Bearing Fruit - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: Bearing Fruit - Part 2

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 24 March 2024


Sermon synopsis: The fruit of CHRISTIAN CHARACTER
Romans 7:4-6.So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

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Bearing Fruit (part 2)

John 15:5-8   (NIV)

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.   If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Bearing fruit has to do with CHARACTER (who you are)

Bearing fruit has to do with CONDUCT (what you do) this flows from your Character

Bearing fruit has to do with CONVERSATION (what you say)

Bearing fruit has to do with CONVERTS (those you draw to Christ, and Disciple)

Bearing Fruit has to do with CONTRIBUTION (what you give)

Romans 7:4-6. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 

In Galatians 5:22-23 (AMPC) Paul writes, “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].” These qualities reflect the character of Christ and should be evident in the lives of all believers

Christian character produces Christian conduct

Colossians 1:9-11

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work , growing in the knowledge of God,  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,

First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

C. Bearing fruit Bearing fruit has to do with Conversation (conversation is what you say) Scripture uses the phrase “the fruit of your lips”

Hosea 14:2

Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

Hebrews 13:15. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Jesus said this about our speech

Matthew 12:34-40. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

James 3:8-12 . No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and saltwater flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

James 1:26   Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

In addition to Christian character Christian conduct, and Christian conversation we should bear the fruit of Christian converts. People should convert to the Christian faith in part because of the character and conduct they see in us, on several occasions in the New Testament, Christian converts are described as fruit. For example, in Romans 16:5, Epaenetus is referred to as the first convert to Christ in Asia. The Greek says he’s the first fruit in Asia. so, Christian converts are like fruit harvested for God. So, you see, God wants us to bear fruit. And the fruit he wants is the fruit of Christian character, Christian conduct, Christian conversation and Christian converts.

The fruit of Christian Converts

1 Peter 3:15.

But in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

This Scripture implies that people are going to be asking us about our Faith

Words are needed as well as actions, that is clear in Scripture

Romans 10:14

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

The fruit of Christian Converts

2 Corinthians 3:2-4.

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. What do people read when they look at your life?

Do they see a letter from Jesus Christ?

We as pastors are asking the wrong questions instead of asking “how many people have you talked to about Jesus” we should be asking how many people have asked you about Jesus”.

The Angels rejoice over Christian Converts

Luke 15:7.

 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Contribution is what you give Philippians 4:14-17.(KJV) Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

This is not a reference to tithing, but to the Missionary support that the church at Philippi were giving to Paul.

Bearing fruit has to do with Contribution (contribution is what you give and that is not about tithing) when you pay your mortgage at the end of the month, you are not contributing to the Bank, you are giving the Bank what you owe them.

Contribution is not just about finances it’s about giving of your time and your talents.

Proverbs 3:9-10.

Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the Firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Pruning is not a punishment for a Christian; it is a reward. God is the vinedresser who prunes the life of everyone who abides in Christ and bears the fruit of Christ. Spiritual pruning enhances spiritual growth by removing whatever inhibits spiritual growth.

We usually can identify the sins that entangle {if we are honest with ourselves}, but we battle to identify hinderances because we have allowed certain things to become important and therefore, we prioritize them(perhaps it may be a sport/ hobby, or a tv show, or a friendship)for some, washing their car on a Sunday morning is more important than fellowship with the Body of CHRIST.

Hebrews 12:1-3. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We need to do co-operate with God in the pruning process ourselves, get rid of some dead wood.

Every branch that bears fruit he (the vine grower) prunes to make it bear more fruit. Again, I don’t have a lot of experience with grape vines but I remember raising tomatoes with my father. And he would go through the plants, row by row, plucking small branches from them. He called them “suckers.” They were little branches, often growing at the base of other branches. If left alone, they would produce beautiful branches but little fruit. You see, they sucked the sap but didn’t produce the fruit. By pruning the “suckers,” my father helped the plants to produce more tomatoes than they would otherwise have done if left alone.

Now there are a lot of “suckers” in the average Christian’s life things that may be

beautiful in and of themselves but things that ultimately drain the spiritual vitality of the

Christian disciple. Work and leisure are lead among them. Our jobs and our hobbies

often crowd Christ to the margins of life. They consume so much of our energy that we

often have little left for church, prayer, bible study, loving service, and Christian witness.

And then we wonder why we don’t bear fruit. We wonder why our character and our

conduct aren’t what they ought to be and why no one is drawn to Christ through our life

and witness.

Well, we must be pruned. We must cut away some temporal things so eternal things can increase. With God’s help, we must trim our lives of the superfluous so we can spend more time on the things that really matter eternal things that bear lasting fruit for God and for his kingdom. Remember what Jesus said in John 15:4-5. “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” Abiding is the secret to bearing. Abiding in Christ is the secret to bearing fruit for Christ. As we abide in Christ, we receive God’s help. We’re fed, and pruned so we can produce fruit.

So, what does it mean to abide in Christ? It means we must be connected to Christ as a branch is connected to a vine and we must continue to cultivate that close connection each day. But how do we cultivate this close connection? We cultivate the connection through the word of God, through personal prayer, and through Christian fellowship.

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