Ep 52 – Marks of a Mature Christian Pt 12
I am so glad you’re back to study with us. It’s all greek to me with tom and Vicky and we’re just thrilled that we’ve been able to reach so many thousands of people throughout the world. And uh, you just let your friends know if it’s been an encouragement to you a help to you and we just would love to hear from you what you’d like to us not to do or things that you would like us to add or do more of. We just want to be an encouragement to the body of christ all over. And then for those of you that are watching that have never really uh gone to a church or you’ve never studied the bible. And it’s interesting to you to watch this. I’m so grateful that you’ve come to join us and that we can spend uh this half hour together just chatting back and forth. Vicki and I are getting ready to go into just the whole idea of whatever you, so you’re gonna reap the whole idea of our route is really going to be expressed in the fruit of what happens in our life join us as we talked about it together. Here we are, honey, talking about the marks of a mature christian and how the mature or perfect man will have control over his tongue. We talked about his patient and testing practices the truth and now we’re in the power over his tongue in chapter four will be a piece bank. Another troublemaker. And its prayerful in trouble book of little epistle of James incredible epistle to help us. And here the seed, we’re just looking at this one verse Right here the seed whose fruit is righteousness. Car Post Dick Arsene is sewn in peace, eating it by those who make peace. And so we want to look at how what are we literally sewing with our mouth? What is coming out of our mouth that is being planted all around us is really what it’s the the actual application to this whole chapter is about. Why don’t we just read some of the Lord? The Lord jesus words himself concerning the subject matter. A tree and its fruit. Okay, Matthew 7, 15 through 23. Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves, you will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit. But the bad tree bears bad fruit. Almost the same exact illustrations as James. Chapter very incredible. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then you will know them by their fruits so incredibly clear that you look at someone’s fruit and you see the kind of life he is living and has Next passage of scripture. Go ahead. You’re doing such a great job, Matthew 1233 through 37. Either make the tree good and its fruit good or make the tree bad and its fruit bed for the tree is known by its fruit, you brood of vipers, how can you being evil speak? What is good for the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure, what is good? And the evil man brings out of his evil treasure, what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it. And the day of judgment for by your words, you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned. You know, I remember a greek Orthodox priest once was talking to me about uh, you know what I believed this was someone who was in my church and a new priest that came because I had been in a greek Orthodox church and he uh when I showed him what the bible said that we are not saved by our good works, that we are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves, it’s a gift of God, not as a result of works. And then he just took the bible and he says who cares about this garbage. And he called jesus words garbage. And I said to him, listen, these are the words of jesus christ and I didn’t write this, I’m just telling you what it says and he says, I don’t have time for this. And I sat there and I quoted this to him by your words you shall be justified and by your words you will be condemned. So just because you’re a priest or a preacher like me or you supposedly are doing a holy task, doesn’t give you the right to curse the bible or negate the bible or say evil things concerning what the bible says. Uh because here, jesus christ, when he’s talking about the fruit and the tree, what’s he saying he’s talking about are words that come out of our mouth. We’re sowing seeds and we’re creating fruit from those seeds. That’s what he’s talking about here is very, very powerful. Words reveal character. That’s what it’s talking about. The also the words reveal whether our life is gospel centric or it’s some other centric romans 74, for instance, Therefore my brethren, you also were made to die to the law through the body of christ so that you might be joined to another to him who was raised from the dead in order that we may might bear fruit for God listen the Gospel is that which is going to produce fruit for God. So that’s what the apostle paul is sharing here. Let’s go to the next passage, Galatians 5 22 to 23 but the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control against such things, there is no law. Yeah. And it’s important to understand that, you know when you have, when you have are led by the Spirit, you have the birth of the Spirit. You are led by the Spirit. You are filled with the Spirit. You know, it talks about uh now the Fruit of the Spirit and you have life in the Spirit in that same chapter. All of those things that I just said were there. But in this particular sense, it says that the Holy Spirit who is a person is producing fruit that’s coming out of our life. And it’s so beautiful. Love enjoying peace and patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control and against such things. There is no law. I’m gonna read this next portion. Do not be deceived Galatians 67 through 10. God is not mocked whatever a man so spiro this, he will also reap fairies. Oh for the one who souls to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But the one who souls to the spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let let us not lose heart in doing good for in due time or due season, we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then while we have opportunity, get us, let us do good to all people and especially to those who are of the household of faith, whatever we so we’re gonna reap so important that we’re showing the right stuff from our mouth that our words are seeds. I like that word Kairos. It’s like an opportunity. That’s exactly what it is. And we have opportunities every day throughout the whole day to be more like jesus or to be more like ourselves. Better not to speak when we feel like talking about ourselves. Hebrews 12 11. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful. Yet to those who have been trained by it afterwards. It yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, incredible discipline, creating the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 13 15 through Him. Then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God. That is the fruit of lips that give thanks to his name again. The fruit of lips that give thanks to his name. Our lips create fruit, wow someone 26 verse five through six. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him incredible the seed and then the sheaves, You know the sorrow, the joy, you know, he who goes to and front weeping, carrying his bag of seed Shall come again. What a contrast with a shot of joy bringing his sheaves with him problems 29 13. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. Now, that’s let’s talk about that a little bit. The fruit is a tree. Mm So explain. Well, trees come from seeds, don’t they? Yes, they do. So one word can produce a seed that goes into the ground and create a tree that creates fruit that other people can eat from the through the righteous is a tree of life and he who is wise, wins souls. There’s the wisdom from above where people will be transformed and changed because of it. Isaiah 55 10 through 11 for as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return there until watering the earth, making it bear and sprout and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall my word be, which goes forth from my mouth. It shall not return to me empty without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter from which I sent it. You see, God has a specific reason for us to where he speaks his word and when we then become his messengers and speak his word uh What an incredible thought here. He will produce fruit from that word. When I think of like an arrow, you know, the marksman shoots, he hits the target and the arrow that the man, you know pulls the bow and he aims and it hits the target. Our words are like that, you know, they are, they are destined to reach a destination with the end result bringing people to God building people up in our life planting good seeds. We need to do that. We need to personally be responsible. I can’t say, oh my husband is a preacher, let him plant all the seeds. Let him, So every day I see the pleasure I know and every one of us is gonna stand before God and give an account. What did you do with my precious words? Who have you brought to me? How have I influence people for for God? And it says, and it will not return void but accomplish what he wanted. You know, just an amazing thing that God tells us that he will accomplish it. You may not think he’s accomplishing much. You know, sometimes you look at the human aspect of and say, well what, what really happened, but God is going to fulfill his word. It’s not going to go out. When you say something that’s positive, that’s Godly. That’s a word of promise, A word of God. It will accomplish what God desires to accomplish. Maybe you won’t see it, Maybe I won’t see it, but God will accomplish it. And then Haggai 2 19 is the seeds still in the barn, even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree. It has not borne fruit yet from this day on, I will bless you. Now this was probably one of my first messages when I was preaching and what I got from this was that if you don’t take the seed out of your life and planted in the ground, it’s still in the barn. It’s not gonna do its impact. It may be powerful, but you’re never gonna see it until you plant the seed and what are that seed and cultivate that seed until it comes to be a fruit. And so I encourage you to speak right words. Huh? Amen. And and to and to see righteous fruit as a result of the right man. You have to have faith in God’s promises. Yeah, you when a preacher preachers, when a when you share the gospel, so you have to have faith in the word of God that you’re communicating because God will accomplish what he wants to accomplish. So we will read what we saw. The route is directly going to affect the fruit and here we have the scripture and the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace car posts and greek that is the coziness. The the route, the actual seed car pose of righteousness. Uh and Irini Spirit is Sawn Spirit is the seed is sown in peace. Despues using it in by those who are doing or making peace. So the the actual food car pose that is the coziness of righteousness. It’s amazing that he’s talking about the fruit Of our words and what is going on. But I’d like to share with you the teaching concerning the soul. Uh the uh the John 15, the metaphor of the of the vineyard, the vine dresser of the vine and the branches and the fruit. I thought it would be a great segue into us hearing about just what the Lord jesus christ expressed concerning. I am the vine, you are the branches and concerning what that is all about. The vine dresser is God In the, in the parable he prepares the whole uh vine vineyard, every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away. So first of all, he prepares Aargh means to lift up, to raise, to take up in the greek, not to cut off and get rid of, but to literally lift it up so it could produce more fruit. That’s what you see in the picture here, these hands are going to cut off the dead branch or the dead part of the branch, but lift up and tie up from the ground up so that it will not be in the moisture. And the metaphor will work as we look at how we approach God’s word, The vine dresser is God. Not only does he prepare, he prunes every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it salt that it may bear more fruit. He’s interested in fruit. He’s not interested in cutting us away and throwing us away or cutting the fruit away and throwing it in a way. He’s interested in getting rid of the branches that are not going to produce fruit in the vine that are not connected, the branches that are not connected to the vine. And he proves it. # three the vine dresser God provides he prepares, he proves he provides if you abide in me and my words abide in you again. It’s talking about words ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. The vine dresser God God the father he prepares, he prunes, he provides why? So we could bear fruit more fruit much fruit, This is how he does it. And this is the metaphor God wants us to be fruitful, fruitful and righteousness and then we have the vine, jesus christ himself, he provides support and strength, Verse four, the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine. So neither can you unless you abide in me now, he provides all the support and all the strength and all the life coming through divine to the branch, so that the branch can bear fruit. It’s a it’s a partnership. It’s a together it’s a together with the vine, the branch cannot do anything by itself, but it’s the life of the vine coming through the branch that produces the fruit. So number one, he provides support and strength. Number two, He produces much fruit, verse five I am divine. You are the branches he who abides in me and I and him bears much fruit for apart from me, you can do nothing. And so God tells us very clearly that you cannot do anything apart from the vine. And if we do abide in the vine will produce fruit will produce more fruit will produce much fruit, and he will take the responsibility to cut the clip off all of the dead branch, in order for that living strong fruitful branch to produce more fruit, The branch is the believer, what is the responsibility of the branch? So important for us to understand this? Do they do anything? Does the believer do anything? Of course they do, they are responsible to be fruitful, Verse four, the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. So the whole idea is that the branch has got to abide, that word abide Mendel is repeated over and over and over and over again 11 times in this passage of scripture, bear fruit, 15 2 is found in verse to bear more fruit is found in 155. Bear much fruit is found in 158, And then bear fruit, that remains is found in verse 16, So God not only wants us to bear fruit, but he wants us to bear more fruit, he wants us to bear much fruit, and he says by this is my father, glorified that you bear much fruit and proved to be my disciples. In the Gospel of John, we have three areas that talk about discipleship, specifically in John eight, it says that the true disciple, the genuine disciple hears the words of Jesus, and believes the words of Jesus, It also says that the true disciple in John 13 has genuine love by this is my father, he says this is how the world will know, you are my disciples, if you have love one for another, but here in this verse, in john chapter 15 and verse eight, he says by this is my father glorified that you bear much fruit and proved to be my disciples, the disciples of jesus, christ will bear fruit, will bear more fruit, will bear much fruit and they will bear fruit That remains in verse 16, yes, the branches the believers need also to be clean, you’re already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you, The word clean is literally the word pruned Catherine is oh the word clean is literally the word prune and so he cleans us in that regard by taking away the dead branches by taking away things that would take the life of the vine, going through to the branch, Then there’s the believer is supposed to abide, it says uh in communion abide, men are with christ, where are you abiding, what is your habit, what do you love to do, What do you enjoy doing? I know that people watch tv, I know people listen to radio, I know some people are addicted to other things, gambling, they’re addicted to drugs, they’re addicted to music, they just, this is what they do, other people, you ask them what they do, They’re playing golf there, playing basketball, baseball, football, hockey, uh soccer, they’re going to games, they love the opera, they love art. People are just given to so many things, musicians particular musical instrument, it takes their whole life. But the true believer, the genuine disciple, he abides with christ, this is his thing, this is what he loves to do. He wants to be with christ, he wants to listen to jesus christ through the scriptures, he wants to talk to the Lord, jesus christ in prayer. He wants to serve God with his free time. He wants to not only go to church on a sunday, but hang out with believers. Look, he’s a normal person, but he has this passion besides everything else in his life. He loves God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength and he and he loves his neighbor as himself. He wants to reach out to people that don’t know christ and and bring them to christ. Yes, abide in me. Whoever abides in me again abiding me abide in me continually in this chapter. Not only does the branch have to be abiding, but he also has to be obedient. If you keep my commandments, verse 10, then you’re gonna have that true joy, then you’re gonna be that true disciple when you keep his commandments, be obedient next ba loving, This is my commandment that you love one another verse nine through 13. It’s all about love. This is my commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you. That’s a pretty high command. Just as I have loved you. I mean, he laid his life down for us. He served us in every way, just as I have loved you. I want you now to love others. I want you to show that love to that great commandment to others. This is my commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Not only that you love God, but that you love one another and even those that are not in the body of christ, so important. And then be joyful verse 11 these things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full look, this is a real, full, complete person who has the fruit in his life. And that fruit is all about jesus christ and the character of jesus christ. He’s got the love, he’s abiding, he is bearing fruit, he’s obedient. He, here he is loving and joyful, incredible qualities of the believer. Notice what else it says about the believer, be sacrificial. He says, Greater Love has no one than this than to lay down his life for his friends. This is such a clear description, the vine and the branches and the fruit such a clear description of the kind of individual we need to be. And he says greater love has no one than this than to lay down his life for his friends. You see in Ephesians that said that a husband needs to lay down his life for his wife. We’re told to love our neighbor as ourself in James were also told to love our enemies. And here it says Greater love has no one than this. Then that one lay down his life for his friends who are your friends, who are my friends. What am I willing to give for them? You know, to take them out to dinner, to buy him a suit uh to help them purchase a vehicle to help them move when they they have to move. I mean some of those simple little things. Many times friends don’t even do Yet. The command that Jesus Christ gives us in John Chapter 15 is way more than that, is that I would be willing to lay my life down for my friends, the people that I call friends who are your closest friends, do you have five of them? Do you have 10 of them? Are you willing to lay your life down for your friends? Because that’s the kind of love that jesus christ calls us to. Greater love has no one than this. He laid down his life for his friends, his disciples, we are now commanded to lay down our lives for his disciples and then be friends. You are my friends. If you do what I tell you Verse 14, you’re my friends were supposed to be his friends and that’s a big thing Philly and then be intentional that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain here are some of the things that he’s concerned about bringing the fruit into the barn and making sure it remains be evangelistic goal, be productive, bear fruit, be long term fruit that remains be prayerful and be positive and believing as you do this. And of course this means that we will those that will believe will become the fruit that remains those that we bring to christ, those that we love to christ give the gospel to that he died for them was buried. Rose again from the debt the evangelical message that he will forgive us if we repent, that’s the key and today, as you listen to this, will you accept, will you become part of that vine, jesus who bled and died and was buried and rose again, Will you ask him to forgive you and become connected? One of the branches connected to that character who sacrificed his life for us, who was our friend to the very end and rose again from the dead. That’s jesus christ, that’s the fruit, those that will believe and may God help us as we go forward in this incredible endeavor to reach the world with the beautiful gospel of jesus christ, The metaphor of the vine and the branches and the fruit. God bless you Until next time. It’s all greek to me.