Summary: This message is about taking inventory of our spiritual fruit to be sure that it's authentic and not just something that we put on display for others to see.
Wax Apples & The Fruit of the Spirit
Pastor Steve Evans
March 1, 2015
I want to share with you a very honest message, but a message that I trust will cause you to draw closer in your walk with the Lord.
I must say that I came about this message in a most peculiar way. It was just the other day as I sat before the Lord in this sanctuary that I read the words of the Psalmist who came to a place where he realized that his joy was gone, and then we read the words of his prayer, " Lord, restore unto me the joy of your salvation."
Those words "restore unto me" began to resonate in my spirit and for a couple of weeks now that word has turned in my heart. To hear this man call out to the Lord for restoration was just such a blessing and it struck such a chord in my heart that I knew immediately that I must preach a message entitled "restore unto me."
As the days passed and I began preparation I found it very difficult to arrange this message that just days before had so blessed my own spirit. And from there the Lord began to show me other things and that's where I invite you to join me today.
Descriptions of the Christian Life
So numerous that even the heathens know how we should act
Countless Scriptures give insight into the behavior and character of the life of the Believer, and thank God it does because what is shown us in these Scriptures is a life beyond compare.
The Promise of Jesus Christ to those whose lives are rooted in him is this:
John 15:5 NIV “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
How do we remain or abide in Christ? We remain or abide in Christ through the fellowship of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5:22-23 NIV we are given the attributes and characteristics of this fruit that should be born out of a spirit-filled Christ centered life when the writer says by the Spirit's inspiration, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Again the Bible says, "Romans 14:17 NKJV ...the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
John 14:27 NKJV Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Peter says that the knowledge of Christ and his sacrifice for us is to produce "joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1 Peter 1:8)
Missing the Mark
Genesis 2:15-17 NKJV Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
I'm not sure why but it seems that we as human beings have an uncanny ability to be able to get things backward in the economy of God's kingdom.
God said don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and what happened.
God has said spoken to us and told us what the fruits of the spirit are and we behold them as if they're something to be put on display and not enjoyed.
I want you to understand that I'm not here to argue against scripture today, and I'm not here to say that we shouldn't be witnesses:
We know how the outside world looks on at Christians
We know their expectations of us.
We know that bearing fruit is a part of having a good testimony.
Somehow I feel like we have come to a place where we are more concerned about having our fruit on display for the world to see then we are asking the question "am I a partaker of the fruits of a life in Christ through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit."
Do I have peace in my life?
Is there joy in my heart?
When temptation comes do I have any self-control?
Is there any gentleness in me?
Do I have love in my heart?
Am I patient?
Is there love in my heart?
Well pastor I need to take care of my testimony!
No you don't! You need to take care of your own heart and your testimony will take care of itself.