Summary: Glorifying God is about reflecting His character - The Fruit of the Spirit
Gal 5:22-3 September 20, 2009
Fruit of the Spirit Intro Sermon
Warning - I didn’t stick to these notes in the audio - instead I started with Ezekiel 1 to say that the church is to be like Ezekiel’s vision: A glory caring vehicle led by the Spirit of God.
Here’s the original:
Two Sports quotes – who is Jesus?
Norm Evans, former Miami Dolphins lineman, wrote in his book, On God’s Squad, “I guarantee you Christ would be the toughest guy who ever played this game. . . . If he were alive today I would picture a six-foot-six-inch 260-pound defensive tackle who would always make the big plays and would be hard to keep out of the backfield for offensive linemen like myself.”
Fritz Peterson, former New York Yankee, more easily fancies Jesus in a baseball uniform: “I firmly believe that if Jesus Christ was sliding into second base, he would knock the second baseman into left field to break up the double play. Christ might not throw a spitball, but he would play hard within the rules.”
Theatre Technology Prof. - “The question is, did God create man in his own image, or did man create God in his own image?”
We are often trying to create Jesus in our own image – “Jesus was, or would be into what ever I am into” – if I’m a capitalist, Jesus was for sure, If I am a socialist, no question; Jesus is a socialist... If I collect old bubble gum wrappers.... If I feel like smiting those that cut me off on the highway, Jesus would smite them too! - sons of thunder
Question: Is being a Christian just finding ways to spiritualise our personalities, or chosen behaviour, or is there something more, something better?
As followers of Jesus, we cannot fool ourselves into thinking that Jesus is just like us, only better. We have to be careful that we have not traded places with God, trying to create him in our likeness -
Made in his image, being made into his likeness.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
We should not be trying to shape our image of Jesus in our own likeness; we should be shaped into his likeness!
What is Jesus likeness?
Focus in on Jesus’ character
Best description of Jesus’ character – much better than the sports guys
why do I turn here for a description of Jesus character? (not the Gospels?)
JESUS AND THE SPIRIT
Born of the Spirit
Anointed by the Spirit
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
By the Spirit he set people free from entrapment. He brought them hope and liberated their relationships. Demonic powers were driven out, and creaturely life was restored. All this happened because the energies of the life-giving Spirit were at work in Jesus. – Pinnock p.89
Directed by the Spirit
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”
Jesus exists in Trinity; always doing what the Father is doing; always instep with the Spirit
Empowered by the Spirit
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.” - Luke 4:14
Raised Up by the Spirit
11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Jesus connection with the Spirit is complete unity – They are in the Trinity – 3 persons, one God.
If they are completely unified we would expect Jesus character to be shaped by the fruit of the Spirit.
So if we are being made into his likeness, we too should have a character shaped by the Spirit.
Unless you are born of the Spirit... Romans 8:9
9 You, however, are not controlled by the sinful nature but are in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
What is the sign that you are “Born of the Spirit?” - family resemblance
Changing metaphors – what is the easiest way to tell what kind of fruit tree you have? - look at the fruit!
Being made into God’s likeness, into Jesus’ likeness, is about growing the fruit.