way that the list of sinful actions are DEEDS, things that humans DO when following the lusts of the flesh, in the same way the nine fruit of the spirit are not simply attitudes or emotions, but are actions that we live out.
In the weeks to follow we are going to be going into a sermon series that explores the fruit of the Spirit and offers transformation opportunities for you and me to produce this fruit even more in our lives.
Our thinking about God, about ourselves, and about others will be challenged to move even more into the area of living out of our spirit nature, and not our previous sinful nature.
Our attitudes and behaviours toward each other will be challenged to become more Christ-like, giving us ample opportunities to let go of the hurts of the past, and let the Holy Spirit move in the connections we have with each other.
The outcome will be that we produce more of the fruit of the spirit in our community, and that will be a blessing to everyone.
The light of the world sounds like a big calling, but the beauty of it is that we only acheive this by blessing each other tremendously, which…surprise surprise…will be a blessing!
So to start us off in our series on the Fruit of the Spirit, I am not going to preach about the fruit of the spirit.
Instead I am going to offer some thoughts on HOW we follow the Spirit instead of the sinful nature, and how we can know the difference.
-This comes from the next chapter, Galatians 6:7-8
Galatians 6:7–8 NASB95
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
The harvest demonstrates what was sown.
A few weeks ago I shared that we often judge others by their works, but judge ourselves by the intentions of our hearts.
Someone else does something that I don’t like, well that person is bad.
I do something that someone else doesn’t like, and somehow they are still the bad one for misjudging my intentions.
Sound familiar?
You swerve across three lanes of traffic, and let yourself off the hook because you needed to make that exit.
Someone else cuts YOU off, and they are a maniac.
In Galatians chapter six Paul tells the people of that region that the HARVEST of your actions is what counts. If you sow into the life of your flesh, sowing judgements, bitterness toward a brother, immorality in your thoughts or in secret, then the harvest will be corruption.
This is Paul’s way of saying that it won’t make a heavenly difference, but will only feed more of your earthbound, sinful flesh. And if that is what you feed, that is what will grow.
Conversely, if you sow into the Spirit life, you will reap eternal rewards. If you feed your spirit a healthy diet of foregiveness, releasing debts against each other, bearing each other’s burdens and seeking to restore with gentleness anyone who sins against you, you will reap a harvest in your Spiritual life, that is eternal.
Remember that in Proverbs we read that there is abundant harvest in the strength of the ox. We want to become good at hitching up our lives to the Holy Spirit, and making room beside us for others to do the same.
Where that leads to mess, Galatians 6:9-10 comes to mind
Galatians 6:9–10 NASB95
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Bethel Church is a community that follows the spirit, and I am excited to see what harvest we reap in due time as we study the fruit of the spirit, and seek together to live out of the Spirit nature.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more