FRUIT THAT LASTS
INTRO: The Bible is meant to be all about Jesus. It is about how to find Jesus as Savior. It is also about “being” rather than “doing” – being like Christ. The ultimate goal of life is being fruitful for Christ. If we submit to the will of God, if we let Him live through us, we will become like Him. We will be fruitful.
I. FAKE FRUIT
> There is a lot of fake fruit - using our own craftiness, our own creativeness.
- It is doing God’s work using man’s ways.
- There are many who will come to Jesus and say, “We did all this for You.”
- But Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
II. GOD’S VINEYARD
> The Lord is both the gardener and the owner of the vineyard.
- Those who remain in Me will produce much fruit (v. 5).
- Before we were saved, we were dead in our sin.
- The Lord gives us the faith to make the decision for Him.
- God’s love comes first, and then we love Him.
- Then obedience to the commandments follows.
- When we love God, we want to obey Him; we want to be like Him.
> We produce fruit by the Word of God.
- We’ve already been pruned by His Word.
- Remain in Me and I will remain in you.
- You cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me (v. 4).
- Apart from Me, you can do nothing (v. 5).
III. GOD LOVES – WE LOVE
> This is My commandment – love each other.
- When we are filled with His love, we forgive.
- We lay down our rights for Him.
- You are My friends if you do what I command (v. 14).
- If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love (v. 10).
- We are to obey His commands, and we choose to do it because we love Him.
- If we love Him and live for Him, we will have fruit of which we are unaware.
- We didn’t choose Jesus; He chose us because He loves us (v. 16).
- I chose you to produce lasting fruit (v. 16).
> We can’t live any way we want.
- If we know we are doing wrong but don’t have conviction, we have a problem with God.
- We need to find out why we are living this way.
- The Holy Spirit will teach us as we go along.
- He will prune us.
- He will make us like Jesus in the middle of the jungle of the world.
- We are all in process, being changed.
- When we are completely changed, we are done.
- We won’t be completely changed until we are glorified.
- The process is sanctification – becoming like Christ.
- We die to ourselves and allow Him to live through us.
- The kind of life that is forever comes through Jesus.
IV. ABIDING IN CHRIST
> Abiding in Christ is trusting in Christ.
- Bringing glory to God by our fruit is our objective.
- It is accomplished by abiding in Christ.
- Joy is becoming like Him; it is a deep abiding peace.
- The joy of Christ was bringing glory to the Father through His death for us (Hebrews 12:2).
- Islam’s Allah demands their lives, but Jesus gave His life for us.
- We look for happiness, but what we need is joy.
- It is different from anything in the world.
- If we are doers, it is hard to abide.
- “I can do it myself.”
> We are vessels of the Holy Spirit.
- When we read the Word, we need to listen to what the Word is saying.
- It is not audible; the Word is God’s thoughts on paper.
- The Word is Jesus, and Jesus is the Word.
- We can hear with our ears, yet not hear with our hearts.
- We need to hear with our hearts.
- If we really hear, we will have revelation.
- The fullness of revelation brings illumination and life.
- It begins by reading the Word.
- We receive what the Word says and life comes.
- Then illumination comes and we have something to impart to others.
- We get life so we can touch the lives of others.
- Every single thing we need for godliness is in the Word.
- The Lord still speaks to us today through the Word.
> When we disappoint God, He knows it will happen.
- God is not surprised by it.
- We shouldn’t get down on ourselves; we forgive ourselves and move on.
- The issue is the fruit of the Spirit; this is what separates us from the world.
- Out of love comes joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
- The fruit is a testing.
- There is the action of being pruned.
- For believers who experience pruning, it is discipline.
> We have an enemy in this world.
- We have trials and tribulations because of our enemy.
- Some people give up because of this.
- They stop abiding in the Lord.
- Our goal is to be a branch on the vine.
- There are all kinds of things that try to destroy good branches.
- We need to keep the enemy from destroying our witness.
- 2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth.”
- We have to pay attention to our lives.
- When we grieve over the sin we see around us, it can take away our hope and peace.
- We still need to trust in the Lord.
> The time is coming and is here now when you will be scattered (John 16:32).
- Jesus is speaking through His Word – this is today.
- We will be scattered, but we may have peace in Him.
- This is despite sickness, financial disaster, or family issues.
- These are things that come at us to make us turn aside from God.
- We keep peace by trusting God.
- We trust God that He knows best, so that no matter what comes, we stick with the Lord.
- Jesus said that trials will come (John 16:33).
- Don’t be surprised by the fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12).
- Be very glad that the Lord is with you so that you will have wonderful joy despite the trials.
> He brings us through the trials, and all the glory belongs to Him.
- Let’s not get tired of doing good. We will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).
- We have to trust God with the process.
- We don’t demand; we don’t give up hope.
- Our prayers may not be answered the way we want, but we have to trust God.
- It is up to God.
- We need to have faith and hope and peace despite circumstances.
- Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
- If we are truly right with God, we do what is in our heart.
- The results are up to God.
- Trust in Him; read His Word; let Him change you.
CONCLUSION: The truth is that we will have no more pain or strife when we leave this world, if we live through Him. Bringing forth fruit is the end result. This is the objective of our lives on this earth. We are to live for His purposes and glory. We don’t need to be in people’s faces. Be real people who the world can touch and who will be touched by us. The world needs Christians who will shine their light and demonstrate the love of God to the world.