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FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH, MAGODO.
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY 27TH APRIL, 2016.
THEME: MANIFESTING THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
TOPIC: CHRISTIAN IDENTITY IN THE MARKET PLACE
TEXT: Gen 1:11, Matt 7:15 – 20, 12:33, Luke 6:43-45, John 15:2,5
Fruit is very important in the determination of our true identity as Christians. Since this class is devoted to the application of Christianity to the society, we will look away from church doctrine and look at the bible strictly.
In my office, I will watch out for fruit to know whether you can be trusted or not. I am sure none of us will give someone our chequebook and appoint him signatory to account because he spoke in tongues of angels.
The real test as the bible tells us is the fruit that we bear. If you have repented, He says, bring forth the fruit of repentance. Matt 3:8, and Jesus said ‘…you will know them by their fruits. Matt 7:14,16
We will be using this session to challenge ourselves to achieve more on the strength of scriptures. None of us is there yet. Phil. 3: 12-14.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
But the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit (the work which His presence within accomplishes) is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self control (self restraint, continence) against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23Amp
I want to add that this list is not exhaustive.
WHAT THEN IS FRUIT?
- Botanist define fruit as the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering.
- In common language usage, ‘fruit’ normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour and edible in the raw state. (apple, bananas, grapes, lemons, oranges and so on.
- FRUIT IN BIBLE CONTEXT.
Fruit is Christian character or whatever men will see in us to know that we belong to Jesus Christ. In this sense, if we were to define our goal as Christians and we say ‘to be like Jesus: then every manifestation in us that tend towards showing Christ lives in us will qualify to be called fruit. In this case there are not just nine.
Apostle Paul mentioned nine in the Gal. 5:22-23, Peter added to the list in 2 Peter 1:5-8, 9 and the list goes on.
I dare to add that every gift is useless until it becomes a fruit.
Fruit in my own understanding is the outward manifestation of an inherent ability. Can we really be talking about manifestation of fruits? There is in my own opinion no proof of the existence of fruit until it is manifested.
Are you a Christian? I won’t believe you because you say so. I only wait for fruits.
How do I know a liar? How do I know an honest man? Even the bible says a fool will be mistaken for a wise man if he keeps quiet. Prov. 17:28
USES OF FRUITS
- FOOD: processed or unprocessed form. It is used in in jams, cakes, bread, yoghurt etc.
- NON FOOD: decorations, drug manufacturing etc.
- FRUIT must bless others to be good fruit. Whether in plants or human, fruits are meant to bless others.
- FRUIT is not consumed by the plant that produces it. The orange tree does not need fruit to be beautiful. Jesus saw the fig tree, standing loftily and full of leaves but it had no fruits and He cursed the tree. It was beautiful but it carried no blessings.
- FRUIT of the Holy Spirit is what the church manufactures for the society to consume and generate a societal hunger for the church. It is given to fulfil the overall goal of the church-to establish the sovereignty of Jesus over all. Mark 11:12-13, 20-25
ENUMERATION OF FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Numbering the fruits of the Holy Spirit is futile for the list is endless.
- Gal 5:22-23
- 1 Pet 1:5-8
- All the gifts of the Holy Spirit must also come as fruits.
DEVIL ALSO HAS FRUITS
- 12:22, John 8:44
- Acts 5:4
PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
- To extend the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over the whole world.
- Faithfully and lovingly bring people to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Help me to escape the judgment of God.
- Teach men to put on the character of Jesus Christ in the world.
PURPOSE OF THE GIFTS
- To empower men to achieve the purpose of the church in the world.
- To equip the church to glorify God. Eph 4:12-13
- Convince sinners of the power of Jesus Christ.
- Gifts are referred to as a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.1 Cor. 12:7. It can then be described in my opinion as fruits as well. Every gift is an indication of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church.
- The gifts are so distributed to remind us that we cannot operate alone. What Bro. Ade can do, is a mystery to Bro. Olu. Roms 12:3-4
- Gifts were given to unite the church. 4:12-13
- To reveal the living God to unbelievers.
PURPOSE OF THE FRUITS
The question Rick Warren has always asked is: Assuming a law is passed to outlaw Christianity in your state and you are accused of violating that law, what evidence will be tendered to prove you are still a Christian contrary to law?
Fruits are the evidence of who we are as Christians.
- To persuade the world that Jesus Christ has sovereign power and authority over all things.
- To explain the greatest commandment, Love.
- Feed the hungry world with the love of God.
MANIFESTATION OF THE FRUIT IN THE MARKET PLACE.
The church is to win the world. The world is in the market place, until we win them, they will not be in church. We are therefore given gifts and fruits to take to the market place and win the world to the church. We can only do this if we manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the market place.
- Leadership –Matt 20:25-28. We are to serve in love and never lord it over the people.
- Generosity – We are to give (invest) to create services, solve problems of society and thereby increase. Until you solve problems, you will continue to be small.
- The care that does not follow the paet of logic. Not looking out for what you will get.
- Joy (not same as happiness) the world rejoices at the happening of favourable events. Our joy is not explainable.
- Perspective (attitude) the world is so easily overwhelmed by challenges but for us, every challenge is an opportunity to ask God. Why is this happening? What do you want me to do in this situation?
- Non competition
CONCLUSION: Fruits of the Holy Spirit are the only proof to the world that we are Christians. They are not for competition in the Church. Manifestation in the Church is good but that is not the purpose. It is meant for the dying world.