THE FRUIT AND THE TREE
The Christian Judaisers wrongly thought that Christian character was produced by habitual obedience to rules and ceremonies. Paul taught that God dropped the seed into believer at conversion and would develop and blossom it with proper care.
Psalm 1 tells us that the man who meditates upon the law “is like a tree planted by streams of water. The tree produces fruit at its appointed time, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever the man does will prosper. The godly man produces fruit expected at the proper time. If he delights and meditates on God’s word he will prosper. But the wicked are not like that tree, but are like chaff which the wind blows away”. The man who trusts in the Lord produces good fruit and be blessed (Jer. 17:5-8).
Isaiah Ch.5 tells us of a vineyard, which despite every god prospect produces bad fruit. The owner spared no effort for it to produce the very best of grapes- he turned the soil with a hoe, he removed the stones from the soil; he planted the best vine available; he built a tower to protect the vineyard from marauders; he has prepared for the harvest, and by hewing out the rocky soil a trough for the juice to flow through. And now he waits. Instead of luscious, sweet, full grapes he gets small, wild sour grapes. The fault was the vine (Vs 4). Isaiah applied the parable to Israel . She produced oppression (Vs 7) covetousness, (Vs 8); debauchery (Vs 10); arrogance (Vs 18); bad ethics (Vs 20); pride among the governors and rulers (Vs21); drunkenness (Vs. 22); injustice in the judgments handed out down by the judges (Vs 23). These are the symptoms but the disease was that they did not regard the word of God (Vs 12). They rejected it (Vs 24).
THE SPIRITS FRUIT
Jesus said “False prophets are known by their fruit” and “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth evil fruit” (Matt. 7:15 , 18). “Either make the tree good and its fruit good; or makes the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; for the fruit is known by its fruit” (Matt, 12:33 ). Corrupt means rotten or decayed. The Spirits fruit is never rotten or decayed. Christianity is out of the realm of mere ethics and makes it “a way of life”. The fruit does not come from man or works of the flesh but comes because we are in the vine (Christ). We produce fruit after His kind. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit” (Jn. 3:6). The seed must go into the ground and “die” if it is to produce life and fruit. (Jn.12: 23). Death her is loss of identity if this does not happen “it abides alone”
The Galatians love for one another was dieing and the fruit of hatred was already in evidence. Their words, actions and deeds were not what they should be. The love in Chapter 5 is for other men
Love. This is the highest and noblest expression of personal relationship. It is not sexual love but a self-sacrificing love. It goes deeper than affection and friendship although they may be included. We are to love God, love men, and love the Church. Many young people today know about sex but little about love.
LOVE AND THE TONGUE OF ENCOURAGEMENT
So often we discourage one another. Our moods, our feelings our frustrations are verbally poured out on others. The words we speak, the tones the innuendoes carry a lot of weight and can hurt or heal. Have you found yourself slipping into criticizing, gossiping, slandering recently? Have you found your words are full of bitterness and judgment in the past few weeks? Have you found your words have become barbed arrows that wound and hurt instead of love and heal? We can change all that today.
Prov. 10:11-12. “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.” The tongue can bring peace or violence, unity or division, make war or cover transgression.
Vs 13 “On the lips of the discerning wisdom is found.” To discern, to have insight, to weigh up a situation or thing will bring wisdom. How foolish we are we speak before we hear the whole matter or are aware of the whole background and come to too quick a judgement.
Vs 19 “Where there are any words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” It is wise not to talk too much but to choose our words well than to vomit of at the mouth.
Vs 20-21 “…The tongue of the righteous is choice silver…. The lips of the righteous feed many…” It’s a precious treasure to feed people and build them up, that’s what love does.
Prov. 12:17-18 “He who speaks truth tells what is right, but q false witness, deceit. There is one who speaks rashly like thrusts of the sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Have you been on the end of healing words? Have you been on the end of hurtful words that cut so deep you thought you would never heal? This morning it is time to heal time to forgive time to bless with your tongue. What kind of words do you speak? Do you see someone hurting? Why don’ t you bring healing words to them.
Prov. 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” You can kill a conversion, a child, a work or you can bring life and vitality to them. If we are always putting our children down telling them they are no good, if we are always speaking evil of people it can cause life long problems for others. Be an encourager, yes correct what is wrong but do it in love. Let our homes be places of encouragement, our church be a place of building each other up and blessing one another. Death and life are in the power of your tongue, destruction humiliation or character assassination or edification, lifting up or promoting one another in love, what is it to be? Criticism can cripple word s of encouragement can boost someone’s strength, and energy and cause them to run with God
Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit and is derived from love. It is more than an emotion and is a mark of the Christian. Joy in suffering or joy at the expectation of Christ’s return are included. Jesus came that we might have joy not a “Christian happy hour” Joy in the depths of your soul it does not leave a hang over.
- Peace – To be at peace with God and your self will encourage you to be at peace with others.
- Longsuffering – To have a long temper.
- Gentleness – (Greek-praytes) means humbleness, kindness and goodness, which means kind but firm. It is an outward attitude to others. It expresses the condescension of the divine Judge, whose refusal to exact the full demands of the law lifts up those otherwise who would be under its condemnation. It is a quality of God and we receive it through the Holy Spirit.
- Goodness – Meaning benevolent, honourable, beautiful, noble admiral or worthy.
- Faith – Here it means faithfulness. Faithfulness to your spouse, to your commitments, to your employer, to your family, to your church. You are going to be faithful wherever you are and in whatever you do.
- Meekness – This does not mean mildness. It is an inward attitude. It accepting that God permits everything by His sovereign will and surrendering to Him. Moses and the Lord Jesus were both meek but not weak. Jesus ran the money changers out of the Temple Moses administered disciplinary judgement when the people worshipped the golden calf (Ex.32).
- Temperance – Self-control. Not to give in to sinful lusts or habits of life or speech. This moral excellence and control is a virtue of God.
WHEN WAS THE FLESH CRUCIFIED?
Vs 24. When was the flesh crucified? When a person reckoned that when Christ died, they died, they should yield themselves on this basis (Rom.6: 13). When Christ was crucified the believer was crucified at the same time. The believer is now joined to a living Christ, and the victory is not struggling but by surrendering to Christ. “For you are dead and your life is his d in Christ (Col.3: 3). “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
THE KEY TO IT ALL
Vs 25 “If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit”. If we proceed step by step and learn to walk in the Spirit. We fall more often when we are young Christians. You learn to walk by trial and error. You end up with many bumps, scratches and hurts. However as we grow in the knowledge of Christ we a fall and stumble less and the bumps and hurts come from other sources. Earn to walk by doing right and living right. When you fall you will know it. You will fall many times in life that is why we are to confess our sins and get up and go on (1 Jn.1: 9). That’s what a child learning to walk does. You need to walk in the Spirit every day there are no quick spiritual shortcuts. The Christian life is a lifetime of walking in the Spirit.
HOW NOT TO TREAT EACH OTHER
Vs26 “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” Love does not boast and say, “I am better than you or my gifts are better than yours or you do that but I don’t” this is empty glory. But it also applies to those who think too little of them and live with an inferiority complex, both arte fleshy thoughts. It is God who is wonderful not us. Love does not provoke. We are not to challenge or envy one another. We are to get down from our high horse and start walking in the Spirit.
Love does not envy.
The Christian life is not some overpowering experience but a walking and depending on the Holy Spirit.
HOW TO HELP EACH OTHER
Gal. 6:1 “Bear one another’s burdens.” Love helps a man restores a man overtaken in a fault. Spiritual Christian in meekness restores one who falls aside or has a mishap or stumbles into sin or makes a blunder is overtaken in a fault. There is a danger of beating him into the ground and compounding his guilt. There is a danger in not wanting to take the time to restore him. There is a temptation to criticize him. Christ is with us to encourage us the Holy Spirit is along side to help us. None of us is self-reliant. Some times the load gets too heavy to bear on your own and we need other believers to come alongside share our burdens.
“Restore” means to set a broken leg. If some one falls down and breaks a leg we are not to walk off and leave him but to help him, get back to his feet again. The spiritual are surgeons setting a bout to mend broken Christians.
Consider your self lest you also become tempted”. If another believer falls back into a drink problem if you had one you may not be strong enough to help him. It is the same wit h going to certain place to retrieve a fallen Christian.
TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF BURDENS Gal. 6: 2 AND 5
Vs 2 “Bear you one another’s burdens.” and so fulfill the law of Christ”. The Greek word burden “baros”, meaning “something heavy”. A fault can be a burdens Loving Christians Bear one another Burdens. There are eleven words for burden in scripture.
Vs 5 “one should bear his own burden.” Here the Greek word is portion meaning “a common mans pack.” There are different kinds of burdens “ones we have to bear alone and ones we have to share”. Not all of us have a personal burden of a health problem, a sick or handicapped family member, not all of us can do certain things or think on a certain level. But we do all have something in common–burdens. Most people think their own burden is heaviest.