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May 26, 2019

Cultivating Fruit

Cultivating Fruit

Speaker: Tyler Ferguson

Series: The Holy Spirit

Category: Sunday Morning

A follower of Jesus has the Holy Spirit inside and the Spirit produces fruit in you and He works in conjunction with you to produce that fruit. We have a very real role to play.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you and He is at work producing fruit in your life. Yet, sometimes we can feel like we do what we don’t want to do. But since you are no longer dead in your trespasses but made alive with Christ, the Spirit produces fruit in you and He works in conjunction with you to produce that fruit. We have a very real role to play.

Paul wrote to address a church in Galatia that was turning from living a Spirit-filled life to one that was works-based. Just because they were free does not give them license to do whatever they want. Living a free, spirit-filled life is going to produce more than living under the law.

Galatians 5:13-25 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Here are three keys to seeing an over-abundance of fruit in your life – to partner with the Holy Spirit to see fruit produced in our lives.

1) Give it away! Verse 13 through love serve one another summarizes the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit listed are practical manifestations of our love for other people. The Holy Spirit gives to us so that we can, in turn, give it away. What He produces in us is not all for us.

Application: Do you see fruit produced in your life start to sour because you’ve held onto it instead of given it away? Example of a fruit tree and how it’s too much to consume for one – it needs to be shared.

2) Crucify the Flesh! Verse 24 As long as we are following God, there will be times when our flesh tries to get in the way. 2 Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Anytime a desire that is not contained within one of these 9 fruits of the Spirit comes about, crucify it. 

Application:  Do we make excuses for our flesh, as in “I was angry because I'm just tired,” or "It's not gossip, it’s just small talk.”? Example of mowing the grass – you don’t see the weeds for a few days after mowing, but they are still there and they shoot back up quickly. Weeds need to be pulled up to get rid of them, not just mowed over.

3) Walk by the Spirit! Verse 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. We have a choice to engage the Holy Spirit. Those who know Jesus have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, but we still have to choose to walk with Him. We need that relationship. Relationship means both parties are invested.

God operates in relationship: The Trinity – a perfect relationship. Creation – continued relationship. The Cross – restored relationship. The Holy Spirit – lives inside believers to have relationship.

Example: Abby and Brittany Hensel are conjoined twins who share a body but have separate brains and faces. They are together all the time – what one does, the other does. Application: How often do we drag the Holy Spirit along with us never even asking what He thinks? How often do you ask the Holy Spirit what to do? The Holy Spirit is a perfect person – knowing all things! Ask Him!

To walk in the Spirit means:

  • To ask Him for patience before you walk in the door after work.
  • To ask for more kindness when the person on the phone is being rude.
  • To ask for more gentleness in handling your kids’ emotions.
  • To trade anger for joy.
  • To trade a short temper for patience.
  • To trade a lack of control for self-control.
  • To ask your friend, your counselor, for more. 
  • Then listen.

It is amazing how to just love someone well by showing them patience, good deeds, faithfulness, or peace can be what God uses to move someone out of the pit they’ve been in. God uses our spirit-filled ability to love, to change lives.

Have I been given an abundance of fruit that I need to give away?

What part of my flesh do I need to crucify? What fruit of the Spirit will replace it?

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? How can I better enhance this relationship?

Who in my life can I better love? And how?