Faithlife Sermons

Growing Fruit: What Fruit Will you live by?

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Welcome/Series Intro/ Prayer

Good Morning Church! How is everyone doing this morning?
I am so happy to be in a new season of Life! Its a new school year for Jess and a new Semester for me at Seminary and I am really excited for what God will be doing in this season!
We are also starting a new sermon series called “Growing Fruit”. The entire Bible uses imagery of fruit as symbols of flourishing for humanity. As we saw in the Bible Project Video this theme can be traced throughout the Biblical story. In this series we are going to follow this theme in order to take a look at our own lives and see what fruit we are producing as Jesus followers. We are going to start small with the imagery of seeds and eventually land on what Kingdom fruit looks like. My prayer for this series comes from John 15:5, Jesus says, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit! May God produce an abundance in us! Would you pray with me to prepare our hearts for God’s message today?
Prayer:

Intro Outline:

How many decisions do you think you make a day?
according to different studies the average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. That includes everything from where your next step will be to the next work you say in a sentence. But how many of those more than 30,000 do we consciously make?
Probably several hundred right?
ME: When I think How I orient my day, I usually think in terms of what I want to get done. I ask myself, What do I think would be good for me to do today?
On Monday’s, Wednesdays, or Thursday that looks like going to the gym in the morning for two hours, but somedays I think it would be good if I sleep.
After the Gym: Im usually thinking about What I need to get done in turns of my responsibilities for church, school, or my other commitments.
Throughout the day, I am thinking about things like, “what do I want for a snack?” “what do I want to do after I am done with this task or that?” “What project do I need to tackle next?”
This might seem obvious, but alot of my daily routine is shaped around what I want to do or what I think is good, this isnt always a bad thing!
YOU/WE: In our our daily lives this is How many of us operate based on what we want or think is good.
When we wake, What we wear, what we will eat, and what we will do
Transition: What if this thinking is not intended for us? In Genesis 1-3: We see that God is constantly defining things that are good and things that are not good. God is the creator of all things, shouldnt he be able to define what is good and evil? Shouldnt he get to decide what is best for humanity and creation? So why doesnt God just decide everything for us? CHOICE!
God in his infinite love for us gives us the choice to decide for our own, its called free will.
This morning We are going to look at all the good that God has for us just in the opening chapters in the bible!
How He invites us into that Good and what happens to Adam and Eve when they begin to define Good in Evil on their own terms.

God Speaks Through Scripture:

Genesis 1: 1-31.

In the Beginning God created the World this is story that We all have heard since before we could walk, but have you ever notice how much God says is good in this account?
God says the light was good. God says the land and the sea are good.
What is the next thing that God says is good? Trees and Plants are good. (Now remember, that means we have to eat our fruits and veggies, because the bible says so, Amen?)
Then God made the Sun and The moon, his hands hung the stars in the sky and what did He say that they were? GOOD!
Then he made the birds in the sky and fish and the sea and He says they are Good!
Then God made all the beasts of the Land and guess what they’re good too!
What is the last thing that God creates in Genesis 1? HUMANS! The text says that they are the only thing that is made in God’s image and they are the only thing in all of creation that God says is what?
VERY GOOD!
Before we move on to Genesis 2: I want to leave us with a questions. All of these things that we see that God made for us to enjoy do we still see these things as good?
Even though the creation doesnt look the same as God’s original design is it not still good?
Are there there parts of creation we have decided aren't good?
are there animals and insects that we now call bad
What about humans? The only thing that is called very good! Do we still believe that every human bears the image of God? That every human is beautiful. Worthy and loved.
Transition: Let’s now turn to Genesis 2 to look at the first thing God says is not good.

Genesis 2: God defines the first Not Good in the Bible.

God puts adam in the Garden in the Garden and tells him that He can eat from any tree on the garden, except which one? The tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This is the first “not good” that we hear from God in the Bible because He says:
if Adam eats from that tree it will lead to death. and I dont think that this needs to be said, but that would be not GOOD AT ALL
The second “not good” that we see in Genesis 2 is what? Its not good for human to be alone. Thats why EVE comes into existence.
Point out: this doesnt say: its not good for man to be without a wife, or to not have kids, or to be in a romantic relationship
but its not good for humans to be alone. its not good for humans to be without community.
Lastly, Look at verse 25 (slide) Adam and Eve were completely naked and they felt no shame,
can you imagine that? Fully exposed. and feeling, no shame.
Nakeness is something we feel ashamed of today, but in the Garden there was no shame, so what changed? The definition of Good and Evil did!
Transition: Up until this very point God has defined what was good and not good. In Chapter 3: We see God’s definition put to the test!

Genesis 3: Defining Good and Evil on our own terms.

Adam and Eve can eat from Any tree in garden except for the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gives them this choice. They can eat it but they shouldnt.
Let me illustrate this idea with two eggs. Can I have a volunteer? This egg is hard boiled and this egg is raw.
You now have a choice you can trust me. or you smash he raw one into the bowl and find out for yourself.
Now, If you trust me, you can sit down and let someone else come up and decide, if you dont smash crush the raw egg into this bowl.
You see, This is the exact situation Adam and Eve are presented with in the Bible! Will they trust what God says.
Satan Poses a Question: Satan asks Eve Did God really say that you shouldnt eat from any tree in the garden?
Eve says, we may eat but we cant eat or touch the tree in the middle of the garden or we will die.
When in fact, God said you shouldnt eat, Adam mustve added the additional rule!
Satan says, thats not true! You wont die.
One way to look at this is the serpent saying “don’t worry about death as an immediate threat”. You wont die right away.
Then the serpent add, not only will you not die right away, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil. and God just want you to be like him.
Why did Satan Say this and Why was the Tree in the Garden?
We might think God put the tree to test Adam and eve, but the only one testing them is satan at this point.
So we must approach the tree with two points of Logic,
the tree has something that they don’t not naturally possess on their own
what they gain from the tree must have reason for it being forbidden.
We know that What the tree possessed is something that God has provided for them up until this point, that is what is good and evil.
The tree was forbidden because with it came moral autonomy, the ability to chose what was good and bad and no longer rely on God’s definition.
Furthermore, its not that God does not want his people to be like him, in fact it’s the opposite. The tree is forbidden because it is the choice to rely on God’s definition of good or define it how they want to. The whole reason God created was to have a relationship of trust.
Now, did God put this tree in the garden arbitrarily? I think God intended for adam to eat from the tree. but at this moment they weren’t ready for it. In the same way that there is nothing wrong with driving, but you wouldn’t give car keys to a five year old and let them drive.
The Consequences of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
The first thing that they define as not good was being naked, because where they didnt feel shame before, they do now.
Where they were once fully present with God they decided it would be good for them to Hide, not only that, but they experienced fear for the first time.
Then things really go down hill, Where Adam and Eve were once one separation begins! God says what did you do? Adam says it way EVE the woman YOU gave me!
Eve says it was the Serpent (who you made) deceived me, the blame just spirals and spirals.
Then God says, Adam and Eve cannot live forever in this state. They arent kicked out purely because of disobedience, but could you imagine what it would be like to live forever with seperation between humans, feelings of shame and fear, forever.
Literally things we experience everyday, but for eternity.
Think about it. The world we live in is consequence of us defining good and evil on our own. That power has led to all of the bad things we experience in our world today.
Anger. Voilence. War. Disparity. Famine. Literally every bad thing stems back to the decsion of to define good and evil on our own terms? Does that make sense? Do you see that in the world today?
Transition: So what does looking at Genesis 1-3 this way change for our daily lives? What after encountering this text must change in our lives? Because if we encounter God in his word and arent moved by it, whats the point. Let me share what I think all of this changes for the church today.

Application/Closing

At the very Core: This text asks us a question about how we live our lives. A question none of us can truly ignore.
Main Point: Will my life be rooted in What God has for me? What God says is good for me? What God says is not good for me? or will I choose to live life on my own terms?
We now know that God trusting God leads to eternal life, and where does defining Good and Evil on our own terms lead? DEATH!
So church, what does your life reflect? living by God’s definition or our own definition.
To be honest my life is too often rooted in my definition of Good and Evil.
What do we need to do to change that?
Do: Reflect on your decisions this week: Carry a notebook, use your phone and keep track of the decisions you make this week.
At the end of each day take time to reflect: Was that decision rooted in what God says is good for me or what I wanted?
Confess: the times that your decisions did not line up.
Accountability: Make this an activity with your friends at school, spouses, this can lead to some serious intimacy in relationships
Thats what this text asks of us, but what does the text teach us?
Know: God has so much good for us, but we have to trust what He says in order to fully experience it.
Know that: the world we live in is a result of us defining Good on our own terms instead of God. We dont just know the consequences of that we see them every day!
We also know that Jesus offers us a way back to God and a way back to the Garden if we follow HIM.
But, I wonder if other people really know that? I wonder if people truly know that God has made them very good and that what He has for them is good.
I thought of God as having rules for me to follow, and punishments for me when I broke them, what if we shared a different story.
Share: In the opening chapters of the Bible God has so much “good” for us to live in and out of!
Not only has he given us all of these good things, but we ourselves are very good!
Prof: The most important thing that a person can know is: that you are beautiful, worthy, and loved
We can also share that is not breaking of religion or rules or mere disobedience that separates us from God. God gives us the choice. What leads to death and separation is defining Good and Evil on our terms instead of God’s.
The world after the fall is the way it is because not because God is punishing us per say but we have been defining good and evil on our own terms and the fruit of that is hatred, violence, and death.
Most importantly: Jesus offers us a way back from all of that to life. By choosing to follow HIm. In following Him, we surrender our own definitions of Good and Evil and live by what the Living Word says.
Imagine what would change if we let these things shape our lives?
If we intentionally reflected on every decision we made and asked, is this rooted in God’s definition of Good and Evil or Mine? Imagine the intimacy we’d have with God. Imagine the healing we would experience.
Imagine if people really knew the truth about God. That he has so much good for us. He has eternal life in store for us. We can choose it.
Imagine how our world would change if we lived by what God said was good in and not good. I think it would look like paradise. Heaven. It would look like the Garden of Eden.
I now want to invite the worship team up.
Church, we have a choice. Today. Right now. Will we chose to live by God’s definition of good and Evil? When we do this, we literally make God’s will be done, his kingdom come, and earth will be like Heaven.
We can think of all this as a light that we carry. A candle if you will. A message from God to the world. Will you carry your candle and light up the darkness?
Would you pray with me?
Please join in singing carry you candle!
Benediction: Church this isnt just a song we sing, but a life we choose to live! Go in Peace, Go, and carry you candle and share the Goodnews!
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