Sermon: Holy Spirit: Fruit

Today Pastor Choi concludes his series on the Holy Spirit.  He reminds the congregation that Holy Spirit is God ever-present in us.  He is God’s gift to all God’s children.  We are called to walk in Him, follow Him, and stay in daily communion with Him.  The Spirit guides us in truth with the Word of God.  That’s why it is crucial for every believer to get into God’s Word daily for the Spirit’s guidance.  Those who sow to the Spirit will harvest the fruit of the Spirit in this life and eternal life in the end.

    Holy Spirit. Fruit

 

Following is a summary of the sermon:

Holy Spirit: Fruit

Galatians 5:22-23       New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 Introduction:

In the past few weeks I’ve been preaching a series on the Holy Spirit.  Today I am going to wrap up the series.  I appreciate your interest, support, encouragement, and prayers during this time.

This morning, I will begin with a recap of what I have said so far on the Holy Spirit, followed by things we need to do in order to keep walking in the Spirit, and will end the message with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Recap:

First, I began with the identity of the Holy Spirit: who He is.  He is the Spirit of God: the third being (person) of the triune God whom we worship and serve: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  These three always work together in perfect harmony and unity from the very beginning of the universe till now: God the Father (Creator and Sustainer), God the Son, who is Jesus Christ (Redeemer and Lord), and the Holy Spirit (Teacher and Comforter).  The Holy Spirit is a divine gift to God’s children.  He is God ever-present in us.  This Spirit is a divine Person not a thing or power.  He has all the characteristics of a person: intellect, emotion, and will.  He is not our slave; rather, we are His servants.

I also talked about where He is.  He dwells in your heart.  To be precise, He dwells in the heart of every child of God (Note here: according to the Bible, not everyone in the world is a child of God—some people belong to the Devil.  They are children of disobedience, darkness, and destruction).  Just being physically born in God’s image doesn’t automatically make a person God’s child.

So, what makes a person a child of God, then?  Spiritual rebirth does: Born again, born anew, and born from above.  Spiritual rebirth means the person becomes God’s child when he repents from his sin and confesses that “Jesus is the Lord and Savior of all.”  And, the Holy Spirit is behind every believer’s confession.  No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).  Therefore, anyone who doesn’t confess “Jesus is Lord” is not born of God, therefore, cannot be a child of God.  Children of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).

What does He do in the life of God’s children?  He helps them.  He is the divine Helper in residence 24-7 in us.  He is our Advocate, Comforter, Teacher, Guide, and Leader.  He even prays for us with groans (Romans 8:26) when we ourselves don’t know how to pray for ourselves.  He also empowers God’s children so that they may become powerful and dynamic witnesses for Christ.  We receive that power through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us—the baptism of the Spirit, which we receive when we ask God with desire and faith.

So, what are we to do with God’s gift who is in us 24-7?  We are called to a constant fellowship with Him and to an eternal communion with Him.   We are called to walk in Him and follow Him.  Plainly speaking, we are called to have conversation and spend time with Him on a regular basis.  Let’s check out our reality: when was the last time you conversed with the Holy Spirit?   Most of us don’t even realize that He is in us, let alone having daily conversation with Him.   That’s the reality and we need to change it.

Be Spiritual:

It is past time that we started paying attention to Him.  It is past time that we lived a Spirit-led life.  It is past time that we became a “spiritual.”  Let me define what I mean by “spiritual.”   My definition would be quite different from the one that most of us are familiar with or use nowadays.  Americans love to use the expression, “I may not be religious, but I am spiritual.”  That understanding of “spiritual” is far from my understanding of “spiritual.”

My definition comes from the Bible.  This is what I mean by spiritual: be led by the Spirit of God—that’s spiritual.  It means—led by, taught by, guided by the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says: those who are spiritual receive the teachings of the Holy Spirit and obey them (1 Corinthians 2:13).  Being spiritual has everything to do with God’s Spirit and accepting His guidance through teachings.  Those who don’t are not spiritual.

Two Things to Do:

We are called to be led by the Spirit.  We are called to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).  We are called to follow the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).  Such a life requires of us two things.  We need to listen and obey the Holy Spirit.  We need to hear God’s Word and put it into practice.   We need to get into the Bible and keep God’s commands.  The reality?  Too many of us fail to listen to the Holy Spirit, because we don’t get into God’s Word, the Bible.

Think of it this way.  You have a One-on-One lesson with the Holy Spirit daily.  He is the Teacher.  You are the student.  He is ready to teach you about truth.  The textbook He uses is the Bible, because it is the Book of truth.  He asks you to open the text book before He starts teaching.   You are not following His instructions, though.   You rather have excuses why you don’t open the Word of God.  “My dog ate it!”  “I don’t have time to read!” “Too difficult!” “Too boring!”   How can He guide you into the truth without the Book of Truth?

Now, it is true that the Bible is not the only way the Holy Spirit uses to teach us the truth.   He also uses other means such as prayers, our sensitivity to Him, or sometimes through friends, but we can be misled by those means.  In other words, they are not the primary ways the Spirit guides us with.  They, rather, must be tested against God’s Word, because God’s Word is the primary way the Spirit uses to lead us and He never contradicts the Word of God.   E.g. Woman wants to divorce her husband to marry another man.  She claims that the Holy Spirit told her to do so.

So, how does He communicate with us the most?  Through our daily devotion in the Word of God.  That’s why it is crucial for us to get into God’s Word daily for the guidance from the Holy Spirit.  If you don’t, you are missing out on His daily guidance.  E.g. My prayer before I start reading the Bible: Lord, I opened your Word.  Now, open my heart and speak to me.  I am ready to listen and obey.  And, the Holy Spirit usually gives me daily bread for me to put into practice.

Two Things Not to Do:

There are two things that we should never do, because if we do these things, then they will quench the Spirit in us (1 Thessalonians 5:19) and will grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  You may wonder, “How can I ever quench the Holy Spirit or grieve Him?”  By following your flesh and selfish desires and insisting on living a selfish life-style, you can and will quench the Spirit in you.  By blindly following the principles in the world and live by them every day, you can and will grieve the Holy Spirit.   Just remember: the flesh and the Holy Spirit don’t get along with each other.  They are in constant opposition to each other (Galatians 5:17).  By feeding your flesh all the time, you will quench and grieve the Holy Spirit.

Fruit (Results):

When you follow the Holy Spirit, you will see some evidence of it in your life.  The Bible calls those results the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  They are listed in today’s text: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.  The fruit of the Spirit are not limited to these nine, though.  Righteousness, mercy, grace, and truth are also the evidence.  E.g. I have witnessed these fruit in my life as well.

These are the fruit you will enjoy in your physical life as long as you walk in the Spirit.  There’s another fruit that awaits you, the fruit that you will harvest in the end—eternal life—you will inherit the privilege of being in the presence of God for eternity.

The opposite is quite possible to those who choose to live according to their flesh instead of following the Spirit.  In this life, they will harvest all the things opposite of the fruit of the Spirit.  They are called the deeds of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,21 envying, drunkenness, carousing (Galatians 5:19-21).

In the end, those folks who walk in the flesh will inherit eternal death: eternal absence of God—Hell is the only place without God’s presence.

You cannot fool God:

Sometimes, I run into people who want to have all the pleasures in the world without God and have a last minute death bed conversion.  Let’s say, they somehow get into Heaven.  Let me tell you this: it is going to be an eternal torment to them, because in Heaven everything is going to be about God for eternity, not about themselves.

Listen to God’s Word:   Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8).  God looks into our heart and He knows what’s in our heart.  No one will harvest eternal life after walking in the flesh and living a self-centered life constantly rejecting God’s call to repent.

It’s a Process:

Bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a process.  It takes time before you bear any fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t expect to harvest them instantaneously.  Rather, faithfully sow the seed of the Holy Spirit in your life (that is, listening and learning from Him through the Word of God and sow the seed of obedience by keeping God’s Word).  With patience and perseverance you will enjoy the fruit in this life and inherit eternal life in Heaven.

Prayer: 

Holy Spirit, I desire you with all my heart.  I want to walk in you. I want to follow you.   I want to submit myself to you every day.  I offer myself as a living sacrifice to you.  You are my teacher and comforter.  Teach me with the Word of God.  Guide me in the truth.  Grant me the desire to obey you and power to do your will.  Help me be sensitive to your guidance.  Grant me the endurance to bear fruit and become a character.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.”