Oct 2nd, 2017
Pastor Bill: In 4 different books in the Old Testament we find Israel being compared to a vine. You can look them up if you’d like; Hosea 10:1, Jeremiah 2:21, Psalm 80:8-18, Ezekiel chapter 15, chapter 17, and chapter 19 verses 10-15. Israel as a people group was seen as the vine and the individuals that constituted the people of Israel were the branches that would bare good fruit of prosperity for themselves and those around them. It was in this way that others would see a testament of the power of God and come to repentance and redemption through the law. In John 15 Jesus presents a teaching that replaces the vine of Israel with Himself and tells us that we can only produce fruit worth anything through Him.
I’m pleased that we have with us today my mother, Rebecca Stephenson, who serves as the children’s minister for The Ekklesian House. In John 15 Jesus talks about us bearing good fruit and I believe that He was talking about the Fruits of The Spirit. That’s exactly what our kids have been learning about in children’s church at The Ekklesian House and I felt like she was supposed to come on and talk to us. Mom.
Rebecca Stephenson: Thank you son. Yeah, we’ve been talking about The Fruits of The Spirit. But first things first, the kids call me Grams and if you join us at the Ekklesian House then you can feel free to call me Grams too. If you’re listening and would consider it, I would love to meet you and have the opportunity to teach your kids, we meet on Sunday evenings at 6:30 in the evening at the Dickies BBQ on Rufe Snow Drive in North Richland Hills, Texas. Come on out, have some bbq on the church and fellowship with us.
Billy Graham once said “The Bible teaches us that the Spirit of God produces the fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”
This cluster of fruit should characterize the life of every Christ-born child of God. We’re to be filled with love, we’re to have joy, we’re to have peace, we’re to have patience, we’re to be gentle and kind, we’re to be filled with goodness, we’re to have faith, we’re to have meekness, and we’re to have temperance.
I cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit by my own strength. I cannot love, I cannot have joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance by myself. I have no power. But this Holy Spirit, who lives in me since I received Christ as my Savior, is the one who gives me the power to love. He gives me the joy. He gives me the peace. He gives me the patience. He bears the fruit in my life.
This is why God the Father is specifically telling us in this verse that these 9 fruits are coming directly from His Holy Spirit – so that we can all fully appreciate the magnitude of such an experience.
In John 15 Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches, right? Branches draw their life from the vine, not vice versa. Just as the branch draws its life from the vine, so too must we draw our life directly from Jesus. Jesus will release His divine life directly into us through the Holy Spirit in the exact same way that the vine will release the life of the tree into the branches.
You have no idea how many people you will be able to save, touch, witness to, and help disciple if you have these fruits operating through you. These fruits will give you a credibility with God and with other people that no degree or title can give you in this life.
This is the ultimate, highest aim and goal with God for our lives. For those of you who are not afraid to let God begin this deeper work in your life – keep these 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5 directly in front of you; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. And then work very closely with the Holy Spirit once He starts to manifest these fruits up into your personality.
Ephesians 5:8-10 says, “For ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light for the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” These fruits will be coming directly from the Lord. They will be His love, His goodness, His joy, and His peace that will start to flow into you. But you will still have to do your part in all of this. Once these divine attributes start to be released into your personality by the Holy Spirit – your job will then be to start to walk and operate in them.
This is Grams and Pastor Bill; Until next time…