Summary: This begins a study of the fruit of the Spirit examining the first three portions of the fruit.
January 25, 2004 Galatians 5:22-23
“The Spirit-filled Life”
Every person is going to produce fruit.
If a person doesn’t produce the expected kind of fruit, it’s because:
- he’s not the right kind of tree OR...
“...A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:18 (KJV)
Fruit is something produced because of what we are. You can’t force an apple tree to produce oranges. You can’t force an orange tree to produce walnuts. One of the main reasons that people in churches are not producing the fruit of the Spirit is because they have never received the Spirit to begin with. They are still one of those bad trees, trying as hard as they can to produce good fruit, but being frustrated every time because they have never received the Spirit who changes them and empowers them to produce a different type of fruit.
- he’s not planted in the right place
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season... Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:3 (NIV)
“...just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in Him...” Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
In order to get the right kind of crop, you’ve got to have both of these components – the right tree in the right place where it can receive the right nourishment.
The wrong tree planted in the right place is not going to produce the expected type of fruit.
The right tree planted in the wrong place is not going to produce the expected amount of fruit.
Every Christian is going to produce the whole fruit.
A friend of mine was ordering breakfast during a recent trip in the South. He saw grits on the menu, and being a Dutchman who spent most of his life in Michigan, he had never been very clear on the nature of this item. So he asked the waitress, “What exactly is a grit?” Her response was a classic. “Honey,” she said (in the South, waitresses are required by law to address all customers as “honey”), “Honey, they don’t come by themselves.” Grits don’t exist in isolation. – Everybody’s Normal till you get to know them by John Ortberg, p. 18, 19
1. Love is the motivation of the Spirit-filled life.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14 (NIV)
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? ...let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18 (NIV)
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” 1 John 3:23 (NIV)
“...live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)
“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:5 (NIV)
2. Joy is the strength of the Spirit-filled life.
“Splendor and majesty are before [the LORD]; strength and joy in his dwelling place.” 1 Chronicles 16:27 (NIV)
“...the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
When you think about it, it makes sense that joy and strength go together. Do you know what one of the most telling signs of depression is? It’s being tired all the time. If you have no joy, then you have no energy.
“...the God of my strength... God my exceeding joy... Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 43:2-5 (KJV)
One of the sweet Christians in church history was a little guy named Billy Bray. He was a Cornish miner. He had one of the most remarkable salvation experiences you ever saw in all of your life. Billy Bray was so happy — he shouted all the time. He bothered people. He had so much joy, just shouting all the time. And somebody said to him one time, “Billy Bray, why don’t you tone down some? You’re just too happy. You’ve got too much joy all the time.” Billy Bray said, “I can’t help it. God saved me and I can’t help it. When I put down one foot it says hallelujah, and when I put down the other foot it says glory to God.”