Summary: God desire for man was that we would be fruitful. This sermon outlines the basic concept of fruit bearing.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A FRUITFUL LIFE
The Leader needs to be an example in everything they say and do. We all reproduce after our own kind; we must desire to reproduce healthy solid Christians. This lesson is about the fruitful life.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
The Christian life is a supernatural life. No Christian, of themselves, has what it takes to live it. Jesus couldn’t have put that more clearly when He said, “without Me you can do nothing.” We could interpret that to mean “without His help, or “without His blessing” but that is not what Jesus meant. He meant HE ALONE is the source of a fruitful, abundant, spiritual life. As a branch will wither and die without the sustaining life of the vine, so all our attempts to produce Christian character will be fruitless and frustrating apart from a continuing, need by need abiding in Christ.
Until we believe this we will never experience the Christian life God intended. True, some people manage to produce very fine imitations, but they are like fake fruit in a basket. It’s okay for display, but it cannot satisfy real hunger. Real fruit must grow out of life. Christ is the Believer’s life. He alone can produce a Christian characterized by love, joy and peace. Only He can perform the Christian ministry that glorifies God. Only His Spirit can provide the Christian character described in Galatians 5.
A BRANCH ON THE VINE
The Principle of Relationship
Life in its fullness and completeness resides in the vine.
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
1. Christ is the Vine – all spiritual life flows from Him.
2. As the Branch can only receive life from the vine, so we can only receive spiritual life from Christ.
a. Jesus said He would abide in us. He would have a living presence in the Believer.
b. This was accomplished when the Holy Spirit came to live within us.
• To have the Spirit of God within you is to have Christ in you. (Ro 8:9-10)
• The Holy Spirit is the living link between Christ in heaven and the Believer on earth.
• All that Christ is and has becomes ours through the Holy Spirit.
God never intended you and I to live the abundant Christian life, but to allow Christ to live it through us. He is the vine – the fruit producer. We are the branches – fruit bearers. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit we receive Christ’s life. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit we bear His fruit.
The Principle of Reproduction.
The life of the vine is supplied to the branches and reproduces itself through the branches in the form of fruit.
1. Branches are not designed to produce fruit only to bear it. They are totally dependant on the vine for fruit.
a. The fruit of the Spirit is produced IN the Believer, not BY the Believer.
b. The sole responsibility of the Believer is to abide in Christ, to live in dependency upon him through a constant yielding to the Holy Spirit for life.
c. Christian’s who thus abide in Christ bring forth “much fruit”. TRYING doesn’t produce fruit, but TRUSTING.
2. For fruit to reach maturity, the branch must continue to draw life from the vine.
a. Fruit does not appear all at once. First there is the flower or blossom, then a tiny fruit, which develops to maturity.
b. For that process to be completed in the Christian they must daily declare their dependence upon Christ and yield themselves to the Holy Spirit: a moment-by-moment abiding.
The Principle about Fruit.
It is the predominant evidence of a Spirit-filled life.
The true test of a spiritual life is the character it displays on a day-to-day basis.
The fruit of the Spirit is not affected by changes in our environment or circumstances.
The most common substitute for fruit is performance.