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A Fruit-filled Life in Christ

A Christian Life Is…


A Fruit-filled Life
…a Fruit-filled Life
I want to tell you a preacher story, but it
isn’t my story.
It’s a story about a man named David
Chadwell.
David Chadwell and his wife, Joyce, tried
to plant a garden in Africa.
The soil there was so very rich that they
decided to bring seeds from home back to
Africa.
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…a Fruit-filled Life
So they planted their beans and peas,
tomatoes, and other good seeds and
waited for the rich, nutrient-filled soil to
yield a great harvest.
And lo and behold, huge plants sprung
forth from the ground.
Large plants, larger than they typically
grew back home in America.
And so they waited for the fruit.
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…a Fruit-filled Life
And they waited.
And they waited.
There wasn’t any fruit.
There weren’t even any blooms.
For whatever reasons, the environment in
Africa was wonderful for growing their
seeds into large, green, healthy plants, but
there was no fruit.
Rather disappointing, wouldn’t you say?
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…a Fruit-filled Life
What comes to mind when you hear that?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.”
(Galatians 5:22-23)
 Our lives are “filled” with more “fruit” than the

fruit of the Spirit.


So what does that mean?

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“More” Fruit?
Now wait a minute here...
 If we are to “live and walk by the Spirit”
(Galatians 5:16 & 25), and if we are “led by
the Spirit” (Galatians 5:18 and Romans
8:14), how can our lives be characterized by
fruit other than the “fruit of the Spirit”?
 What other fruit fills the life of a Christian?
Since the fruit of the Spirit is fruit produced by the
Holy Spirit, the “other” fruit is, of course, the fruit
we produce in our own lives.

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“More” Fruit?
“I am the vine, you are the branches:
He that abides in Me, and I in him, the
same bears much fruit: for apart from
Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
What does the above passage mean to
you?
Do the following passages have any
bearing on what Jesus said in John 15:5?

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“More” Fruit?
“And whatsoever you do, in word or in
deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father
through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
“Not every one that says unto Me,
‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the
kingdom of Heaven; but he that does
the will of My Father Who is in
Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
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“More” Fruit?
Remember, Jesus said, “I am the vine,
you are the branches: He that abides in
Me, and I in him, the same bears much
fruit: for apart from Me you can do
nothing.” (John 15:5)
He also said, “He that is not with Me is
against Me, and he that gathers not
with Me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
He seems to feel quite strongly about this,
doesn’t He?
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The Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:16-25
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are
not under law.” (verse 18)
 “not under law”? What does that mean?
“…those who live like this will not
inherit the kingdom of God.” (verse 21)
 Does that bother you?
 Ever been guilty of jealousy? How about
envy? Should you worry about inheriting the
kingdom of God?
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The Fruit of the Spirit
“The acts of the sinful nature are…
but the fruit of the Spirit is…”
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
 Nine items. What about knowledge? Perseverance?
Godliness?
 Notice what Paul says after his “list”: “Since we live
by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
(verse 25)

Also notice what Peter says after his “list”: “If anyone
does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind,
and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from
his past sins.” 12
Fruit
“But the fruit of the Spirit “…add to your faith
is love, joy, peace, goodness; and to
patience, kindness, goodness, knowledge;
goodness, faithfulness, and to knowledge, self-
gentleness and self- control; and to self-
control. Against such control, perseverance;
things there is no law.” and to perseverance,
godliness; and to
Galatians 5:22-23
godliness, brotherly
kindness; and to brotherly
kindness, love.”
2 Peter 1:5-7
What do you make of the fact that Paul begins his
list with love and Peter ends his list with it?
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Fruit of the Christian
What did Jesus say about us producing
fruit?

“…by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew
7:20
 “If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear
much fruit….” John 15:5
 “This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much
fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.”
John 15:8
 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree
bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its
own fruit….” Luke 6:43-44
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“I Am the Vine….”
1. I am the true vine, and My Father is
the husbandman.
2. Every branch in Me that bears not
fruit, He takes it away: and every
branch that bears fruit, He cleanses it,
that it may bear more fruit.
3. Already you are clean because of
the word which I have spoken unto
you.
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“I Am the Vine….”
4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abides in the vine; so neither
can you, except you abide in Me.
5. I am the vine, you are the branches:
He that abides in Me, and I in him, the
same bears much fruit: for apart from
Me you can do nothing.

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“I Am the Vine….”
6. If a man abides not in Me, he is cast
forth as a branch, and is withered; and
they gather them, and cast them into
the fire, and they are burned.
7. If you abide in Me, and My words
abide in you, ask whatsoever you will,
and it shall be done unto you.
8. Herein is My Father glorified, that
you bear much fruit; and so shall you
be My disciples.
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“I Am the Vine….”
9. Even as the Father has loved Me, I
also have loved you: abide in My love.
10. If you keep My commandments,
you shall abide in My love; even as I
have kept My Father's commandments,
and abide in His love.
11. These things have I spoken unto
you, that My joy may be in you, and
that your joy may be made full.
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“I Am the Vine….”
12. This is My commandment, that you
love one another, even as I have loved
you.
13. Greater love has no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his
friends.
14. You are My friends, if you do the
things which I command you.

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“I Am the Vine….”
15. No longer do I call you servants;
for the servant knows not what his lord
does: but I have called you friends; for
all things that I heard from My Father, I
have made known unto you.
16. You did not choose Me, but I chose
you, and appointed you, that you
should go and bear fruit, and that your
fruit should abide: that whatsoever you
shall ask of the Father in My name, He
may give it to you. 20
“I Am the Vine….”
17. These things I command you, that
you may love one another. (John 15:1-
17)
Jesus makes it quite plain in this passage
that He is in control. People may go
around and think they are doing His will,
but if they are not doing as He says, the
Father will remove them and cast them
into the fire.
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“I Am the Vine….”
We need to get past verse 2 before we
can move on.

“He cuts off every branch in Me that bears
no fruit….”
“cuts off” = airo (Greek)
 “…while every branch that does bear fruit
He prunes so that it will be even more
fruitful.”

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“I am the vine…”
We need to get past verse 2 before we
can move on.
The rest of the passage is clear – we only
bear fruit if we remain in Jesus. If we
don’t remain in Jesus, we’re thrown into
the fire.
So, how does Jesus make the transition
from a vine, branches, and fruit to the
topic of love?

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“I am the vine…”
Is verse 9 a different topic, or a
continuation?
“Even as the Father has loved Me, I
also have loved you: abide in My love.”
It would seem to be a continuation of the
same topic, which is loving God and loving
each other as God would have us to do.
“On these two commandments the
whole law hangs, and the prophets.”
(Matthew 22:40)
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“I am the vine…”
Jesus spoke a parable regarding bearing
fruit:
6. And He spoke this parable; “A
certain man had a fig tree planted in his
vineyard; and he came seeking fruit
thereon, and found none.
7. And he said unto the vinedresser,
‘Behold, these three years I came
seeking fruit on this fig tree, and found
none: cut it down; why does it also
cumber the ground?’ 25
“I am the vine…”
8. “And he answering saith unto him,
‘Lord, let it alone this year also, till I
shall dig about it, and dung it:
9. ‘and if it bear fruit thenceforth, well;
but if not, you shalt cut it down.’” (Luke
13:6-9)
God is looking for fruit. He has a reason
for expecting fruit from His people. God
wants His people to bear fruit because He
desires a harvest.
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“I am the vine…”
Bearing Fruit has to do with God's
purpose for us.
If we are caught up and involved in Gods
mission then we will bear Fruit.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in
step with the Spirit; we are immersed in an
environment and connected to a source of
life that will do more than grow big green
leafy plants – it will bring forth fruit.

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“I am the vine…”
When we read of the fruit of the Spirit
earlier from Galatians 5:22-23, notice that
there is “one fruit.”
“Fruit of the Spirit” is not a way of talking
about a list of good characteristics so as to
make them sound holy or “churchy.”
“Of the Spirit” means that these qualities
are the result of the spirit active in our life
together.

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“I am the vine…”
The Fruit of the Spirit is not a collector’s
set.
They are not our individual possessions.
They are virtues and:
 1) the disposition to act in a certain way that
are rooted in life together; and

2) they are rooted in common soil which are
the common values and faith of the Christian
community. ...

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“I am the vine…”
We are concerned not merely with the
fruit that individuals bear, but the fruit
that springs forth from the church –
from this congregation.
 Now that involves all of us as individuals, but
it is more than just us as individuals.

Too often we tend to think of every Christian
as a little tree in God’s orchard.
 Growing in the Spirit is not a matter only for
private individuals, but for the congregation as
well.
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“I am the vine…”
The language in Galatians 5 is plural –
"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep
in step with the Spirit. Let us not
become conceited, provoking and
envying each other."
If the Spirit animates and courses
through the church, then the church
should be bearing, producing, and
giving forth the fruit of the Spirit.

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“I am the vine…”
Before we get concerned about the fruit
we first need to go back to the vine.
Our spirituality and our Christian walk is
not based on the fruit we bear, but on the
Vine that gives that fruit life.
It is about the Spirit coming into our life
together and into our congregation and
filling us so full with the love of Christ that
we act toward one another and toward the
world in ways that give glory to the God.
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“I am the vine…”
Christians whose lives remain in Christ
will bear fruit charged with the richness of
the Holy Spirit.
I have heard it said that we are not judges
but we are fruit inspectors.
I am not sure we are worthy to be either.

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“I am the vine…”
If we recognize the fruit of the Spirit it is
only because the love, joy, peace
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
are as easy for us to recognize as are
apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes.
The fruit inspector is God.
He comes to us and wants more than a
great big leafy plant.

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“I am the vine…”
He seeks the fruit of the Spirit that
embodies before the world the sort of
changed lives that God desires for all
creation.
The story of the man who owned a
vineyard and a fig tree is not just a story of
judgment – or fruit inspection – it is also a
story of grace – or good gardening.
There is still time to see a bountiful
harvest.
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“I am the vine…”
The soil of our American culture may not
be the best, but the true vine can grow in
the most hostile environments.
The true vine, the sign of God’s mercy and
love, was a horrible, scandalous cross
raised up in a city garbage heap outside
the respectable borders of town.
If we remain in the true vine, nourished by
the life-giving Holy Spirit, then there is real
hope of bearing fruit.
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Fruit
So, let’s wrap this up…
The fruit of the Spirit is:
 love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
The fruit of a Christian is good works, enabled
by:

faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control,
perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness,
love
We only produce fruit if we are in Christ,
because it is His Spirit who empowers us to
produce fruit. 37