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Summary: A sermon on the importance of spiritual fruit as evidence of our walk with Christ.

INTRO:

* Seed produces roots

* Root produces fruit

ƒ{ We've been talking about roots

ƒ{ I want to switch gears and spend one week talking about fruit

„X Not fruits

ƒ{ Bad roots -- don't produce good fruit

Galatians 5:16-24

16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

ƒ{ God has commanded us to be fruitful (Adam)

Fruitful = Producing Abundantly

Productive

Abundance

ƒ{ This scripture give me a serious warning signal

ƒ{ That you can look successful but not be successful

ƒ{ As a church we are

* Growing

* TV

* Multiple Campuses

ƒ{ But what about the fruit?

ƒ{ I don't want us to be satisfied with a form of Godliness

* And deny His power!

ƒ{ I was praying about

* Lord I am hungry for you to show off

* I felt impressed the Lord say, I am hungry too!

ƒ{ So, I began to read this text

ƒ{ And I found some very interesting thoughts

ƒ{ Of all the miracles of Jesus

ƒ{ They're all positive...

...except this one...

* Raising the dead

* Feeding the multitude

* Stilling the storms

* Healing

* Cursing (killing) the fig tree?

ƒ{ This story confuses me...

* Jesus is hungry

* See's a fig tree

* Finds no fig...because it is not in season

* And he curses it!

* It withers up and dies!

ƒ{ It's the only story like it in the Bible!

ƒ{ Two words bring better understanding to this story

Verse 13 In Leaf Mark 11:12-14, 20-25

Mark 11:12-14

12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.

Mark 11:20-25

20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

ƒ{ Scholars say this tree was in a vineyard

ƒ{ Out of all the trees...this one was in leaf

ƒ{ Here's the key...

...a fig tree always produces its fruit before it grows its leaves

ƒ{ Therefore, it gave the illusion of fruit

ƒ{ It put on a great show!

ƒ{ It attracted the attention of a hungry savior

ƒ{ But it provided no fruit

ƒ{ Could it be that Jesus

* Comes

* In the form of hungry, hurting people

ƒ{ We can't offer a good show

* A good method and no message

* Religions

* Activity

* Christian calisthenics

* A form of Godliness with no power!

LEAF = Benefits the tree

FRUIT = Benefits the person!

ƒ{ This tree paints a picture, then, of the nation of Israel

ƒ{ But now of the Church...Christians

ƒ{ Because we want fruit but won't deal with the root!

ƒ{ The church can't nourish people's souls, although we look alive

ƒ{ We make great professions of faith

ƒ{ But offer nothing!

ƒ{ And disappoint a savior who is hungry to show off

ƒ{ Historically:

* All other nations were without leaves

o Greece

o Rome

o Etc.

ƒ{ But here was the Jewish nation covered in leaves

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