Summary: Every believer will bear fruit, proving their new birth, and the Holy Spirit brings this about.
…God, He’s part of the Trinity. That’s what Christianity affirms. We’ve talked about that two weeks ago. And then last week was “What is My Relationship with the Holy Spirit?” – how do I live and interact with God, the Holy Spirit. This week is entitled, “The Fruits of the Holy Spirit” – that there are some things that the Holy Spirit does in a person’s life that you bear fruit. All right, so as we start, I’m going to play some voices for you. There are five voices on this CD that I’m going to have R.C. play in a second and there’s about 15 seconds in between that and that’s where you get to tell me who that is. Don’t be shy. It’s okay to talk in church and we’re going to see if you can identify these five voices. All right, hit it R.C.
Intro: Play audio clips from 5 people, see if congregation recognizes them.
So if you are 14, you didn’t get the Winston Churchill one and if you’re over 14, you didn’t get the Miley Cyrus. Okay. So you recognize voices. You can recognize the voice and you can recognize who that person is behind the voice. What is a thing that we can look at in a Christian’s life and recognize them to be a Christian? What is that? Because it’s not just a sure thing if somebody says they’re a Christian. It doesn’t mean that they are a Christian and truly only God knows a person’s heart. But generally, what can we see in a person’s life that can identify them as being a Christ follower – being a Christian?
Some people think it’s just their testimony – what they say. But that’s not true. If somebody just says they are a Christian, it doesn’t mean necessarily that they’re a Christian. Just because you say I know the way to Rockford, doesn’t mean that you’re in Rockford right now. It’s just the same way. Somebody can say “I’m a Christian” even know the way to be a Christian, doesn’t mean necessarily that they’re a Christian. So what are the things that can identify a person as really being truly a Christ follower?
Take your Bibles and just turn to John 15 as we get into the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Jesus addresses this very thing in John 15. And he gives us two things that we can identify in a person’s life. In your own life…I want you to be examining your own heart and life today. Don’t think that this is a great message for my neighbor to hear. Think about it for yourself for a moment. Jesus lists two different things. Look at verse 4:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. And then jump down to verse 8:
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
So Jesus says essentially two things: Abide in faith. The person that abides in Jesus, abiding faith, believing in Him and staying in the vine – that’s a mark of a Christian. And then the second one is bearing fruit. Bearing fruit in keeping with a said belief system or their faith. Two things. Two markers that you can recognize a Christian. In your life, you can recognize that you truly are a Christian if you have abiding faith and you are bearing fruit. Not perfectly. Not necessarily all the time, but on an ever-increasing basis as your life unfolds you are bearing more and more fruit as you grow up into Jesus Christ. You become mature in Jesus.