Summary: This sermon is the first in a series that will examine each of the aspects of the fruits of the spirit beginning with the indwelling and what it means to live by the flesh or the spirit.
The Fruit of the Spirit
Part 1 – To Be Filled
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
The most important thing in the life of a Christian is to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
We hear all the time that we should be filled with the Spirit, or walk in the Spirit. We are told to be fruitful Christians.
The Lord Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing.”
Christ is in believers in the person of His Holy Spirit as they receive Salvation.
But there is more to it than just being Saved.
The Holy Spirit is referred to as Living Water.
If I asked you to hold out your hand, and I was to pour water into it, how much of that water could you retain?
This power from on High, this aspect of God’s Holy Spirit, is always available and obtainable to those who have Salvation, but like water, we need God to continually feed the flow to us.
Therefore, when we are being filled with His Spirit, He works fruitfully through us.
If we are not being filled with the Holy Spirit, we are unproductive.
I’ve said it before, everything I am, or ever will be, everything I do and accomplish is ONLY because of the Holy Spirit.
We are dependant upon the Holy Spirit of God.
Galatians 5:16 – 26 Live by the Spirit
“16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For 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. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (wickedness, corruption, dishonesty); 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord (conflicts, disputes, disagreements, arguments), jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions Discord, rebellion), faction (splinter groups, division) 21 and 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. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT & UNDERSTANDING
I. LIVE BY THE SPIRIT NOT THE DESIRES OF OUR SINFUL NATURE
Verse 16 of our text today shares with us what we already know, and that is that we all have a sinful nature.
This is a result of the fall, and continues to be handed down from generation to generation.
The sinful nature is not something you have to work for to obtain, because it is something you already have.
But the Lord came and died so that we could be shown a better way.
And through our Lord Jesus Christ, He makes this way possible because He can do what no one else can.
He can take our sinful nature, and mold it into something new.
We truly are the clay, and He the potter.
The scriptures promise us to be new creatures when we accept the Lord. A NEW creation!
This transformation of our nature comes by means of Salvation, and can only be accomplished through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
It would be impossible for me to exaggerate how dependant we are on the Holy Spirit.
We are dependant on Him even before we belonged to God.
You may ask, ‘How can that be?’
It was the Holy Spirit of God that convicted us of sin which led us who are saved, to Salvation.
The scriptures tell us in Psalms that the Law of the Lord is perfect for converting the soul.
When we hear God’s law, it is the Holy Spirit’s conviction that draws us to Salvation.
After Salvation, the Holy Spirit continues to convict us of sin in our lives, and this is how we are ‘led’ by the spirit when we accept His correction and are moved by it.
To receive correction without being moved by it is simply complacency.
We are not called by God to be complacent, but to be “not just hearers of the word, but doers!”
Nothing thrills Satan more than a building full of complacent so called Christians.
Simply hearing the Word of God is not enough, God tells us to be doers.