Summary: A message about abiding in Christ, and bearing fruit

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Let The Sap Flow...And Don't Be A Sap! Part II

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote:

"There are overshot waterwheels and undershot. In the one case the motive power falls from above; in the other the water turns the wheel from below. The first is more powerful. Men, like wheels, are turned by forces from various sources, and too many move by the undercurrent--mercenary desires and selfish aims drive them. But the good man's driving force falls from above; let him endeavor to prove to all men that this is the most mighty force in existence."

I) Review

Jesus is the True Vine, the Genuine Article

Jesus saves, God prunes.

God prunes those things out of our lives and our manner of being so that we may bear more fruit.

Abiding in Jesus--which means to "be at home in Him, or better spoken for Him to be at home in you is what it means to abide.

You cannot bear fruit on your own. Jesus tells us in John 15:4

John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (NKJ)

The Bible shows two different types of fruit

Action Fruit (spiritual fruit produced through believers)

Praise of the Lord

John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (NKJ)

Winning converts to Christ

1 Cor 16:15 I urge you, brethren-- you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints--


Godly work in general

James 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJ)

Attitude Fruit (Galatians 5:22-23)

Without Attitude Fruit, You Cannot Produce Action Fruit

II) A Study of Contrasts Part 1

Paul shows four areas of the sins of the flesh:

Sensual Sins--Sex (Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lewdness)

Superstitious Sins--Human Religion (idolatry, sorcery)

Social Sins--Human Relationships (hatred--plural, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like)

III) A Study of Contrasts Part II

Contrasted with the deeds of the flesh is the fruit of the Spirit. Deeds of the flesh are done by a person's own efforts, whether he is saved or unsaved. The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, is produced by God's own Spirit and only in the lives of those who belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.--John MacArthur

A machine in a factory works, and turns out a product, but it could never manufacture fruit. Fruit must grow out of life, and, in the case of the believer, it is the life of the Spirit.

Fruit also contains seeds. Seeds produce more vines or trees, which produce more fruit. Here's how I look at it: Because the word "fruit" is singular, you and produce fruit depending upon our relationship with God at that given moment in time.

If you have a relationship with God that is letting God be in charge, then the fruit you produce is of great character. If not, then the fruit is perhaps not as "flavorful" as it should be.

Here's an example--apples. Personally, I like Red Delicious Apples and Yellow Delicious Apples, and I don't care much for Granny Smith apples. It's a matter of my personal choice, my personal taste.

However, in the life of the believer, our fruit may be made sour because each of these flavors (love, joy, peace, etc) have not flowed because of our attitudes and actions.

22 But the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is love,

The first three fruit of the spirit "flavors" express the Godward aspect of the Christian life.

Agape love is the form of love that most reflects personal choice, referring not simply to pleasant emotions or good feelings but to willing, self-giving service.

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJ)

Warren Wiersbe notes that "Paul begins with love because all other fruit is really an outgrowth of love.

Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord.

Joy not only does not come from favorable human circumstances but is sometimes greatest when those circumstances are the most painful and severe.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy" (John 16:20). To illustrate that truth Jesus compared divine joy to a woman in childbirth. "She has sorrow because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you" (vv. 21-22).

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