Last week we learned that...
- We need to bear fruit or we will be cut off from God. John 15: 1 - 9
- To be able to produce fruit, God has grafted us into a relationship with Himself
- We produce fruit as we are changed into the likeness of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3: 18)
1. WHAT IS FRUIT?
We need to define what fruit is so we know if we are producing it or not.
Producing fruit is shown through two areas in our lives.
- Philippians 1: 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God (this has to do with who we are)
- Colossians 1: 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God (This has to do with what we do)
Fruit is becoming more like Jesus (As I gaze upon Him and am transformed into His image) and because I am like Jesus I can do the works he has called me to do.
2. THE "I" FACTOR
Romans 7 14: - 24 I is mentioned .25 times not counting the time me is mentioned.
Right away we get into a battle of what do I need to do to bear fruit, which leads to frustration. We need to change the way we think and approach bearing fruit.
Two reasons people fight the battle of will
- They have never become a Christian
- They have not learned to totally trust the Life of God that they are now grafted into.
EXAMPLE: cannot understand I am dreaming when I am in the dream, it is only when I am awake that I knew I was dreaming.
Look at a few verses like we are awake and not in a dream state.
Galatians 5: 19 – 23 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again as I have before that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things.
Living in the “I” world here is how I battle sin and try to walk in the Spirit.
- I try to quit doing the things of the flesh and assume that I will then start walking in the spirit
- I have anger in my life so I pray for peace. We end up only taking parts of the Spirit instead of the whole thing
- The Spirit is not a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose what we want from Him
Take care of the “I” factor
Galatians 2: 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting the in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
What happened to the “I”? When did it die?
3. THE LAW
Galatians 5: 23 There is no law against these things
Define Law:A law is something that gives you the same results wherever you may do something. If I drop a ball, gravity takes over no matter what or where, it produces the same results.
Law of sin in my life.
So we have this Law of sin in our lives and the “I” cannot beat it.
Romans 8: 2 Law of the Spirit has set me free from the law of sin
We try to conquer sin in our lives and we fall short, We repent and don't try to do better, Temptation is always trying to get us to do something. We trust God's life to flow through us to change us.
Philippians 4: 13 I can do all things through Christ (share, give, have peace and trust) because law of sin and death is gone Romans 8: 2
4. I'M DEAD
My tongue is dead, now I can offer it to God or satan
- Tongue spreads the fires of hell James 3: 4 - 6
- Through Jesus let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess His name Hebrews 13: 15
I am going to fail, but I am going to learn to offer myself to God.
Some of us don't start fighting the battle because we're not sure we can win the war, but the war has already been won nearly 2000 years ago at Calvary
Change the way we think by waking up out of the dream.
EXAMPLE: Professor John Bargh scrambled sentences to measure intelligence. Problem that wasn't the experiment at all. One group had sentences with the words disturb, bother, and intrude. The other group was hit with the words respect, considerate, and yield. After unscrambling for 5 minutes, theyw ere to take the test to the person running the experiment. Had an actor engaging the professor in conversation. All of those primed with rude words interrupted the conversation. While 82% of those primed with polite words stood there for 10 minutes without interrupting.
Word of God primes our hearts and minds to obey God.
Key Point: As we become more like Christ, we produce fruit.