Summary: We are meant to produce spiritual fruit that brings glory to the name of Jesus!
Producing Good Fruit
July 3, 2005
A friend of mine from seminary worked for an orchard while he was in high school and during his summers home from college. He worked in several different aspects of the orchard, from picking fruit to basic tree care.
Dan told me about one season that he was helping to spray all of the trees from insects to insure that the fruit would not be infested when harvest time came. The work of spraying the trees went well but one small section of about ten trees was somehow missed during the work and no one noticed until it was time for fruit to develop on the trees.
As the fruit developed things looked good with the fruit growing large but as it was ready to be harvested, it became apparent that the fruit was infested with bugs. Those ten trees produced fruit but it was none fit to eat because of the infestation.
Our lives in Christ are meant to be fruitful for Him but far too we become infested with sin that destroys the spiritual fruit in our lives. The fruit we produce becomes filled with the corruption of sin and is unfit for the Kingdom of Christ.
When Christ looks into your life and sees the fruit there will it be fit for His Kingdom?
This evening let’s take a look at what the apostle Paul teaches about spiritual fruitfulness in Galatians 5:16-26
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; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 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. Galatians 5:16-26
A. Walk by the Spirit
1. Walking as a way of Life: Continual and regular action, not an option, implies progress, lead from where we are to where we ought to be, submission to the Spirit - direction to where God wants us to be
2. The role of the Spirit: Spirit gives us power to live, power of Jesus - salvation, Spirit becomes the guide, He directs and gives help, lifts us beyond the carnalhuman existence
B. Desire of the Flesh
1. We will not do: Christian life is above human life, Christian life is founded in the Spirit, human life is founded in fleshly desires, walking by the Spirit - not by the flesh
2. Desire of the flesh: We live either by the Spirit or live by the flesh, never both at the same time, it is impossible to do, we can not be like Christ - through the flesh, we can not live in the means which promote death
C. The Conflict
A. The Battle: Flesh Vs. Spirit
1. War of the soul: Flesh against the Spirit, both are exact realities - Flesh is real: it is human nature, Spirit is real: leading of God, they can not exist together without conflict
2. The conflict: Spirit wages on our behalf, flesh seeks to control, human nature is in direct contrast with God, we are in God’s image and His likeness but we conform more to our own image, Christianity runs counter culture with society, we are to be different from the world
B. The Strife: We do what we do not want
1. The flesh: We will be living by the flesh or by the Spirit, not both, when one is in control the other fights for control, thus there is always a battle and strife in this life, when we become Christian we reject the flesh, we still do stupid things - we say mean things, do hurtful deeds and cause harm to others, we give in to the flesh, the flesh takes us back for those times, Satan only needs a few moments to ruin our lives, it is those moments that make us who we are, they define our character