Summary: First Fruit of the Spirit
Series on the Fruit of the Spirit
(The Fruit That is Never Out of Season)
“Love - Building Healthy Relationships”
A. Turn to John 15.
B. Example - I was about five or six years old and was walking through a huge store with my father holding his hand. Letting go of his hand for just a minute, I slipped down an aisle to examine a really cool toy. I couldn’t have been gone for more than a minute when I turned around to show the toy to my dad. He was gone, nowhere to be seen. I did what most kids that age do. I panicked! This was the moment I had worried about. My dad had seen his opportunity and seized it! He had ditched me! So I started yelling his name. “Daaadyy!” Fifty men whose first name happened to be “Daddy” peeked around the end of the aisle, but none of them was mine. My panic increased! Now I began to wonder what they did with the left-over kids at K-mart. Did they sell them the next day at a “blue-light” special? “Daaadyy!” I screamed. This time it worked! I saw his balding head and darted for him like a heat-seeking missile. He hoisted me up in his arms and held me tightly. “Daddy,” I cried, “don’t ever leave me like that!” He smiled and said, “How about we make a deal, son? You don’t leave me, and I won’t leave you!”
C. Somehow I believe that’s the kind of deal God wants to have with His children.
D. He wants us to stay close to Him. He wants us to remain connected to Him.
E. We began the new year by discussing the condition of our spiritual hearts. We spent a lot of time addressing different heart problems and working on the cures.
F. Once we’ve got our hearts right, then we need to examine what is flowing out of our hearts.
G. I believe that if our hearts are right with God, then we will produce fruit like that of our Father.
H. This is possible only if we are connected to God; only if we stay close to Him.
I. There’s an important point we need to make right here but let me tell you a story.
J. Example - A young boy used an old fruit tree to escape from his second-story bedroom window, especially when his father was about to punish him. One day the father announced that he was going to cut down the old tree because it had not borne fruit in many years. That night the young boy and his friends purchased a bushel of apples and in the cover of darkness tied fruit to the unproductive branches. The next morning the father shouted to his wife, “Mary, I can’t believe my eyes. The old fruit tree that was barren for years is covered with apples. It’s a miracle because it’s a pear tree!”
1. Point: A dried up, dead branch does not produce fruit. And the branch certainly won’t produce apples if it was meant to produce pears.
2. In order for a branch to produce healthy fruit, it must be properly connected to the vine.
K. John 15:1-10 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”
L. Let’s notice just a couple of points from this text that will lead us into our topic for today.
1. First, Jesus says “I am the true vine.” He could have said, “I am a vine” or “I am the vine,” but he wanted to communicate an important point—he is the only vine that is legitimate. He is the true, real, genuine vine.