Faithlife Sermons

The Fruit of Holy Spirit

God's Gracious Gift  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:22
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The Victorious life that God intends for you is evidence that the Spirit of God is in control.

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Introduction:

Many churches are beginning Advent today as we begin to anticipate Christmas. But I don’t want us to rush too quickly away from the work of God’s Spirit in our lives. We still have 4 weeks to focus on the surprises of Advent, but first let’s talk about the type of life we live when God’s Spirit is in control.
‌I realize a sermon is not a term paper, so you don’t need all the footnotes where I am citing the works of another. But I also do not want to present the work of other men as my own. Today I have edited and combined thoughts from 2 of the greatest pastors of the last century. Some of what I am about to say will sound like it comes from Adrian Rogers, former pastor of a church in Memphis and the voice behind the radio program Love Worth Finding. Other ideas come from the pen of John Piper, a retired pastor from the Minneapolis, MN area and a ministry called Desiring God.
‌Both of these pastors preach about an hour, so you can rest assured I am not just reading their words verbatim, but I have gleaned from each of their comments on today’s text to write words that I believe are helpful and applicable for us in Chase County 2022.
Last week we talked about the giftsof Holy Spirit, this week we consider the fruit of Holy Spirit. There are 2 general ideas I would like to introduce before we jump into the text.
1. Fruit in v.22 is singular. This is not a list of options you find in the produce aisle that allows you to pick and choose. If the Spirit is truly calling the shots in your life, all of these will be evidenced to some degree. This leads me to the second observation...
2. Just as fruit is produced when a tree or plant is healthy. The fruit becomes evidenceof the health and the type of the plant. The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of the health and type of life you are living.
Transition: Let’s begin by breaking down today’s texts into manageable pieces.
Generally speaking, the type of life you experience can fall into one of two divisions.

Fleshly sins/works (5:16-21) vs. Spiritual fruit (5:22-23)

· ‌Sexual sins - “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality
· ‌Spiritual sins - “ idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions
· ‌Social sins - envy, drunkenness, orgies
‌Now, you may wipe your brow, let out a breath of relief and say, “He didn’t get me.” And then, he says—“and things like these.” (Galatians 5:16–21). That includes you!
· ‌Spiritual fruit - “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law
‌There’s a contrast between works and fruit. We produce the work—that is, it’s an effort in our flesh—and we only bear the fruit. You see, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit. We produce the work.
And so Paul is very exact here, in this Scripture, that he uses. Now he goes on to say,
Galatians 5:24–26 ESV:2016
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 keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Transition: There is an enemy of God that the Bible calls the flesh. This flesh is not muscles, tendons and skin; it is human tendencies shaped by 3 influences that are opposed to the purpose for which God created you. The flesh personified is the Deceiver, and He deceives through internal motivations and external enticements. All that is opposed to God finds root in the Evil one.
2 Corinthians 2:11 states that we can be aware of the schemes of our enemy.

The Strategy of Our Foe

A. He Attacks Unexpectedly

Jesus, after His baptism, and when He was anointed with the Holy Spirit of God—when the Spirit like a dove descended upon Him—the Bible says,
Matthew 4:1–3 ESV:2016
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Now what I’m trying to say, dear friend, is there’s a principle that you could almost call the devil after the dove. The dove descended, and then came the devil. For Jesus said, “Watch and pray … the spirit indeed is willing, but”—watch—“the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). He is going to come.

B. He Attacks Indirectly

I’m going to tell you something else: Our Foe attacks us indirectly and internally. Look, for a moment, at Deuteronomy 25:17.
Deuteronomy 25:17–19 ESV:2016
17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18 how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.
This example is of a warrior who attacks at your most vulnerable and exposed point when you are tired and weary. I’ll tell you, God doesn’t think much of this fellow Amalek—you can tell that, right away. He came unexpectedly, but he came indirectly. He sneaked up from behind. Have you ever been in a situation where somebody just caught you off guard—maybe you were tired, irritable, a little confused—and you opened your mouth, and said something terrible? You just said something, and then, after you said it, or after you did it, you were as surprised as the person. And you said to your self, “You know, I’m really surprised at myself.” Or, you said, “Hey, what made me do that?” And you did not even realize that there was in you that propensity. What the devil did was a sneak attack on you; he used the flesh, but he came from behind, and he bushwhacked you when you were weak.

C. He Attacks Viciously

He comes, dear friend, unexpectedly; he comes indirectly; and, he comes viciously. Notice what he did. Look again—in v.18 that was just read, the Bible says, “he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, (Deuteronomy 25:18).
What the flesh does is to attack us in our weakest place. Now when God tests us, God tests us in our strongest place. God tested Abraham’s faith, because that was his strongest place. But the devil attacks us in the weakest place. Now these people were wounded; they were weak; they were weary; and the flesh took advantage. Now I tell you, friend, when you have a great spiritual experience, at the same time, so many times, you’re going to find yourself weary. Jesus fasted forty days and was weak—then, the devil tempted.
A pastor, who can be praying and fasting, can come home and have a tremendous argument with his wife, if he’s not careful. A church that can have a great spiritual outreach like VBS or our Bible in Life Conference where we’re working, and praying, and fasting, and organizing, and God will bless—but we’re all so tired; we’ve been to so many meetings. Don’t you think the enemy knows that? You see, he’s very vicious; he comes unexpectedly with a sneak attack; and he comes, dear friend, indirectly—from behind. He comes viciously to take advantage of the fact that, many times, we’re tired and disoriented, albeit that we’re walking with God.

D. He Attacks Arrogantly

Then, I want to say something, He comes arrogantly. Notice again, in this passage of Scripture, the last part of verse 18: “he did not fear God ” (Deuteronomy 25:18). Now I want to say, dear friend, that the flesh has no fear of God. The Bible says, “The flesh is warfare with God” (James 4:1–4). Now be honest—do you find it hard to pray sometimes? Do you find it hard to read the Bible? I say today, if you’re born again, there will be a desire to pray; there will be a desire to love God, a desire to witness, a desire for the things of God—and, indeed, there is. But I’m going to tell you something else: You’re going to find something in you that doesn’t desire it at all, and it will fight you and keep you from doing the things that you ought to do. God wants you to have victory over this foe.
Transition: The Christian life attempted in the flesh is marked by defeat. But the Christian life under the control of Holy Spirit displays...

The Victory of Our Faith

How are we going to overcome the flesh? Yesterday I was doing my devotional reading in Exodus 4-7 where God tells Moses to use his staff to convince Pharoah.
He said, “Moses, pick it up by the tail.” And Moses said, “What’s that, Lord?” Now any country boy knows that’s not the way you pick up a venomous serpent. That leaves the business-end loose. But He said, “Moses, pick it up.” And it became a rod again in Moses’ hand; and, no longer, now, is it called the rod of Moses—it is called the rod of God. And what God was showing Moses was this: “Moses, there is a flesh principle in you; there’s a serpent in your so-called ability—and you need to throw down the flesh.” And every preacher needs to do that; and every elder needs to do that; every youth volunteer needs to do that. And everybody needs to take their so-called gift and ability, cast them at God’s feet, and let Him take a serpent out of it and then give it back to you.
No longer is it your ability; no longer is it your strength. Now it’s God’s, and God will use that gift, and God will use that ability, when He takes the serpent out of it and gives it back to you.
You may not know—Moses didn’t know there was a serpent in that rod; but God knew there was in there. And He took the serpent out, gave it back to Moses; and, no longer, now, is it the rod of Moses—now, it is the rod of God.
what was God showing us? He was showing us how God’s power over the flesh is made available. Let me tell you, dear friend, what it takes to gain victory over the flesh: It takes the power of God—that’s the rod; Now Let’s go all the way back now to Galatians 5 where we started.
Now I think the Galatians passage will have even more meaning for us. Galatians chapter 5—and look again, if you will, at verse 16:
Galatians 5:16 ESV:2016
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Now how do you overcome the flesh? By walking in the Spirit, the fruit of Holy Spirit shows up in our daily victories.
Transition: Walking in the Spirit is how we “Slay the Dragon/Serpent of Flesh”. For Moses it only took one throw down to change the rod. For most of us it looks a little different. We need to keep throwing down the staff to get rid of the beast.

The Slaying of the Dragon

‌Picture your flesh—that old ego craving for power and reputation and self-reliance—picture it as a dragon living in some cave of your soul. Then you hear the gospel, and in it Jesus Christ comes to you and says, “I will make you mine and take possession of the cave and slay the dragon. Will you yield to my possession?
It will mean a whole new way of thinking and feeling and acting.” You say: “But that dragon is me. I will die.” He says, “And you will rise to newness of life, for I will take its place; I will make my mind and my will and my heart your own.”
You say, “What must I do?” He answers, “Trust me and do as I say. As long as you trust me, we cannot lose.” Overcome by the beauty and power of Christ you bow and swear eternal loyalty and trust. And as you rise, he puts a great sword in your hand and says, “Follow me.”
‌He leads you to the mouth of the cave and says, “Go in, slay the dragon.” But you look at him bewildered, “I cannot. Not without you.” He smiles. “Well said. You learn quickly. Never forget: my commands for you to do something are never commands to do it alone.”
‌Then you enter the cave together with God’s Spirit. A horrible battle follows and you feel Christ’s hand on yours. At last the dragon lies limp. You ask, “Is it dead?” His answer is this: “I have come to give you new life. This you received when you yielded to my possession and swore faith and loyalty to me. And now with my sword and my hand you have felled the dragon of the flesh. It is a mortal wound. It will die. That is certain. But it has not yet bled to death, and it may yet revive with violent convulsions and do much harm. So you must treat it as dead and seal the cave as a tomb.
‌The Christian life, the fruit of the Spirit, is a constant reckoning of the flesh as dead (piling stones on its tomb) and a constant relying on the present Spirit of Christ to produce love, joy, and peace within.

Conclusion:

Our fleshly attempts to be good or do better will inevitable result in sin and failures. Our walk by faith with the Spirit as our battle partner yields the victories we desire.
If you want more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control... walk by the Spirit and He will produce His fruit.
If you want more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; you will find Victory in Jesus.
Earlier we celebrated in Communion the removal of all guilt for our sin. Now join me as we celebrate the victory the Holy Spirit desire to bring to our lives.
Join me as we stand and sing the chorus, then v.2 of that great Gospel Song.
Song of Response #473.......... “Victory in Jesus
Benediction: 2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV) — Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
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