The Holy Spirit part 3
the Holy Spirit Produces In Our Lives
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
June 14, 2009
This is our third week
in our message series taking a look at the Holy Spirit and His role in
the life of every Christ-follower. So far we’ve talked about how the
Holy Spirit is not a force, not a power… the Holy Spirit is a person,
the third person of the Trinity. Therefore the Holy Spirit is God,
co-equal with God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ.
talked about how the Holy Spirit is vital in the life of every
Christ-follower. It’s the Holy Spirit who calls us. It’s the Holy
Spirit who saves us. It’s the Holy Spirit who cleanses us from sin.
It’s the Holy Spirit who guides us day to day. It’s the Holy Spirit
that enables us live the Christian life. It’s the Holy Spirit who
empowers us to tell others about Jesus and bring them to God. It’s the
Holy Spirit who sanctifies us, makes up for our inadequacies, and
presents us as pure before a Holy God. It’s the Holy Spirit who gives
us the assurance of a future home in Heaven. The Holy Spirit is vital
to the life of every Christ-follower, from start to finish.
as we saw last week, not every Christ-follower is filled with the Holy
Spirit. Now, what is the filling of the Holy Spirit? Well, we defined
that as having the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life so strongly
that it’s palpable, and your response to His presence is to trust Him,
to obey Him, to live in fellowship with Him, and to allow Him to work
in your life making you more like Jesus. It’s basically allowing the
Holy Spirit to have full control and full reign in your life.
when that is a reality in your life, you can experience such an
indescribable joy, and love and purpose in life that you’ve never
experienced before. That is God’s plan for you. That’s God’s plan for
every person on this planet.
But as we saw, that’s not a reality
for everyone. First of all, there are those who are still living apart
from God, they haven’t entered into relationship with Him – maybe
they’ve never really considered Him or maybe they’ve outright rejected
Him – but they’re living apart from God and therefore apart from the
But we also saw that just because someone has
decided to become a Christ-follower does not mean that they experience
the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Understand this: every believer has
all of the Holy Spirit, but you only have the fullness of the Holy
Spirit when He has all of you. To be filled with the Spirit you have to
be emptied of self. If you want to experience the filling of the Holy
Spirit and all the power and purpose and passion that comes with it,
then it means you need to trust Him and give Him full reign in your
life, allowing Him to lead you, to guide you, to change you, and make
you the person you were meant to be.
That is the normal
Christian life. That is the way it’s meant to be. That kind of
Spirit-filled life is not reserved for just a few super-Christians;
it’s for each and every one of us. It’s the normal Christian life. But
unfortunately, many believers never experience the fullness of the Holy
Spirit because they refuse to give up control, and as a result they
continue to live under the power of sin even after coming to Jesus.
They still struggle everyday to live lives that are good and pure and
pleasing to God, but they try to do it on their own strength. So it’s a
constant battle, and they are left living under the power and the
influence of their sinful desires and sinful impulses. Oh, they may
have their moments and they may do some very good things, but they
still fall far short of the standard of God. They try with all their
strength to be a good person, but they still have lustful thoughts,
they still harbour bitterness and anger, they still experience envy and
jealousy, they still covet what others have… and they realize that they
still fall short of the letter of the law and live with a constant
sense of defeat and guilt.
Now let me ask you, what kind of life
is that? That sounds to me like a very unsatisfying, very frustrating,
very ineffective life. A person like that may actually be happier – not
better off, but happier – if they had never come to Christ in the first
“Without the filling of the Holy Spirit, the Christian
life will be reduced to legalism and grinding self-effort which will
ultimately be self-defeating.”
~ William Lane Craig
you and I can never live up to the Christian ethical standard on our
own. Because not only are you responsible for your actions, but even
your thoughts. And we all fail at some point.
And that’s why the presence of the Holy Spirit is so crucial. That’s
why just before He left Jesus told His followers…
Acts 1:8 (NLT)
“…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
Holy Spirit makes up for our inadequacies. He covers our sinfulness. He
doesn’t excuse it, but He covers it. He allows us to experience the
grace and forgiveness of God instead of living in defeat and guilt. And
He empowers us to live the Christian life, not just by controlling what
we do and think but by changing who we are – making us holy, making us
more like Jesus.
I already gave you a quote from William Lane Craig, from a seminar
series I’ve been listening to on my iPod. He also said…
disciples of Christ isn’t just a matter of what we do – it’s a matter
of who we are. And the key to that is the fullness of the Holy Spirit
in each of our lives…”
~ William Lane Craig
That right there
is the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit: not just that our
actions change, but that we change. The evidence of the filling of the
Holy Spirit is not that you have some emotional experience and it’s not
that you demonstrate any spiritual gifts – it’s the change that happens
within you. That’s what spiritual growth is all about… becoming more
like Jesus, becoming Christ-like in our character… in our motivations.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about for the rest of our time this
In what ways do we become more like Jesus? What are the
changes that they Holy Spirit makes in our lives? What are the
qualities or the characteristics that the Holy Spirit instills in us
that empower and enable us to live the normal Christian life?
to discover what they are, let’s go back to the passage Jim read for us
earlier this morning from Galatians 5. Paul starts out in verses here
by contrasting the spirit-filled life with what he calls the desires of
Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)
When you follow the
desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual
immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility,
quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension,
division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.
those are the desires of the flesh. That’s the human nature we are all
born into. We lean toward those things. We’re tempted by those things.
We’re controlled by those things. But Paul says that’s our sinful
nature. In contrast, he says this…
Galatians 5:16, 22-23 (NLT)
I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing
what your sinful nature craves… But the Holy Spirit produces this kind
of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against
So this is the evidence of the Holy Spirit. The
person who is walking in the Spirit will not exhibit the works of the
flesh – the sinful nature – but will more and more every day exhibit
these qualities or characteristics.
VIDEO – Do You Have It?
let me ask you: Who, more than anyone else, exhibited these kinds of
qualities? Jesus. So that’s why we say as the Holy Spirit forms these
qualities within us, we become more and more like Jesus. We become
This is what we understand to be spiritual growth.
It’s not about how you dress, it’s not about pretending you have it all
together, it’s not about putting on some façade of superiority… it’s
about becoming more and more like Jesus as these qualities take root in
Development of the Fruit of the Spirit is…
The Work of the Holy Spirit
nothing we achieve on our own; it’s what the Holy Spirit accomplishes
in our lives. But we participate by yielding to Him, allowing Him to do
His work, and by partnering with Him as these qualities become
expressed outwardly in our everyday relationships.
Galatians 5:22 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives…
don’t develop the fruit of the Spirit by trying harder; it’s developed
when you trust more. It’s developed only when you allow the Holy Spirit
to do His work.
Now, that doesn’t mean that if a person is not a
Christ-follower then they can’t exhibit any of these qualities. Because
they can. Hey, I take Nate to a daycare where the people who work there
are very loving, they’re very patient, they’re very gentle. I have no
idea where they stand in their relationship with God, but I still
entrust my kid to them!
We are all created in the image of God,
so it makes sense that it’s possible for all of us – whether we know
God or we’re far from God – to exhibit these qualities at least to some
But it’s only through the filling fo the Holy Spirit
that these qualities can find their full expression. It’s only through
the filling of the Holy Spirit that these qualities can come as the
natural outflow of the transformation within us instead of as something
we impose upon ourselves.
When the Holy Spirit is in our lives, then the fruit of the Spirit will
naturally follow. Emile Wolfaardt put it this way…
“If a man is filled with anger, than anger controls his life.
If a man is filled with greed, then greed dominates his life.
If a man is filled with lust, then lust governs his life.
If a man is filled with love, then love influences all he does.
And if a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is controlled by the
Spirit - it is, if you will, ‘control by consent.’”
~ Emile Wolfaardt
So the question is, “Who’s in control?” Are you allowing the Holy
Spirit to be in control and do His work in your life?
What every person desires
read this week about an extensive survey that was conducted by a
leading polling agency. The key question was this: What are you looking
for most in life?
Of course, you might expect to receive a
variety of answers to that question. Good job, success at your career,
family, a large nest egg. But when the results were compiled, the
analysts were surprised. Because the top three things that people
wanted in life were love, joy, and peace. Sound familiar? That’s the
first three qualities in the Fruit of the Spirit!
Highway to Heaven,
it amazing how the Holy Spirit produces within us exactly what we want
in life? When you look at this list [PowerPoint], how appealing is that?
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and
self-control. There is no law against these things!
The result, not the cause, of being a Christian
is important. Because a lot of people get this mixed up. A lot of
people think that in order to be a Christian you have to be loving, you
have to be a good person, you have to be self-controlled, you have to
have all of these qualities. And that’s what makes you a Christian.
that’s simply not true. You become a Christian not because of anything
you do or anything you are; you become a Christian solely by the grace
of God in response to your faith. We’re Christians because we believe
in Jesus, period.
Ephesians 2:5, 8-9 (NLT)
It is only by
God’s grace that you have been saved! … God saved you by his grace when
you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from
God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so
none of us can boast about it.
Acts 15:11 (NLT)
“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace
of the Lord Jesus.”
Fruit of the Spirit does not make you a Christian. It’s the evidence
that you are a Christian, but it’s not what makes you a Christian.
if you’re here this morning and you’re counting on your good works to
earn you salvation… if you think that’s what God’s looking for… then
you’d rethink that. Because while being a good person is a noble
aspiration and may help you get along better with your neighbour and
make you an upstanding citizen in our society, it will do absolutely
nothing to earn you salvation. Because no matter how good you are, you
can never be good enough. It is only through the grace of God in
response to your faith that you can receive the forgiveness of God and
experience the life He offers.
So if that’s where you’re at this
morning, why not even right now make the choice to place your faith in
Jesus. Trust Him for your salvation and stop trying to earn it. Decide
to follow Him from here on out, and then allow Him to make you an even
better person as the Holy Spirit produces the Fruit of the Spirit in
And that bring us right to this next point. You
do not become a Christ-follower by developing the Fruit of the Spirit
in your life, however once you are a Christ-follower it is to be
expected that the Fruit of the Spirit will develop.
Expected of every Christ-follower
Matthew chapter 7, Jesus uses the example of a good tree and a bad tree
to show us that if the Holy Spirit is truly part of our lives, then the
fruit of the Spirit will be the natural and expected outflow.
Matthew 7:16-17, 20 (NIV)
their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from
thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good
fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. …Thus, by their fruit you will
So the Fruit of the Spirit is not optional for
the Christ-follower; it’s expected. If you are truly following Jesus,
and if you are yielding to the work and leadership of the Holy Spirit,
then you’re going to see the evidence of that in the fruit of the
All or Nothing
not like a buffet… “I’ll have a little love, a little joy, I’ll come
back for patience, and I’ll pass on the self-control.” No, as a
Christ-follower, every one of these qualities should be growing in your
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
fact, let me point something out to you. You’ll notice that the word is
“fruit”, not “fruits.” It’s a singular word, not plural. The single
fruit of the spirit is all of these qualities. The FRUIT of the Spirit
is… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Actually, I’ve also read that in the
original Greek that this passage was written in, the sentence structure
allows for there to be a colon after the word love. In other words, the
Fruit of the Spirit would be Love, and then the definition of this kind
of love would be joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Dr. Bill Bright, who
died a few years ago, was a tremendous man of God. And in his book
simply called The Holy Spirit, he built on this very idea. He stated
that there is really only one fruit of the Spirit...Love. And this love
is manifested in our attitudes and our actions in a variety of ways:
fruit of the Spirit is love, and it is manifested in joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and
self-control: joy is love’s strength, peace is love’s security,
patience is love’s endurance, kindness is love’s conduct, goodness is
love’s character, faithfulness is love’s confidence, gentleness is
love’s humility, self-control is love’s victory.”
~ Bill Bright
[quotation not confirmed – may be a quote from the “Open Bible”]
other words, you’re never going to reach the point where there’s no
more room for improvement, there’s no more potential for the Fruit of
the Spirit to grow… you’ve attained all there is to attain, you’ve made
No, you’ll never get to that point. The development of the
Fruit of the Spirit in your life is progressive, and it will continue
to develop in your life all through this life.
But what you will
notice is that you will progress. What you will notice is that the
scales will tip more and more away from what Paul called the works of
the flesh and toward the fruit of the Spirit in your life.
are you growing as a believer? Are you producing this kind of fruit? Is
this more evident now than, say, a year ago? Six months ago? Are you
Because it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a
life-long process that we go through. And that’s the beautiful thing
about being a Christ-follower; God always has more for us every day.
But, there will come a day when His work is complete.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will
continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ
Now, I want to finish up by addressing this question:
prevents the Fruit of the Spirit from developing in us?
way back on the night of March 29, 1848, an incredible thing happened:
Niagara Falls completely stopped flowing. The over 600,000 gallons of
water per second that usually rushed over the Falls stopped. Of course,
nobody knew what was going on at first and there was some widespread
panic. But eventually they tracked down the cause.
The cause of
this event began along the shores of Lake Erie near the city of
Buffalo. For several days, the wind had been blowing to the east over
Lake Erie, driving much of its ice flow down river. But then the winds
suddenly shifted to the west, driving the lake water west and causing
the lake’s ice to break up and dam the river. And the result was that
the Niagara River stopped flowing for almost 30 hours until the ice
shifted again and the dam broke up.”
So what is it that dams up
the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives? What is it that holds Him
back, that prevents His grace from flowing over us and producing the
Fruit of the Spirit? I think there are two possible answers to that…
We are not 100% devoted
may believe in Jesus, we may have decided to follow Him, but we are
still holding on to some areas of our lives. We have not placed
everything we have and everything we are under the leadership of Christ.
may be familiar with the story Jesus told about the farmer who went out
into the field to scatter some seeds. Jesus talked about how the seeds
fell on different types of soil and how each type of soil represented
the different levels of receptivity in our hearts. We’re not going to
talk about all of them this morning, but I do want to look at what
Jesus said about the seed that fell among the thorns.
Mark 4:18-19 (NLT)
seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word,
but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this
life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit
You see here that Jesus identifies three reasons
why people may see no fruit produced in their lives. First, they’re
preoccupied with the worries, the pressures, the anxieties of this
world. They don’t completely trust God in those areas. Second, they’re
pursuing wealth. They’ve been consumed by materialism and that holds
them back from being fully devoted. And third, Jesus just says there
are other things… whether that’s career, or family, or hobbies or any
other activity that the person just sees as being more appealing, more
important than pursuing God. Whatever it is, they’re not 100% devoted,
and that prevents them from producing fruit.
We are relying on self-effort
already talked about this. But a lot of people think they can do it on
their own. Oh, they may be completely sold out to Christ, but they
think it all depends upon them. They don’t need the Holy Spirit; they
can do it themselves. They don’t need the work of God, they don’t need
the power of Christ, they’re self-reliant. But Jesus addressed that
very thing when He said…
John 15:4-5 (NLT)
“Remain in me, and
I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is
severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in
me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me,
and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do
If you are a Christ-follower, but you don’t see
the ever-increasing presence of the Fruit of the Spirit in your life,
why is that? Is there an area of your life that you’re holding onto? Is
there something you refuse to let go of? Is there an area you want to
control for yourself? Then I’d encourage you right now to just pray to
God and invite Him to take full control. And I know, that’s easier said
than done. But ask Him to help you with that. He knows it’s a difficult
thing to do, to give up full control. But He also knows that it’s well
worth it. And He’s there to help you with it.
Or if you’re
relying on your own strength, what’s it going to take for you to
realize that it’s impossible for you to live the Christian life on your
own? That it doesn’t depend on your self-effort? That it depends on the
work and power of the Holy Spirit in your life? If you’ve been trying
it on your own, then right now, why don’t you repent of that, tell God
you’re sorry for leaving Him out and trying to go it alone, and instead
invite Him to take the lead.
In fact, let me lead you in prayer…