Summary: We are called in Scripture to be IN the world but no OF the world. Christians are to be separate and when the world is at its’ worst, we are to be at our best…
Luke 6:43,44NLT "A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit.
44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes.
Let’s look at some fruit that want you and me to produce…
1. The fruit of a holy life:
The Bible is full of passages and verses, calling us to holiness. Just a couple are
Hebrews 12: 14NLT “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.”
1Peter 1: 15NLT “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.”
I don’t believe the world nor God expects believers to be perfect. I do believe they expect us to be different.
In our speech: It amazes me how often I hear “Christians” cussing at someone…
In our values: Too many today are accepting the value system of the world…living in the world LIKE the world…living together…people who are not divorced living with their girlfriend/boyfriend…
In how we treat others:…
We are called in Scripture to be IN the world but no OF the world.
Christians are to be separate and when the world is at its’ worst, we are to be at our best…
If you are not living a holy life, there is a good chance that you are nothing but leaves.
Like the fig tree in Mark 11: 13 “And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.”
Jesus condemned the tree because it was showing all the signs of fruit but was covered in nothing but leaves.
The fig tree produces the fruit before the leaves, so when you see a fig tree in full leaf you expect to find some fruit.
When the world sees Christians is full leaf they expect to see fruit…
2. The fruit of a loving spirit:
Some people are what could be called “Armpit Christians”
They carry a bible as big as the Atlanta Ga. Phone book, under their arms. They attend every conference, every seminar, every meeting. They listen to Cds on the Christian walk.
Even with all this, they are some of the crankiest, fussiest and meanest people in town; much less the church.
It is not my Bible knowledge…my church attendance…my position nor my possessions that make me fruitful.
Jesus said in John 13: 35NLT “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”
It’s love that proves my fruit is real…
Travis Berry, a former missionary to Argentina, taught theology for a time. He said that many failed the test he gave and his best student a communist plant.
Berry said “You can’t determine who the best Christian is by some theology test.”
You know it is very possible to be as straight as a gun barrel and as cold as the steel spiritually…
I’m not sure where this came from but it makes good sense.
“A Christianity that does nothing for your human soul will do nothing for your eternal soul.
That kind of religion is nothing more than leaves…
3. The fruit of humble service:
Serving others is a characteristic of the Christian faith.
Many serve on committees in the church and call that their act of service.
I want you to understand that serving on a committee is not and should never be an excuse for not serving others…
We were not saved to sit…soak…and sour in these pews, waiting for Jesus to come…We were saved to serve others and to reach others with the gospel…
I once had a boss who was into “Body building” and I asked him the same question that Merv Griffith asked many years ago…”What do you do with all those muscles?”
The body builder posed for Merv and Merv said “NO, you don’t understand…What do you do with all those muscles…what are they good for?”
All those muscle were good for showing off and that was about all…
Some Christians are like the body builder. They keep building their spiritual muscle but have never found a good use for them.
4. The fruit of a personal testimony:
God is not looking for people with all the answers…He is looking for people who can answer the question…”How has Jesus changed your life?”
There was a pastor who went to visit a man from his church, who was dying. This man was one of the church’s best members…a fine man.
The man told the pastor that he had heard a lot of sermons in his life and for many years he had been the member of a fine church. “Pastor” the man said, “The doctors tell me that I am going to die and I believe them.”