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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor

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June 10, 2007

  Galatians 5:16-26

(Gal 5:22 NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

(Gal 5:23 NIV) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. (Galatians 5:22-23The living bible)

The Spirit produces Christ-like fruit in us. The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to his  

 

What kind of fruit does God expect from us?

 (John 15:4 NIV)  Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

(John 15:5 NIV)  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.). We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—loving God and man. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you?

Following Christ ought to yield fruitful results. Christ is the vine, and God is the gardener who cares for the branches to make them fruitful. The branches are all those who claim to be followers of Christ. The fruitful branches are true believers who by their living union with Christ produce much fruit. But those who become unproductive—those who turn back from following Christ after making a superficial commitment—will be separated from the vine. Unproductive followers are as good as dead and will be cut off and tossed aside.

 

 God expects many different kinds of fruit.

 

Fruit is not limited to winning souls .In John chapter 15, answered prayer, joy, and love are mentioned as fruit.

(John 15:7 NIV)  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. The fruit of answered prayer.

(John 15:11 NIV)   I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. The fruit of joy.

(John 15:12 NIV)   My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. The fruit of Love.

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Additional fruits: qualities of Christian character.

 (Gal 5:22 NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

(Gal 5:23 NIV) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(Gal 5:24 NIV)   Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

 And (2 Pet 1:5 NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;

(2 Pet 1:6 NIV) and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

(2 Pet 1:7 NIV) and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

(2 Pet 1:8 NIV)   For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Apart from Christ, there is no real fruitfulness. 

 Jesus says that the only way to live a truly good life is to stay close to him, like a branch attached to the vine. Apart from Christ our efforts are unfruitful. Are you receiving the nourishment and life offered by Christ, the vine? If not, you are missing a special gift he has for you.

 

 Matthew 3:1-12

 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:10niv)

 

Spiritual fruit is a natural by-product of God’s presence. Just as a fruit tree is expected to bear fruit, God’s people should produce a crop of good deeds. God has no use for people who call themselves Christians but do nothing about it. Like many people in John’s day who were God’s people in name only, we are of no value if we are Christians in name only. If others can’t see our faith in the way we treat them, we may not be God’s people at all.

 

Active obedience produces spiritual fruit. God’s message hasn’t changed since the Old Testament—people will be judged for their unproductive lives. God calls us to be active in our obedience. John compared people who claim they believe God but don’t live for God to unproductive trees that will be cut down. To be productive for God, we must obey his teachings, resist temptation, actively serve and help others, and share our faith. How productive are you for God?

 

 

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