Sunday, July 12, 2009

God's Spirit - Part 7 - Spiritual Fruit of Long Suffering

Our Great Commission
God’s Spirit
Part 7: The Fruit of Long Suffering
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

Tuesday Women’s at Lori’s 5:00PM

Men’s on Friday at the church 8:00PM


WHERE WE ARE AT

† Maturing in Christ
† Understanding in Christ
† Love of God


This Series: God’s Spiritual Fruit

Previously:
God’s Spirit with us / in us
The Fruit of the Spirit
The Fruit of Love
The Fruit of Joy Part I
The Fruit of Peace


TODAY’S SERMON: Our Great Commission
God’s Spirit
Part 7: The Fruit of Long Suffering

OPEN IN PRAYER

SCRIPTURE READING

Galatians 5:16-25

16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.


Both our Flesh and God's Spirit produce fruit.

Good fruit and bad fruit.

Luke 6:43

“No Good tree bears bad fruit, and no bad tree bears good fruit”



We are told in scripture that our righteousness is as filthy rags.

All we do is in our flesh, which is sinful.

Jesus tells us that the only way for us to bear good fruit, which can only come from the Holy Spirit, is through Him.

He is the vine and we are the branch…

The vine sustains and keeps the branch filled with water (Holy Spirit), and in turn the water which flows into the branch, produces fruit.

John 15:1-2
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.


John 15:4-6
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.


A branch can be part of the vine, and produce no fruit.

These are “cut off” from the vine by the Father in heaven.

Remember the fig tree Jesus saw?
From a distance it appeared it may have fruit because of the leaves.

But upon close examination, it had no fruit…and it was cursed by Jesus.

If we are followers of Christ, we claim to be the branches of the vine Himself.

We HAVE to produce fruit.

Longsuffering is not to be defined as being married for many years, or having to endure an exceptionally long Sunday Service.

But the true definition of long suffering is this.

Longsuffering - Long, patient endurance of insult, abuse or mistreatment; patiently bearing continual wrongs or trouble; "an enduring disposition"; Having endured mental or physical discomfort for a protracted period of time patiently or without complaint.

Longsuffering can be described as the Spiritual Fruit of patience.

A character of enduring wrongs done to you.

A character of not repaying evil for evil.

A character of waiting out troubles.

An enduring disposition able to wait patiently and without complaint for an endless amount of time.


Remember, Spiritual Fruits are God's Characteristics which bear themselves in our lives if we are living in accordance to His Holy Spirit.

Why longsuffering?

Because it is part of who God is.

2 Peter 3:8-10
8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

We need to show this fruit in our lives as well.

We prevent this fruit from appearing by;

† acting in vengeance (repaying evil for evil)
† judging others for where they are at in their relationship with the Lord instead of doing what Jesus said and lifting them up to where they need to be.
† or in acting in selfishness

Our selfishness demands our needs and wants to be fulfilled immediately.

Like a spoiled little child who wants something, we squash the spiritual fruit of patience right before the Lord as we demand in our hearts for a desire to be filled.

We pray our grocery list to the Lord as if we are giving Him a to-do, and we expect instant answers to all our demands.

James 5:7-16
Patience in Suffering
7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. 9Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.
The Prayer of Faith
13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

God's Character is patience with the sinful, so that none may perish, but all should have opportunity to come to repentance.

9... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


Are you patient with other believers?

James 5:9
9Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

Do you show God's grace to those who offend you?


Are you patient with sinners?

Remember, Jesus said "I did not come for the righteous, but to save the lost..."

We are called by Jesus to show the lost love, and compassion because we are here to save them, not turn them away from the cross with our hate, anger and attacks on them for acting like sinners...after all, how do you expect a sinner to act?


Finally, are you patient with God?

Do you expect all your desires to be immediately given as if God is a genie awaiting your every whim and command, or do you hold to your reverence towards Him, and remember that He is our perfect Father in Heaven who knows what is best for us.

The scriptures do say, "You have not, because you ask not..."

But they also say our Father will only give to us what is good.