Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit

Series: Fruit of the Spirit
Date: 9/13/2020
Text: Galatians 5:16-25

Central Thought: 

We please God by cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit
When the church in Galatia started everyone embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ  in faith and were filled with the Spirit of God. Everyone was at the pool having a good time walking by the Spirit!  Since that time, other kids have come to the pool saying that there is a different way to play.  

There are Jewish people who have become Christians who are are legalists and claim that salvation is in Christ plus all the Jewish laws that you must follow at the pool.
There are Pagans who have become Christians who advocate license. They claim that salvation in Christ let’s us do whatever we want. Since our sin is covered we have license to sin as grace abounds over our sin.

Paul is the life guard saying, “Slow down. Stop running at the pool  in either of those ways. Remember, that is not the way of a Christian! If you walk in those ways you will slip and crack your nugget on the concrete.  Paul says the way is Christ and Christ alone. The gospel way is NOT of the legalist or of license. The gospel is liberty in Christ!

Warming up before jumping in:  Share a good or funny childhood memory of swimming at the pool with friends.

Read Galatians 5:16-18

  1. What is the fight every Christian faces?
  2. What are the desires of the flesh and the Spirit?
  3. Tim Keller explains, “The sin underneath all sins…is always a lack of trust in God’s grace and goodness AND a desire to protect and guard our own lives through self-salvation.”     How and why are you tempted to not trust God’s goodness?   

Just as God is a good, perfect, loving, compassionate Father to His children, that’s you and me.  Paul cares for the church in Galatia AND as a loving spiritual father he gives them examples in verses 19-21 of works of the flesh. Read Galatians 5:19-21.

  1. Is there one of the works of the flesh listed in v19-21 that God would like you to crucify?
  2. OUR MAIN PROBLEM OF OUR HEART is not doing bad things it is our over desire for good things. Our sinful nature has an “over-desire” for something that tricks us to think that if we get it we will be satisfied. Can you identify an over-desire for something or someone that leads to works of the flesh?  (Such as desiring connection and choosing sex; wanting security and so trying to get it yourself through works as a legalist; desiring prosperity in life and being tricked that it is things that grant us that and so you turn God into the genie in the bottle; wanting freedom and so claiming liberty to do what you want no matter the consequences; to feel comfort or joy you seek alcohol and over indulge,  etc.

Read Galatians 5:22-25
As Christians, we want to live lives pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit that indwells us desires to trust in God’s grace and goodness. The TRUTH is that our salvation is secure in Christ and so we can rest in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

  1. How do you hope to see God cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in you?
  2. In v24, Apostle Paul encourages us that because we belong to Jesus we will crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. This means: identifying sin, seeking the root of our sins, and then replacing Jesus. What work of the flesh is God inviting you to crucify?
  3. We can cultivate the fruit of the Spirit through community and belonging. Spend a moment looking up Scriptural passages to encourage one another with the liberating truth that we are not our own and belong to God! (v24a)
  4. Read John 16:4b-15.     What does Jesus teach us about the Spirit?  What encourages you about Jesus’ teaching?

As we daily turn from our sinful desires and turn to Jesus time and time again, in the context of Community in the local church trusting that we belong to Jesus = God will cultivate the  fruit of the Spirit in our lives. 
We will glorify, adore and yearn for Jesus more and more. By the help of the Holy Spirit we will worship Jesus more, love him more and become the people we long to be the people who God made us to be.
A people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. A people who experience the Kingdom of God daily! A people who invite others to know, trust and follow Jesus with us! 
 Paul CLOSES in v25: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

Let us pray for one another over our journey of cultivating the fruit of the Spirit? 
Pray for all of our church family on their journey.
Pray for your neighbors, family, and friends you hope will come to know Jesus and experience the fruit of the Spirit with you.