(08-07-24) Fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5.16-25; Matthew 7.13-21
Fruit of the Spirit – Jeremiah 17:7-10; Galatians 5:16-25; Matthew 7:13-21
Black and white
· Far less grey than would be comfortable!
o life led by the Spirit / by the flesh
o narrow / wide gates
o true / false prophets
o good / bad fruit
· Faced with these options, we want to know where we stand!
o “not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord…’” (v21)
· Both Jesus and Paul tell us that the sign is the fruit we produce
Get through the narrow gate
· Action hero!
§ biggest and bravest rugby lads suddenly struck with fear
§ narrow ways can terrify us!
· More difficult route
o ‘the Hill of Repent’
§ awful grammar, but the meaning was clear!
o what’s difficult about accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour?
§ receiving love, forgiveness, life, hope, gifts, future…
o it’s a narrow gate because we built the wall it goes through
§ having put ourselves in God’s place, it’s hard to climb off the throne
§ humility & repentance
§ accepting God’s grace
Produce good fruit
· The fruit is singular
o we can’t pick and choose which we will and won’t produce
§ love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control
o doesn’t come as a result of our own effort
§ “Bear fruit! Bear fruit! Bear fruit!”
o vine and branches (John 15)
§ soil and water
· Psalm 1?
· Fruit of the Spirit
o who lives within us, moulds and shapes us; changes us
o willingness to be changed
o taking the opportunities we are given!
§ “Do it to me now, Lord!”
· The fruit we produce and the path we have chosen are not inextricably linked
o we go through seasons of fruitfulness (sometimes different seasons within the same hour!)
§ keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians v25)
o once we have gone through the gate there’s no going back
§ Jesus walks with us – we belong to Him (v24)
§ the Holy Spirit warns us of bad fruit that we may be offered
· different Gospel is no gospel at all
· keep ourselves fed and watered
o time with God and in His Word
· Making sure we are through the narrow gate
· Being open to bearing good fruit
· What counts is choosing Jesus and being filled with the Spirit as we walk home to the Father