Summary: The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 3) How does human or natural joy differ from the everlasting and supernatural joy of the Lord? How can we receive the joy of the Lord? 5 "Sap-suckers" that keep joy from developing in our lives. Find sermon at www.praisea
The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 3)
• Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Someone paused leaving the church to tell the pastor, “Whatever you do, don’t miss the joy!” Wise words! Robert Louis Stevenson said near his life’s end, "To miss the joy is to miss everything!" Not many would argue with that either.
As a church we want to encourage people to “Experience the Joy!” Are we really supposed to experience joy in our lives? All to often joy is lacking in our lives. A keen observer of Christians once said, "Christians seem to have a religion that makes them miserable. They are like people with a headache. They don’t want to get rid of their heads, but it hurts to keep them."
We should who should have the most joy often find ourselves lacking it the most. Am I the only one, or does anyone else have a deficit of joy in their lives?
Joy is one thing Satan wants to steal from us. Why? Joy is contagious! Satan is content to let you go to heaven; just don’t live your life in such a way that other people will want what you have! That’s why the devil looks for ways to rob us of joy.
Illustration: Personal experience sitting on the porch in Toronto enjoying a restful moment on the swing, but a neighbor walked by and asked, “What’s the matter with you?” When I told them nothing they said, “You just don’t seem very happy.” That’s when I started praying for the Lord to make His joy evident in my life. I still need God to help me let His joy show!
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS JOY! Jesus said, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit” (John 15:5 NIV). If we are connected to Jesus then joy should be evident in our lives. As a branch joined to Jesus, the life-giving vine, the fruit we bear should be joyful!
Pastor George reminded us that when we talk about the fruit of the spirit it is not FRUITS of the Spirit, it is FRUIT. Love is the blossom which produces the fruit; joy is love rejoicing. When we are connected to Jesus the fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of our relationship with Him. We should be joyful because the life of Jesus and His Spirit is within us!
Now let me point out something else: it is NOT the fruit of the saints; it is the fruit of the SPIRIT! In other words, the fruit is not something we can produce on our own. Jesus said it best, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NIV). The fruit of the Spirit is not of human origin; it comes from God.
PASTOR GEORGE INTERUPTS: “But Pastor, I know people who are not Christians who are really happy people; some may even be happier than me. Don’t they have joy apart from Christ?”
PASTOR GREG: Yes they have joy. Your non-Christian family and friends also have the ability to show evidence of the other expressions of the fruit of the Spirit; they can be loving, kind; some might even be more patient than you!
PASTOR GEORGE: How is that possible?
PASTOR GREG: God made man in His image. Every human bears the likeness of God. Therefore, God created us with the capacity or the ability to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and under control.
Unfortunately while we still bear the image of God as human beings, sin has distorted the likeness of God within us. In the beginning man shared an intimate and unbroken relationship with God in the garden, and the image of God within man was complete—it was not distorted and broken by sin. Sin has broken the intimate relationship with God thereby cutting us off from the source of life.
God’s likeness and image remains within the human heart, but it is incomplete because of sin. We lack the ability to fully develop the characteristics of our nature which was made in the image of God.
Jesus came to get us reconnected to God! As we come into relationship with God through Christ Jesus the image of God is brought back to life and restored within us.
PASTOR GEORGE: “I get it! The fruit of the Spirit is evidence that we have been reconnected to God!”
PASTOR GREG: Exactly, look at this verse:
• Psalm 16:11 (GW)
You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.
Jesus has put us on the path of life. Complete joy—joy that is whole and not lacking anything, is found only in God’s presence. This is the unfailing absolute joy is what God wants us to have in our lives—that’s the fruit of the Spirit we know as joy.