Sermon Series: Spirit Filled
Message 5 of 5: Pour Out Your Fruit
Scripture: Galatians 5:1, 13-14, 16-25
Notes from a message offered Sunday, 7/7/19 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.
What is the Fruit of the Spirit?
- What is your favorite fruit?
- 9 virtues (character traits) which the Holy Spirit grows in our lives
- Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Who wants more of this in their life? We all do. If you had to pick one to have more of in your life, which would you pick? (I want patience. Give me patience now!)
They are all good like a good piece of fruit. They are good gifts from God.
God expects fruit in our lives. They are the natural progression of being a follower of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit at work in our life. Growth in grace. Being alive and multiplying. Being rooted and grounded in Christ.
This is the fruit of abiding in Christ. The Spirit abides with us and in us. This is the natural fruit from believing and praying and trusting and seeking and serving.
It’s very simple: A follower of Christ should look and act differently than someone yet to believe.
Where’s the fruit? Do we look all that different?
- Where are the saved crying out in thanksgiving?
- Where are the bodies, families, and unjust systems healed for the Glory of God
- Where are the leaders leading out of Godly wisdom and humility?
- Where are the abused, angry, and addicted rejoicing in Christ’s freedom?
There is fruit my friends, but too often we don’t tell anyone about it. We hide it. We’re afraid of bragging, being weird, we’re shy.
Testimonies of Grace Stimson, Alida Noel Provence, and Pam Rader.
The Holy Spirit is at work. There is fruit. It’s about having eyes to see it. It’s about wanting it. The Spirit is never forced upon us.
Galatians 5 is all about freedom.
For freedom, Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
- Freedom from a false understanding of the law which lays a heavy burden on us
- Purpose of the Law was to show us our need of a Savior- we can’t fulfill the law in our own strength
- Good gift of the law was twisted into a set of rules – follow the rules you’ll earn God’s love and salvation
- How are we saved? By grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by your own doing, not of works and rules (Ephesians 2:8-9)
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers, and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Wide swing to another end of the spectrum in understanding freedom in Christ
- Christ has set me free so I can do whatever I want
- No- our freedom is so we can love and serve one another
In true freedom, we live by the Spirit not the law, not rules
In true freedom, we are guided by the Spirit not our fleshy selfishness or achieving
Galatians 5:16-25 NRSV
16 Live by the Spirit, I say and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
- a “sin list” of 15 actions
- fornication, impurity, licentiousness (misuse of the good gift of sex)
- idolatry, sorcery (playing God)
- Enmities (hostility), strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy
- Heart of peace sees people as people
- heart of war sees people as objects, obstacles to be overcome or fixed, projects, problems, a means to an end. People not as people
- drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. (misuse of the good gift of celebration)
I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Tug Of War Battle: Flesh vs. Spirit, Heart of War vs. Heart of Peace, Old Life without Christ vs. New Life with Christ. Just like in Tug of War, there will be a surrender. Will you surrender to the flesh or will you surrender to the Spirit? Do you want the Fruit of the Spirit or do you want the crazyville of the sin list?
The Fruit of the Spirit is the evidence we’ve surrendered to the Spirit, that we’re finding true freedom in Christ.
There is an awful, scary warning in the middle of this passage. (v. 21) If you act like the sin list you won’t inherit the Kingdom. But I still get angry… I still envy… I want patience NOW… I don’t have self-control over chocolate, or something else.
We’re awakening and becoming self-aware. The warning is serious, we take it seriously, so we get to work. I’ll work on my patience.
Did you hear the W word? I’ll work on being more patient and there we are trapped again. We turn the list of the Fruit of the Spirit into a new set of laws which will bind us. We work hard to achieve them in our own strength.
Truth: We can’t create the Fruit of the Spirit. All we do is surrender to it.
We give ourselves grace because it takes a long time to bear fruit. If you were to plant a fruit tree, how long would it take before it bore fruit? If you were to plant seeds, how long would it take? The Holy Spirit is the seed.
Jesus said, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”
We abide. Every day we open ourselves to the Spirit. Grow fruit in me. It’s that simple.
An apple tree doesn’t have to focus and work really hard to produce apples. It’s the natural result of seed meeting soil, sun, water.
The Holy Spirit is the seed. The Spirit meets the soil of our soul. It’s watered by our openness and trust, prayer, scripture, community, seeking, surrender.
Give yourself grace. Tell someone about the fruit.
Holy Spirit, Pour Out Your Fruit © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.