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October 27, 2021 12:00 am
The gospel bears the fruit of truth, the gospel bears the fruit of light and life and hope so that without the gospel there is not light but dark without the gospel there is not truth, but only speculation without the gospel there is not life. There is only futility in everything that people yearn for where they may think they want Jesus for this or they may think they want Christ for that but they ultimately need is that derives upon the winds of the gospel is the fruit of light and life broadcast.
We learned that God illustration marriage to describe the nature of our union with Christ today working to see that there is offspring to that union. During his ministry, Jesus often encountered people who followed him for their own gain.
But when they discovered that he had certain expectations of them like wholehearted surrender, forsaking family and possessions and being persecuted for righteousness sake. They bailed out in this message. Stephen will cause us to evaluate our own expectation of Christ and then evaluate how well were living up to his expectations of us. Let's get started. That was funny and encouraging specialty women that the pastor Jonathan Edwards dealt with this issue of human nature as it relates to marriage. I was reading it I just a few days ago about this man, who is presiding over the great awakening in this country and he was at one point in time at hundred 5075 years ago, presiding over a massive prayer meeting with just men. 800 and they were praying and a woman sent in a message she wanted the men to pray for her husband. The note she described a man who had become very unloving filled with pride and had become extremely difficult to live with Edwards. I read took that note and read it in private and in thinking that perhaps the man described was present made a rather bold request. He got up and actually publicly that prayer meeting read the note to the 800 men that asked the man if you had been described in the letter was present that perhaps the whole assembly could pray for him was he there in 300+ men raise her hand to be encouraged Dean Martin Lloyd Jones provoke my thinking when he wrote about the way we pander to the selfishness of the human nature and the unbeliever as we attempt to win them to the bridegroom we say to them things like would you like to feel better about yourself. Come to Jesus we going to have all your needs met tons of Jesus are you unhappy come to Christ to make you happy trouble with that approaches numerous among other things, those motives not only distort the gospel and misrepresent the Christian life and set that person up for a great confusing time when they discover that their life has grown more difficult since coming to Christ. They lost all their friends now under the process of making new ones but also creates the atmosphere, theologically distorting the truth of the gospel where the unbeliever is the center of the incentive and motive of being married to Christ, why did you marry. Why did he marry you. There are a number of reasons, but the one Paul emphasizes in Romans chapter 7 surprise me.
Would you look at verse four. Therefore, my brother and he writes you also were made to die to the law through the body of Christ that you might be joined to another to him was raised from the dead, that here it is the purpose clause that we my bare fruit for God. I would've expected Paul to write something like that we might be forgiven or that we might know the liberty of our union with Christ the bridegroom or that we might inherit eternal life, and all those things are absolutely true yet.
The purpose statement that Paul delivers here in this text has this rather surprising motive in order that we might bear fruit for God. Paul was writing within the context of an illustration of marriage between Christ and his bride, the church and now Paul includes in this verse, a reference to our offspring. The offspring of our union with Christ, we are to bear fruit for God. So we sort of moves a little bit in his image from that of a bride that of a living tree bearing fruit. Fruit is the expression of life fruit is the proof of life. Fruit is also the evidence of what kind of life. There is within us.
What kinds of fruit are there to give them to you very quickly.
Just before five, number one, there is the fruit of speech. In Hebrews 1315 the writer says 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. One of the fruits. That is to be born in the bride of Christ is this fruit of praise.
These lips that speak Thanksgiving sons of you notice talk like their fathers, daughters like their mothers, even the nuances and the accents husbands and wives that have lived a long time together have adopted the same vocabulary. The same expressions exposure equals influence you spend time with your bridegroom and you develop his vocabulary you develop is language the nuances of your perspective come out of your lips and you discover that your lips speak praise.
Secondly, the fruit of surrender. John 1224 Jesus Christ is truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit like a woman. I was told I recently affect just a few days ago in an email from a gentleman in our church is so proud of this testimony, want to meet up to know about it, young lady that was convicted of her lack of bearing fruit for God. She didn't really thought she was contributing to his name and began to pray nestled for some kind of opening an opportunity and she just started look around at work and discovered there was little coffee clutch of five elderly women that talk together and she introduced herself to that.
Went over and began talking to them and found that they knew the Lord to but didn't have any involvement. They worked long hours they would work evenings and weekends just to keep going.
Homework was lonely and so got impressed upon her to invite those five women to her home for dinner. She did begin a Bible study with those women. She did that to something that God would want them to do something together for Christ.
She just called. After thinking about it for a while and praying the mission in Raleigh and explain what you want to do. Is there anything we can do these six ladies and at first somewhat skeptical of this opportunity at offering. They finally said well you you seem sincere once come on at her and so all six of them without they develop their own skit in their own Bible study and they delivered it and prepared it and then presented to these homeless women and their children. That's the beginning, the minister if you'd asked her a year ago. Where was I got to bury you and where you would bear fruit. Well, it probably wouldn't be there but surrendering to the will of God as he plants us wherever he will we bear much fruit. I think the reason the fruit of many believers is a little instead of March is because our surrender has conditions. We will determine where we will be married. We will determine what fruit we will bear we determine what kind and how much and we never fully accept with surrender of the fact that God has chosen to do this to put us here. For this reason around these people. So because of that lack of full surrender. We bear little fruit instead of much fruit. Well, the fruit of the bride is the fruit of surrender. Third, the fruit of the bride is the fruit of spiritual maturity writer in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 10 said he he disciplines us for our good, so that we may share his holiness that he reproves he challenges he changes he prods. He convicts for our good, that we may share the character of our bridegroom, which is holiness all discipline then all correction instruction for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet, to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, the fruit of right living. The correction of God to the believer who will listen to the believer who will not superimpose upon the authority of this word his own feelings and his own thoughts and even when the word says don't we say we will hope to that one who will listen and follow there will be spiritual growth and maturity. When my old professors was fond of saying.
Many Christians are growing old in the Lord, but they're not growing up in the Lord. That's one evidence. There are others there is the fruit of sacrificial giving. Paul wrote these astonishing words to me every time I reread them to the Philippian believers in chapter 4 verse 15 you yourselves also know Philippians that at the first preaching of the gospel.
After I left Macedonia. That is when he began his ministry as a missionary. Listen to this.
No church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving.
But you alone. Can you imagine that the apostle Paul would go to communities of believers.
Would you help support me and everybody said no except the Philippian, but he goes on to say this to them. Even in Thessalonica you send a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek money itself. But I seek for the current time I seek for the fruits which increases to your account. In other words, what Paul is saying is that for those of you who have financially assisted me in this missionary labor what I have done over here in bringing about conversion to faith in Christ that fruit is something you're partaking up. In other words you get in on the reward. Even though you never came over but you gave a wonderful thought a person today will invest in the stock market try to pick stock and hope the shares will increase in value, and then you can take that additional value and put it in your account will we as the people of God invest in people.
People and he says here that those who become a partner in the ministry of reaching people getting on the reward as well. I can tell you is you know it well that some of the greatest thrills we've ever had of the congregation is what we've been able to give money away right part of the evidence of being the bride of Christ is we want to get involved with people and invest in the ministry.
Following on that same line. There's a fit fruit that I want to give you this is the fruit of saving truth. Paul wrote to the Colossians we give thanks to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you. Just as in all the world. Also it is that is the gospel, the truth, it is constantly bearing fruit. We are part of it are we not, we are part of the fruit of the gospel, having heard and believed. But the gospel bears the fruit of truth, the gospel bears the fruit of light and life and hope.
So then without the gospel there is not light but dark without the gospel there is not truth, but only speculation without the gospel there is not life but only despair without the gospel there is not hope. There is only futility and everything that people yearn for where they may think they want Jesus for this or they may think they want Christ for that but they ultimately need is that which arrives upon the winds of the gospel.
It is the fruit of light and life and truth and hope.
Few weeks ago Marsha and I were on our way back from the coast. Some friends of ours loaned us their beach house we traveled back together.
It was dusk and of course it had been raining. It was saturated the ground was in the interstate was and I had slowed down this speed limit along there was 70 miles an hour had slowed down to about 69 no actually between 60 and 65. In talking to my wife and I remember the steering will jerking a little bit. I must've had some water.
I pulled it back and that began this hydroplaning is our van like it was on ice turned completely around on that interstate and we were off the road backwards at about 60 miles an hour crashed in the guardrail and just took one post out after another. As we crushed her way down to finally grab this stop and we sat there facing traffic. We were just off the Lehman we turn around to see for daughter was okay and she was pulling off her headphones saying what happened.
So we knew she was all right a trauma. There van was torn up.
It will be totaled and sometime when we get to spend with Marsha's mother knew we needed some kind of vehicle so I went to the dealer.
I couldn't believe there was so much excitement about this kind of van that the value had increased so dramatically over four years and it was quite a sticker shock. 2 million. I know I couldn't get a new van and I spent a day or so, looking up vehicles and I found. Finally one that was when our price range and low mileage van much like ours, and it was in Connecticut so they know quite what to do but decided we do it the deal over the phone with the fellow did the Vin search number on the Internet to make sure that the maintenance record was clean and clear and and arrange the price and negotiated that after a while and finally got that down to where we wanted and when wit gentlemen in our church. An elder in Andrew Baird and me is mentoring love to fly a little plane and they flew me to check Shire, Connecticut, and I packed up my Bible and few papers and expected to get the van. The salesman met us at the little community airport. We checked it out looked all over and that my plan was to go back to the dealer sign the papers get on the road and drive back as far as Virginia where my parents lived and make it there by about 10 o'clock that night. It was all working wonderfully. I got the van all settled up and sign the papers getting it started driving drove about 30 minutes south pulled off an exit and up to McDonald's get a little food and some really strong coffee. They're famous for and got back into the van and wouldn't start. I have been royally ripped off. I got a lemon. I called the dealer I wanted to do a writer. I called the dealer and I said what did you sell me be honest, and he said Stephen you know as well as I do that the search that guy bought this man from us traded it back in 23,000 miles and had a lightbulb and a lock change that's it.
It's clean. So what I do.
He said well you are under warranty so you have free roadside assistance. I was filled with joy. I begin to evidence the fruit of lips of praise.
At that moment. I said okay call the wrecker. Couple hours later he came and got me and told me five minutes away to another dealer.
The stories of tagalong temperature by was away were working to get back to Colossians chapter 1 verse 10 a minute it all come together in second in about five minutes so I met this little dealer with a big garage and a wonderful mechanic named Richard dinner 27 years. All the while. Now, especially after that accident, I'm asking one question why right now the man's broken down. I've got a Bible a few bucks and a credit card that's about it for guiding called Marsha cell phone was on his last button and was afraid I'd lose all powered and have any to just back up and the salesman said look were closing but a table to look for spark and gas and he did spark it was gas and he said on why will start wouldn't not just start just made a really funny noise. I'm not a mechanic but I know a funny noise when I want to hear it was a like a dead battery.
Noise is coming, meaning meaning and just goes on like that. It wasn't bad starter it was.
It was a noise that sounded like a thousand people laughing at me for buying a van Connecticut sounded like so he said I had a come back tomorrow morning a look at it then said well sir hotel around. He said yeah there's a Fairfield Inn and Street. I said that's great. So they took me to enter a couple of blocks. I booked a room $85. I thought oh my goodness be the start of something wonderful and I was standing in the lobby and it hit me my brother of the younger brother is a salesman flies all over and has all these frequent flyer points and if I stay in a hotel related to the Marriott chain I can get a room for free with his frequent flyer. Chuck called him on the phone. I said to him, I'm in the Fairfield Inn for lid of the Marriott. Can you get me book for free suture so McCoy back in 10 minutes.
I get the Marriott people do the number because all that stuff so he called you back in 10 minutes and he said Stephen we cannot find a Fairfield Inn where you are. I said I'm I'm I'm here I'm in the lobby with your GPS. I'm standing right here so I hang up.
I'll get back with so I waited 10 more minutes becoming exit the merit people cannot find the Fairfield Inn where you're saying you're in by now. I looked around and noticed that the lobby was slow chewed up.
No air conditioning and think and this is not the Marriott Sino and I said to him when the second I walked outside forgetting I was in the city of Fairfield and I looked up and said Fairfield motor 85 blocks for that room and I said I don't know what to do, said look, there is a Fairfield Inn we found 10 minutes north of you. If you get there.
I booked a room for you to stay for free to 10 minutes with you said you I said okay I isolated the clerk we knew each other very well by now, so would you please call a taxi for me.
She said a wealth got the taxi out. He pulled up. I got in the back of the little briefcase and I said Fairfield Inn in New Haven and he said less about 20 miles north and running about 35 bucks I said is 10 minutes more. He said no it is 20 miles. I said no never been here before but I know it's 10 minutes north when II just the blood pressure a new okay to get taken again by this guy. I just got my briefcase. I got out of the cab and I said you go young somebody else's check, shut the door. I walked into the hotel and I said to the lady you give me an honest taxi. I thought they were part of the conspiracy.
He said, is 20 miles north of here.
She said is right. I wondered if I told anybody I was a pastor in that lot.
Oh no, I blew it and what to do $35 to get there.
As I stood there thinking I thought that's it. I'll call the dealer down the street it's their fault it's their Chevy is their problem. They could take me to New Haven to be glad to.
I called and got a salesman. He said look is is only three of us on the floor. He said that's an hour round-trip and I'm something people do and I don't said my one bad thing for the day so I said okay to worry about, stood there wondering what in the world why Lord K my mind, Connecticut. My mind Fairfield Connecticut getting a van been ripped off.
It will start in on the town is probably filled with liberal Democrats just fine. Why and as I stood there with very little power think the last call it head to my brother.
It beeped at me saying low battery and it cut off, and all had was my briefcase and my Bible and it which I was not in the mood to read and no money in the phone rang. The lady said to Stephen is for you. So I went over there and it was the salesman and he said you not been thinking about you. I feel really bad you're stranded. I tell you what, I'll come and get you thing. Wait till I get off work and if you help me live it with gas money. I'll take it a Fairfield Inn in New Haven and I said thank you. So I stood set walked and waited couple hours and he finally came he was on his last nickel to retired man to not a lot of worldly things. It was obvious live in an old car and move some some stuff around, so I couldn't sit in their and a very kind, soft-spoken man and he just began to tell me a story as we rode together to New Haven. He told me about the fact he was a POW for POW.
He had cancer. He was divorced solar kids and everything do the and got cancer couple years ago and it kinda beat it but not really in had moved to Fairfield because that's where his high school sweetheart lived and she was a widow and they were accommodating and he said you know I never told anybody else. This I had not told him I was a pastor similar to anybody else's. But because of the blood transfusions I've had my doctor told me a few months ago. I've got AIDS and I get six months. He said the live and do not, I plan to do. I plan this winter to go to Florida and die in the sun. All of a sudden I knew why. There are hundred things that happen in your life and mine were. I've never known what that one was very clear and I begin to share the gospel with this man as we rode along, and we sat outside that hotel the parking lot. Once we arrived and after a while he knew enough and I said do you want the Savior, and he said I do and he prayed to receive Jesus Christ, the son of God.
I gave him an assignment which I like to do when I leave anyone to Christ to sit. I want to tell somebody and you mentioned the sweetheart you get to go home and get a teller collar up till today so he said well if I do that I don't want to miss it. I want to get it wrong which you write that prayer down that we prayed so I can tell her exactly what I prayed so I said I'll do that tonight in my hotel room. I see tomorrow so when in my hotel room and I wrote that prayer that I corrected all the theology and I got to just write what would he probably should've prayed, but maybe we did get it just right and if you read it sweetheart the next day I decided it would go look for him. I spent 12 hours in the car dealer back a little room he came and found me sitting at that prayer.
I said I do Michael. I gave him the prayer. I said we need him for lunch said that nothing I said well I'm not I'm not doing either one. We have lunch together and a young believer there to pick me up at the hotel that morning brought me to the dealership. We had lunch with him. Hispanic young men on fire for Christ. So we we had lunch together. He told me since Steve and I called my sweetheart and I told her what I did. I read this prayer door and she said to me you know what I've never prayed that prayer I need to pray that prayer to and he said when we get together tomorrow we can pray this prayer together so I knew it was so clear I was eating a stand Connecticut plant a church or make it somehow back to Raleigh. I really want to come back. My family was here you were here they work for 12 hours on that Van could not find anything wrong with it. The next morning I got up I found a Cracker Barrel was kind home. I was going to go eat there found a Christian bookstore was going to while away the hours and nothing to study nothing. Read Excel my Bible and I began reading that again.
I wanted you to know that I called the dealer that next morning before I left one is gonna do this all is fixed at six yeah what was wrong with it. We don't know we just know that we replaced the computer module and and it started and is running Brandon Inge home so I went over there and got it and started home while I was writing I bought a low cable hooked and cigarette lighter and I had not yet reverted to smoking again so I could use that sees and I got a phone call and it was Michael and he said hey you know what I was wondering when I come Florida this winter. Can I stop and see. Is there any greater thrill being involved in fruit of the gospel.
What it has done in us, to us. Are we sharing with people who have no is there, the fruit of praise. Her lips is there, the fruit of surrender. For that moment in my life. I didn't want to be planted in Connecticut about you where you are right now is the fruit of giving is the fruit of spiritual maturity in the fruit of Sheri's wife Mary. This is why we married great for his glory. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom from. I trust that this time in Romans seven has encouraged and challenged you. Today's lesson is called the offspring of our union and it comes from Stephen series. The beauty of the bride before we and our time for today I want to remind you about our app the wisdom international app will work with your smart phone your tablet or smart TV. It's free to install and use and it's a great companion for your personal Bible study. Our phone number is 86 648 Bible in our office is open from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM each day. Call us if you need help with any of our resources or if we can assist you anyway. 866-482-4253. Thanks for making the time to tune in today were glad you did. Join us next time.