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Fruit-Bearing At All Times (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Sermon on Sunday 12 January 2020 by Pastor Justin

A true Christian bears fruit at all times. We are chosen by God. We are called to bear fruit that lasts. False teachers or prophets come to us in sheep's clothing. We are to be watchful as such false teachers will be recognised by their fruit (Matthew 7:20).

It is disheartening when we see believers look to how eloquent leaders are when equating them with spirituality. There are 3 types of Christians - baby, carnal and mature. Baby Christians have no trust in God; they do not read the bible. Carnal Christians live by the flesh - everything is dependent on their own might and confidence and will not lean on their understanding of the bible. Mature Christians have the unity of the spirit and the unity of the faith. They place all confidence, trust and hope in the Lord. They are quick to forgive, they are gentle and lowly in spirit. We have to build one another up.

Hebrews 10:25 - Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

What does bearing fruit mean? We are talking about the fruits of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 - 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.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 - Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Jesus told His disciples, unless their righteousness is greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees, they will never enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20). Fruit-bearing is the key to spirituality. Have courage to trust and believe in Jesus Christ. When you have trust and hope in the Lord, you have no fear. You will still experience trial and tribulations even when you have trust in the Lord. It is a matter of when, not if. 

John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

The disciples, even when they were with Jesus Christ, experienced a storm. But we have authority given by God. You have an Abba Father who created the universe. We are so small and unworthy but He still loves us. Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. God's name will be glorified in your everyday living when you have faith, endurance and obedience. 

Matthew 28:20 - Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

The Corinthians were full of gifting, but Paul called them carnal. Being knowledgeable and eloquent does not make one spiritual. 

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 - And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

1 Corinthians 1:5 - For in Him you have been enriched in every way, in all speech and all knowledge.

1 Corinthians 1:7 - Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:20 - Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

A bad tree bears bad fruit. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Whereas a good tree bears good fruit and cannot bear bad fruit. If we focus inwardly, carry your cross internally, then you can show your faith externally. 

2 Corinthians 4:10 - We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Jeremiah 17:5 - This is what the LORD says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD."

Cursed are those who place their trust in man. Trust should be placed in the Lord. Some people say they only believe in themselves and they are always partaking the tree of the knowledge. They read the word just the have the knowledge of good and evil. They do not want to know God. They pursue knowledge because they think that is the mark of spirituality. 

The mark of a true Christian is bearing fruit.

1. Look up. Be upward-looking to God. What is meant by worshiping in spirit and in truth?

Psalm 73:25 - Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. 

2. Look in. A true Christian looks inwardly within himself and lives in God's presence. The object of hope is God Himself. If you say you love God, you must read His word. Our spirit man breathes through His word. If you want God to know you, you have to read the word. 

2 Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test ourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified.

Test yourself - are you still walking in the path of righteousness? How do you react when people act against you? You have been washed clean. When someone agitates you, say Hallelujah. When you die inwardly, you grow outwardly in Christ.

Acts 24:16 - So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. 

You must always examine yourself so that it becomes easy for you to forgive, to do the things that are difficult to do. This is power. 

2 Corinthians 4:10 - We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

3. Look out. Look outwardly to help and be a blessing to others. You are called to be a blessing, so that you can inherit blessing (1 Peter 3:9). God loves you, so you love others. God gives you time, so return back the time. God gives you energy, so return a part of that. Always be the first to rush to help others. Be strict on yourselves but be lenient on others. 

1 John 4:7 - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Philippians 2:4 - Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  

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