Fruit For Life
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 16 · 2 years ago

Fruit For Life

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rules don’t have the power to produce a great life. Only God has that power. He wants to produce an abundant life in and through you. This looks like love, joy, peace and 6 other characteristics called the fruit of the spirit. What would you do to get a little more love, joy, and peace in your life?

Well, Hey, welcome to part five of our series life with no rules. I'm so glad that you've joined us as we've explored all this amazing, abundant life that God wants to give us. And so, whether you're a rule breaker or a rule keeper, I believe God has something more for you, and that's something more is a right relationship with God. That has nothing to do with the rules that you keep or the rules that you break. It has everything to do about a faith in Jesus and how he kept all the rules for you so that you could experience this amazing, abundant life. And not only does he help you or give you a right relationship of God, he helps you live into this reality of a new way of living, a life with no rules, he gives you the power to live it out. And that's what we're talking about today. See, in our first session we talked about rules and what rules can do and what they can't do. Rules can't do anything to help people, help you follow them. Rules don't have any power behind it, and that is overwhelming and it's frustrating when you can't live out all the rules and you try so hard, or maybe you don't try at all because we look at there's two people in this world of how we respond to rules. We've got the rule keepers that try and keep all the rules, and some do and do it well, good job at it, and we have the rule breakers, those that don't keep the rules, they don't like to keep the rules, they're not good at it, even if they try and and so that's the two perspectives, the two world views that people might have. But whether you're a rule keeper or a rule breaker, there's something better than rules. There is a power to live out this amazing, abundant life that God has for you, and this life without...

...rules, it is a free life. We Love Freedom. Whoo freedom, we can do whatever we want. Let's do it right. Well, not necessarily. Paul clarifies this in his letter that we've been looking at to the church and Galatia, written about fifty eight d this is what he writes. He says, don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. So you've probably seen that person or been that person that was forced to do something nice. There was no love there, there was no attitude of serving, there was no freedom in what you were doing. You were forced to do something Nice. It's like that child that is told by their mother to go and say you're sorry to your friend. You know, they walk over there and my mom told me to tell you that I'm sorry, so I'm sorry. They're, you know, like there is no love there, there's no freedom in that response. And sure it might be a good lesson, but come on, there is something better than that, right, and that's why I love is so important, Paul says, for the whole law can be summed up in this one command. Love your neighbor as yourself. That's quoting Jesus and his great commandment. We talked about that last time. Love God and love others. That's the whole law, the whole six hundred thirteen commandments hangs on that commandment to love God and love others. And then when you start to wonder and question what love really is, we remember we talked about what pastor Andy Stanley in Atlanta calls the platinum rule. Jesus said to his disciples before he died...

...on the cross. He said love one another just as here's the example that he gives. I have loved you. And so now he has set the example for what love is, but also gives the power to live out this love. You are free to love. But if you are free to love, that means you are also free to not be so loving all the time, and so Paul says. But if you're always biting and devouring one another, watch out, beware of destroying one another. See, when you are free from following the rules, you are free to love God and love others. You're also free to not do those things, and in doing so, you become a slave to those things? Do you become a slave to sin? See, rules can't stop you from hurting others, and that's why we need to be careful and watch out. So, if we need to watch out for this, where is the real power? What can we do in order to live a better life of loving one another and loving God? See, there is real power that comes from living in the spirit. And really there's only two main powers that power your life. And what is powering your life? Is it the power of the spirit in your life, or is it the power of the sinful nature coming through your life? Paul says, so I say, let the Holy Spirit Guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the spirit wants, and the spirit gives us desires that are opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other. So you are not free to carry out your good intentions. So desiring to keep the rules are failing and breaking the...

...rules are both powered by your sinful nature. If you're a follower of Jesus, it is competing. The sinful nature is competing with you trying to live into the power of the Holy Spirit. Living in the power of the Holy Spirit sets you free, Paul says, when you are directed by the spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. You don't have to worry about following the rules or not following the rules. But, that being said, when we don't live in the power of the spirit and we live in the power of all sinful nature, this is what it looks like in our lives. He says, when you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear. Sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, Selfestambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I've said before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. See, if any of these things on this list characterize your life, then you have to wonder if you're really living in the power of the Holy Spirit. Has the Holy Spirit really taken up residence in your life, in your heart? Does he have the ability, the power, the freedom to empower you to live this kind of life? And if not, then these things will be more evident and you really won't experience this amazing, abundant life that God has for you, and maybe the Holy Spirit really isn't there at all. So yes, it might be helpful to set some boundaries, some rules against these things. But don't try to stop out bursting in anger, don't try to avoid drunkenness, don't try to avoid selfish ambition. It will wear you...

...out and it will probably cause you to quit trying. What we need is to let the Holy Spirit produce this type of living that we so desire inside of us. Stop trying to live a certain way and start letting God live this life that we want to live through us. See, I think, think we all wish we could be a better person, a better that, a better mom, a better boyfriend or girlfriend, a better son or daughter, and through God's power, I believe that we can become a better version of ourselves, a new version of ourselves. But when you put your faith in Jesus Christ and follow him, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you, and it's the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the Trinity, the Father Son Holy Spirit that produces verse twenty two here. This kind of fruit in our lives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. And so we're going to look at all the aspects of this fruit. But I first want to focus on the last sentence of this verse, and this is the sentence this whole series was built around. Paul says these things, that there is no law against these things. There is no law against these things. There is a life with no rules, a life characterized by thy these nine fruits of the spirit will be a life where you aren't worried about keeping or breaking the rules. You'll be worried about the difference that you're making in this world. There is no rule that says you cannot love. If you love, you get ten years in jail. So there is no law against love. The...

...better you love, the better life will be. There is no law against joy. Hey, if you have joy, that's fifteen years in jail. No, no, there is no law against joy. No one is going to say to you, wow, there's just something about your outlook on life that I don't understand. Here's a hundred dollar fine. They might not understand where your joy is coming from, but there is no law against joy. You get the idea. There is also no law that produces this type of life in someone. No one, no law, can force you to live this way. Imagine being fined every time you didn't show kindness to that employee at the store. No matter how many times they find you, it wouldn't help you be a kinder person. Now, sure, you might be able to behave differently in order to avoid the fine. We're on the surface. It looks like you are doing what the rules want you to do, but you're not being kind, it's not coming from the heart, it's not true kindness. If the law cannot produce it and the lawn and not condemn it, then there is no power in the law. And if rules cannot produce it and rules cannot condemn it, then who needs rules? Let's live a life without rules, a life lived in and through the power of the Holy Spirit. And this will show itself in your life in these nine different fruits or nine attributes that the spirit produces in your life. So, as we conclude our series today, we're going to take a quick look at these nine fruits of the spirit, and my purpose here is not to define everyone and...

...give you an exhaustive list of what this looks like in your life. It's really to inspire you to live this out, to let God live this out through you, let God produce it in your life. So here we go. Are you ready? If you're ready, say I'm ready. All right, love. Love is a selfless kind of love. It expects nothing in return and always wants the best for someone else. Imagine, in your marriage relationship, if your spouse knew that, no matter what they said, no matter what they thought, no matter what they did, that you would respond in a selfless love. Imagine the freedom that this would bring in your marriage relationship. This would free them up to not be trying to always win over your affection. It would allow you to be real and live into this marriage relationship in the way that God designed it to be, an incredible, incredible relationship. Joy. Joy is a sense of happiness and satisfaction that doesn't come from circumstances. On one of those days when you lose your job and your car gets a flat tire and you come home in the dish ands aren't done in the room is a mess, you can still experience joy. You can smile, you can sing, you can dance because you know that there is more to life than what happens to you. There is a God who sees you and loves you and is there with you through it all. Peace. Peace is not sitting on a beach with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand. Peace is going to bed in war knowing that God's got this, that no matter what happens, it's going to be okay and...

...it is well with my soul. Peace is also the idea that you don't have to try to do a hundred good things every single day. You don't need to give to that charity and volunteer at that organization. You don't need to give twenty dollars to your friend and help your neighbor with their yard work so that you feel like you've been a good person that day. There is a piece from trusting in God and the right relationship that you can have with him through Jesus. Patience. Ah, Hey, still here, literally ten seconds. How awkward was that? Patience? That felt like an eternity. But what if you weren't always in a hurry to get somewhere? My basketball coach in high school would always say hurry up and wait. I don't like hurrying and I don't like waiting very much. So when we're hoping for that special boy or that special girl to come into our lives and to date and they haven't showed up yet, you can wait and be patient in the process. And when you're fighting that health battle and you don't know what the results are going to be or the outcomes going to be, you can be patient in the process. And when you have great hopes and dreams for your life and it seems like things are taking a little longer to come together than you expected, you can have patience kindness. Kindness is what you do for other people. You hold the door open for them. What if there was always a seat on the bus because you knew that people were going to be kind and get up and give you their seat? What if every day you look...

...forward to receiving an encouraging text or phone call? There's something life giving about kindness. One of the most uneasy situations in life is showing up somewhere new, new place, New People. You don't know what to expect or how you're going to be treated, how you're going to be received. But when you show up to that place and you're met with kindness, wow, that is a memorable experience and it really does change the way you live life goodness. Goodness goes hand in hand with kindness. It's not just about being a type of person, but it's also about living out your actions. You're just good, a good son or daughter, a good friend. And what if you could trust the neighbors around you. That would be good when you a saw a package left at your door. And what if you could trust the people walking down the street to be good, to keep their hands off you and out of your pockets? What if you were in need and you could trust your good friends to generously provide for you. Faithfulness. How would it make you feel to be the person that people counted on? They knew that you were always going to be there for them in times of need? You were always going to be at the ball game or the recital, you were going to be there for the Party and also in times of great trial and difficulty? What if you could be the employee that stuck it out through the hard times? What if you were the friend that just wouldn't let go in a world that easily quits and cancels when things get tough? What if you...

...were faithful gentleness? Gentleness is the idea of strength under control, kind of like humility, where it's not always about you. You are gentle and you don't come across as overpowering. It's not always a about what you want and following your idea. Sure, you don't let people walk all over you, but when it's your turn to speak, people listen. You don't always have to get your opinion out there, but when you do, it's meaningful because people know that you're gentle and have your best interest, their best interest, in mind. Self Control. What if you could always choose to live life like you wanted to live. What if you could stop making bad decisions and control your emotions? What if you could experience the whole range of emotions and not let them control you? If God controlled your life, how would you respond to your boss or to your sister that's a little difficult to get along with? And what if your kids knew that you weren't going to lose it the next time something bad happened at home? Being able to control your nose and your yesses makes a huge difference in your life. So there they are, the nine fruits of the spirit, and really it's only one big juicy fruit, the fruit of the spirit that expresses itself in these nine different ways in your life. A life that's not governed by rules, but it is empowered by the spirit, an amazing, abundant life. And when you live life by the power of the spirit, you won't be giving into the power of the flesh and there are no consequences to face as a result of living...

...this way. There is no law against you. And so, rule breaker, stop worrying about the rule you just broke and start living in the power of the spirit, the way you love and show kindness, will break every rule of this world and rule keeper, stop trying to keep all the rules and live up to some sort of standard. Experienced joy, regardless of how well you do, and experienced peace, even when things don't go your way. And finally remember a life without rules is freedom to live for Christ Jesus, gives you the power to live this way. Get to know him more, trust him and live the life you've always wanted to live.

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