Here’s a synopsis of today’s sermon at The Donelson Fellowship.
The Key Text – Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Introduction: When God created the world, He built the same patterns and principles into both the physical and spiritual realms, and that’s why we can illustrate spiritual truths with physical realities (like trees and grapevines). For example, if a farmer taped artificial apples to the trees in his orchard, it might look good from a distance for little while; but no one would be fooled for long. Genuine fruit is produced from within. We don’t need artificial attitudes or synthetic personality traits. We need the genuine love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control of Jesus Christ. The key thought in Galatians 5:16-26 is walking with Jesus Christ by means of the Holy Spirit. Verses 16, 18, and 25 tell us to live by the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, and to keep in step with the Spirit. We can walk with Jesus just as surely as the two disciples did in Luke 24; but now it’s via His ever-present Spirit. As we do this, there are two results:
1. We Minimize Our Faults (verses 16-21). When we live by the Spirit, we won’t gratify the desires of the sinful nature, and we’ll be increasingly able to overcome the lusts of the flesh, which are listed in this passage.
2. We Maximize our Fruits (verses 22-16). When we live by the Spirit, we’ll begin to automatically develop nine different attitudes that make up the Christian personality, and these are listed in verses 22-23 as the “fruit of the Spirit.”
Conclusion: These nine traits describe perfectly the personality of Jesus of Nazareth. This is a description of His character. If you had to make a list of nine words to describe Jesus Christ, this would be the list. And Jesus said in John 15 that as we are connected to Him like a branch to a vine, we will bear much fruit. His character is reproduced within us. The only way to develop more love, joy, peace, and all the rest is to abide in Christ. He alone can minimize our faults and maximize our fruits.