Good Spiritual Health Includes Bearing Much Fruit (John 15:8)
1. This morning we covered passages that reveal "a program for good spiritual health." 2. According to the Lord's statement in John 15:8, "good spiritual health includes bearing much fruit." 3. In our lesson we are studying the 9 special characteristics that make up "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). 4. Before we examine these characteristics, . . . Discussion: I. LET US CONSIDER 4 GENERAL PRINCIPLES THAT RELATE TO BEARING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
A. Principle #1: When we become God's children we are to bear the fruit of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:6-10). 1. Many in the world look down on these 9 characteristics. 2. However, God considers them to be very special. 3. By bearing the fruit of the Spirit,: a. we show that we have turned from darkness to light b. we meet God's approval. B. Principle #2: A tree is recognized by the fruit it bears (Luke 6:43-45). 1. A good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit. 2. Jesus was actually talking about the things we say and do. C. Principle #3: The law of sowing and reaping applies to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 6:7-8). 1. We have a choice. a. We can choose to sow to the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21). b. We can choose to sow to the Spirit. 2. We will reap on the basis of how we sow. D. Principle #4: Christ requires His followers to bear much fruit (John 15:8). 1. This glorifies God. 2. It identifies us as the Lord's followers. E. With these principles before us, let us turn our attention to . . . II. THE 9 CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKE UP THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
A. "Love" (described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7) B. "Joy" (emphasized in Philippians 4:4) C. "Peace" (demonstrated in Romans 12:18) D. "Longsuffering" (commanded in Ephesians 4:1-3) E. "Gentleness" (included in Titus 3:1-2) F. "Goodness" (explained in Galatians 6:10) G. "Faith [faithfulness]" (commanded in 1 Corinthians 4:2; Revelation 2:10) H. "Meekness" (included in Colossians 3:12-13) I. "Temperance [self-control]" (included in 2 Peter 1:5-7) Conclusion:
1. In Luke 6:44 Jesus said, "For every tree is known by his own fruit." 2. Based on the fruit that you bear, what kind of tree are you? 3. The kind of tree that we are is an indication of our spiritual health.