November 8 Sermon Excerpt
As we walk in the Spirit, we will grow more and more like Jesus who perfectly exemplified and personified the fruit of the Spirit. We shouldn't look at the list of the fruit of the Spirit as a “how to” guide to the Christian life, “If I just become more humble” or “If I can just have more self-control” than we could be in danger of making it about us(works righteousness and not Jesus). We do not grow fruit on our own. The fruit of the Spirit comes from the inward working of Jesus Christ.
We don’t change through behavior modification. We change through Gospel transformation.
Do you remember what Jesus told His disciples in John 15? He said: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in Him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Listen, an apple doesn’t hang on a tree and say, “I’m going to become a Granny Smith.” No, no, no… The granny smith apple abides, it stays on the tree and grows! Abide in Jesus, stay connected to Him and you will grow.
Are you growing fruit? Good fruit? Battle the sin in your life, fight against the flesh. Fruit cannot grow where the tree is dying. Listen to this quote from Jerry Bridges, “To abide in Christ is to set aside our own wisdom, strength, and merit in order to draw all from Him.” Abide in the vine, abide in Christ, only then will life change and growth come...
Let's close with this quote from Paul Tripp, “The Spirit works within you to complete the work of Christ so that ‘those who live might no longer live for themselves’ (2 Corinthians 5:15)…Right here, right now the Holy Spirit who lives inside you is completing that work as He increasingly kills your of awe of self and, by grace, plants within you a life-altering awe of God.”