Summary: Over the next three weeks, we are going to take a look at some fruit that Christians produce as we submit ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit.
Dance Lessons: Fruitfulness
Galatians 5:22-26 (Part 1)
Chenoa Baptist Church
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
We’ve got a Banana Tree!
In 2014, we moved to Ft. Meyers, Florida for a dream job that ended up being a nightmare. We were only there eight weeks and lived in a church member’s condo during that time. After living nearly twenty years in the frozen tundra of Illinois, it was such a nice break to be able to swim in February.
I remember the first time I noticed it. I ran inside and got Maxine and drug her out to look at it. On the side of our condo was a tree…and it had bananas growing on it! It was a banana tree! Now, Maxine grew up in Florida so this was no big deal to her. But it was amazing to me!
I love bananas but I’d never really considered how they grew. They grow on trees! We had our very own banana tree in our yard! Here’s a picture of it. [slide]
One of the many sad things about our time in Florida is that I didn’t get to eat any of those bananas.
They one thing I didn’t notice was the banana tree trying to grow its fruit. We didn’t hear it grunting or groaning, straining and trying, until finally…pop…bananas.
It simply produced fruit because it was a healthy tree, with good roots, and adequate sunshine and water.
Over the next three weeks, we are going to take a look at some fruit that Christians produce as we submit ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit.
Last week, Paul transitioned from his warning about the false teachers to a warning to the baby Galatian Christians not to use their new found freedom in Christ to indulge the sinful nature but to serve others in love.
Why? Because the whole law is summed up in one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
But Paul makes it clear that this journey will not be a cake walk. It will be a battle royal between our flesh, that sinful nature that still remains and is opposed to God, and the Spirit that now lives inside of us.
He then gives the Galatians two lists - vices and virtues. In the first list, Paul highlights 15 “works of the flesh” that are a result of allowing our sinful nature to have the upper hand:
[Slide] “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” (Gal 5:19-21a)
Paul then gives them a warning that should make the hairs stand up on our heads:
“I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:21b)
Does this mean that if you have ever lost your temper or lusted or got jealous that you are going to hell?
Let’s look at at that phrase “those live like this.” This means that people whose lifestyles are defined by these acts. It is a habitual way of life. This is visible proof that the Holy Spirit is not in the person and they are not in Christ and will not inherit the promises of Abraham, eternal life.
But for those of us who do have the Spirit, when we fall (and we will), when we chose our flesh over submitting to the Spirit, we have a way back:
“If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of our sins, and cleanse you of all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
If you didn’t get to watch last week’s sermon, it is on our FaceBook page along with all the other sermons from this series.
The Galatians were learning to dance to the rhythm of love, joy, peace, grace, and most of all freedom and Paul is going to give them some new dance moves in these verses.
[slide]Remember that those who dance are thought crazy by those who can not hear the music.
Turn with my to Galatians 5. We will be in verses 22-26 for the next three weeks.
The the book of Psalms begins with these words:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)
Paul gives the reason for this fruit:
“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” (Rom 7:4)