Some of us memorized the Fruit of the Spirit as children. In three seconds flat we could list love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. But, do we really know what these words mean, or what it would look like if they abounded in our lives? And, most importantly, what should we do if we want to yield more of this fruit in our lives? In our new series, Fresh Fruit, we hope to renew the challenge to pursue the Fruit of the Spirit.
Our fallen world, which is led by the sinful nature of the flesh, will still pay lip service to the words that describe the Fruit of the Spirit. For example, love sounds great to everybody, but do we all know how to show it? And joy is something we all want, but only those who know God know how joy exists apart from happiness. The world says peace is good, as long as it’s on my terms. You’ve probably never met someone who proudly claimed to be unkind, but you’ve surely heard from plenty who prefer their own definition of goodness. You get the picture.
This goes for all of us: if we live by the flesh, we won’t produce the Fruit of the Spirit. The world will tell us we are doing good, and Satan will agree. In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul writes: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Our fallen world calls these things by different names, and wrongly declares them good.
So, what hope do we have if we wish to bear the Fruit of the Spirit? The world tells us we are defined by our personality tests, our upbringing, our genetics, and our circumstances. Satan lies, telling us our weaknesses are an unchangeable part of who we are. Our popular culture and other religions ignore sin and encourage us to “discover and embrace our true, inner selves.” But, the Word of God promises that if we put our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit, Who then dwells in us. The Fruit of the Spirit comes from the Spirit, not from us.
If your thoughts, words, and actions bore fruit, what would your harvest look like? This nine-week series will consider one fruit of the Spirit each week, challenging you to evaluate the work you’ve allowed the Spirit to do in your life and encouraging you to seek Him. To echo the Apostle Paul, if you belong to Christ, you have crucified the flesh, along with its passions and desires. So, let’s learn to keep in step with the Spirit, instead. As fall sets in, join us as we prepare for the harvest of some Fresh Fruit.Sermon Archive
Part 9: Self-ControlPart 9: Self-Control - NOC
Oct 09, 2022
The fruits are born out of love but they are supported by the ability to master our sinful impulses. To be under self-control is not to pretend that temptation doesn’t exist, but instead to have the humility to acknowledge that we need deliverance from it. We cannot live out the fruit without yielding control from the flesh and to the Spirit! Our call — and indeed, our opportunity and blessing — as Christians is that we can submit to the will of our Father.More Details