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I’m Not Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit. What Should I Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 17, 2021 6:30 am

I’m Not Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit. What Should I Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 17, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 730 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. I work with first responders and sometimes they have to respond to tragic calls. There is not always a chaplain to help the community members, so what passages in scripture would you recommend first responders to share with people in those scenarios?

2. In John 6:52-53, Jesus says talks about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. This doesn’t seem to be a metaphor, so why don’t you accept Jesus’s words here that this is “truly” my flesh and blood as his real presence in the eucharist?

3. What are your thoughts about Christians working with their gay neighbors, how should we approach this?

4. When I read all the evidences of fruit that Christians are supposed to have, I know I lack in them, so it causes me to worry if I’m saved. Should we examine the fruit in our lives this way?

5. Are Christians allowed to drink alcohol?

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I feel like I'm not growing in the fruit of the Spirit.

What should I do? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.

You can watch us right now on YouTube. And of course, you can always email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. Well, first up today, let's go to Glory. Hi, Glory. What's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, Glory. My question is for Pastor Adriel. What's your question for Pastor Adriel? What would you specifically recommend for first responders to share with the community they serve? Hi, Glory.

That's an excellent question. It reminds me of early on when I was pursuing ministry. I was interning at a church. It was before I had ever been ordained. And we got a phone call at the church from a member of our church who worked in Children's Hospital out here in Southern California in San Diego. And there was a family there who suffered the loss of one of their little girls. I mean, it was just absolutely tragic. It was four year old little girl. And there was no chaplain on site. And so they were looking for someone to come in and none of the pastors were available.

So I was actually the one who had to go and I was wrestling as I was driving over. You know, you're trying to think through in a moment of tragedy like this. What words? What words can I possibly share? What can I possibly do in order to bring comfort? And in situations like that, sometimes I think, I mean, just depending on the context, sometimes what you do is you just go to the family, you put your arms around them and you weep with them. The apostle Paul talks about this weeping with those who weep. And obviously I think it is good to pray.

And that was one of the things that I did in that situation. So you're lamenting with the family, you're praying with the family. You think about what the apostle Paul said to the Thessalonians, you know, especially when we're confronted with death, we have sorrow, but we don't have to sorrow as those who have no hope because we do have the hope of the resurrection of the dead.

And if you're looking for one verse in particular, especially when we're thinking about this question of suffering and death, think about what Jesus said to the sisters, Mary and Martha in John chapter 11. Their brother Lazarus had just died and Jesus goes to them to comfort them. Now he's about to raise Lazarus again from the dead.

It's this miracle that he does. Many of the Jews who were there who saw that they believe in him. But Jesus says to the sisters in John chapter 11, verse 25, he says, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

Do you believe this? And she said to him, Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who is coming into the world. And so we lament, we mourn, but I think we can also point to passages of scripture that fix our eyes on Jesus and on the hope of the resurrection and ultimately that hope is found in him. And in the midst of our suffering, he's the one who can give us comfort by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

This is what the Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians as well. And so that's one verse, certainly other passages of scripture that you could go to in the Psalms. If you look up the Psalms of lament, glory in the Old Testament, oftentimes those were the Psalms that were written when the Psalmist was going through something very difficult, often a tragedy, maybe death, suffering, persecution, those kinds of things.

And it sort of gives words to those who are suffering because so often in the midst of intense suffering like that, it's almost as if we don't have the words. I don't know what to pray. I don't have anything to say to God. I'm frustrated. I'm broken. And to go to a place like Psalm 22 where we can align our prayer with the Psalmist and say, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from me? And from the words of my groaning, you know, it passages like that, that I think of words to our suffering. And yet there's also faith. There's also hope. We're calling on the Lord, lamenting before him, putting our hope in him.

I think are good places to go. And so, yeah, a really important question, glory. And thank you for the work that you do. And may the Lord bless you. And as always, thank you for giving us a call. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor... Thank you, Glory. This is CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

And we would love to know what you have to ask about the Bible or the Christian life. Here's the phone number to call. 833-THE-CORE. The phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so.

That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail that came in regarding a passage in John Chapter 6. So I know John 6, verse 52, we see the Jews are disputing among themselves, wondering how Jesus can give us his own flesh to eat.

Obviously, the question of cannibalism comes up, especially in Jewish times. We know that the Old Testament law is very against blood and making sure the Jews are not unclean. But in verse 53, it says, so Jesus said to them, very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. So here we see when Jesus is saying very truly, we know from historical acts of Jesus specifically, that this very truly means that he is speaking not in metaphorical senses. We also know that later on, in verse 60, the disciples are talking about how the teaching is difficult. We also know that Jesus doesn't chase after these people who leave him, but instead lets them leave.

He doesn't run after them saying, hey, it's a metaphor. So I was just wondering how you can explain why we would take this metaphorically. Really appreciate your question, sister. And let me just say one thing that I appreciate about your question is, and I'm assuming you're referring here to the way we understand the Lord's Supper in particular. Do we experience the real presence of Jesus with us when we're taking communion? Or is it just this sort of symbol, this empty sign, something about me first and foremost remembering what Jesus has done? But there really is nothing unique, nothing special about the sacrament, about this ordinance that Jesus gave to the church when he said, this is my body given for you. This is my blood, the blood of the new covenant shed for the forgiveness of many.

Do this in remembrance of me. In one sense, I want to say I'm with you in that if we just understand that to be purely symbolic. It's just this sort of ritual that we go through. It's not that big of a deal, which is sadly how many Christians think of it. Then there's a problem because when you look at the scriptures, whether you're looking at the John's Gospel, the other gospels at 1 Corinthians, it's very clear that there's something more than just a sort of symbolic remembrance that's taking place in the Lord's Supper. That we actually have a very special communion with the body and the blood of Jesus Christ in the Lord's Supper. Now again, the focus of this broadcast, the focus of this show is we want to be biblical.

We want to help people understand core Christianity. So the question is, where can we go in the scriptures in order to prove that point? That there's a special communion that we have with the body and blood of Jesus in the Lord's Supper.

Well, just listen to what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10 verse 16. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? That word participation, it's the Greek word koinonia. In other words, Paul is saying somehow in this ritual, in this meal that Jesus gave to his disciples, we have the body of Christ has a special communion with the body and blood of Jesus.

Now the question is how? And that's how we unpack John chapter 6 when you're talking about Jesus saying in verse 53, Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. Now I want you to note that in the context of John chapter 6 a little bit earlier, Jesus says this in verse 47, Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

In other words, believing is parallel to eating and drinking. If you believe you have eternal life, if you eat and drink my body and my blood, you have eternal life. That is, we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ by faith through believing. There is no one who receives the true body and blood of Jesus apart from faith. That is, people can go through these rituals, through these ordinances, through these sacraments, in particular the sacrament of Christ's body and blood.

But if they are faithless, then they don't receive the body and blood of Jesus because Jesus says whoever believes has eternal life. Now how is it that we experience the presence of Jesus, that we commune with Jesus, with his body and blood in the Lord's Supper? Well, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And the last thing I'll say is Jesus, I think, makes this absolutely clear. A little bit later in John, in what we refer to as the Upper Room Discourse, he talks about how he's leaving bodily. He's going to ascend into heaven. He's no longer going to be bodily present with the disciples, but they're going to experience his presence still.

How? Through the Holy Spirit. I'm going to send the Holy Spirit, the Helper, to come and to be with you. And so I would say that the way in which we receive the body and blood of Jesus is by faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit. It's not that there is some transformation of these elements of bread and wine that Jesus gives to us, that he gave to the Church.

These are signs of a greater reality, signs of his body and blood, through which we receive the true body and blood of Jesus by faith. Really appreciate your question, sister. Thank you, one, so much for listening to the broadcast and for giving us a call.

You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And as always, you can call us and leave a voicemail 24 hours a day. If you have a question you can't get through during the actual live program, that number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. And you can call during the show for a half hour at 1130 a.m. Pacific time, which translates into 1230 Mountain, 130 Central, 230 Eastern time for that half hour. We are live in the studio and would love to get your call. Some radio stations actually air this program on a delayed basis.

So that's when you want to call, 1130 to 12 Pacific time. Let's go to Jerry in North Carolina. Jerry, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Oh, hello. Thank you for having me today. Yes, I wanted to know what is your thought about doing business with a homosexual individual or a gay person, very professional, but is that something that we as Christians should not do or we can probably use this as a way to gaining this individual?

Jerry, thank you for your question. When we think about our Lord Jesus as he was walking on the earth, the kinds of people he loved and served and ministered to and sat with and ate with and drank with, they were the kinds of people that the religious authorities of that day, they just disdained. They sort of held their head up high when they would walk by these people. They judged them sinfully. And Jesus goes to them and he ministers to them and he says, look, I didn't come for the righteous. I came for the sinful.

And of course, we've had this question on the broadcast before, at least in other ways. We believe that homosexuality, gay and lesbian relationships are sinful, that they're not condoned according to the word of God, that God judges those things. And yet, here's what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5, beginning in verse 9, and I think this is a real clear answer for you. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard or swindler, not even to eat with such a one. And so Paul says, look, we're in the world, but we're not of the world.

You might have heard that phrase before. We don't need to not interact with and love and do business with the people around us regardless of what their sexual orientation is or that kind of a thing. No, we can and we ought to. God is the one who judges them and will. It's not our job to say, look, I'm not going to be around you because Paul says if that was the case, you'd have to just put yourself completely out of the world.

You'd have to run away to the hills. But God calls us to love our neighbors regardless of what they believe about sexuality, about politics, about the world, to share the love of Christ with them, to be honest with them about God's word, what's right, what's wrong, what's sin, what isn't. But there's nothing wrong, and I think that Paul makes it absolutely clear, with doing business with someone just in the sort of common world that we live in who doesn't have the same view of sexuality that we do. And so thank you for that question. May the Lord bless you in your relationships and help you to be a light shining the love of Jesus to the people around you.

Jerry, thanks so much for your call and for that question. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Summer is practically here.

Most kids are out of school right now or will be out of school shortly. And just in time for summer, we have a great free resource for families. Yes, we're trying to encourage you all to memorize Scripture this summer with your family, to plant God's word deep in your hearts. And we have this short resource, 10 verses to memorize as a family this summer, that's free, that we want you to take advantage of. You know, there are a number of just verses that we go through, 10 verses. One of them is Psalm chapter 19, verse 1. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handy.

We're just meditating on the Scriptures, friends, so that we might grow in the knowledge of the Lord. So get a hold of this resource. As I said, it's for free, and Bill's going to let you know how to get a hold of it. Just go to our website at corechristianity.com forward slash offers, and download it. It's called 10 verses to memorize as a family this summer. Our family believes in Bible memorization. We don't always do as much as we'd like, but boy, I'll tell you, it is so helpful in strengthening your faith. So check that out at corechristianity.com, or you can call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-THE-CORE.

Well, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners named Amber. Do we have to have all the evidence of salvation that's listed in the Bible? I was reading 1 John, and I feel like the only thing I'm lacking in that is love for brothers and sisters. I don't really know a lot of other Christians, and even though I go to church, I don't really know a lot of people.

I'm really introvert. I want to be able to have fellowship in church, but other than that, I don't really want friends in my life, just because I really have trust issues. But I heard a pastor say that if we don't pass that test in 1 John with flying colors, then we're doomed for hell. And so I'm always thinking I'm not saved, because I might lack in an area or two.

So I was just hoping maybe you could shed some light on that. I love God, and I want to live for Him, and I trust in Jesus. It's just when I read all these evidences and the fruits that a Christian is supposed to have, I lack in them, and so it causes me to worry.

Thank you so much. Yeah, God bless you, sister. And let me just say, you know, anyone who says, when it comes to God's law, I pass with flying colors, doesn't really understand God's law perfectly, because the reality is what God calls us to is something that we all fall short in. What you feel is what every, I think, sincere believer in Jesus Christ feels. We see the law of the Lord, His call to love ultimately, love one another, even our enemies, to love Him perfectly with all of our soul, with all of our strength, with all of our mind, and we think, oh, man, there are moments where I feel like I'm really loving the Lord, and there are other moments where I really struggle with that.

And so then we begin to question. You look at a book like 1 John, and it talks about these sort of signs of, you know, I've been born again, these signs of faith, genuine faith, and I think that that's really important, but we have to understand the context of 1 John. 1 John was written to a church where a number of people had left the church.

They had embraced basically heretical teaching, and the heretical teaching that they embraced centered on basically a bad Christology, that is, a bad understanding of who Jesus is. You see this in 1 John 4, verses 1 and following, as well as a very low view of sin. John says in 1 John 1, verse 8, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

In other words, there were probably some people there in that day addressing that church, saying, look, we don't have any sin. We do whatever we want. There's no such thing as sin. Live however you want.

Be with whoever you want to be with. God is not going to judge you, that kind of a thing. It's sometimes what we call antinomianism, that is, lawlessness. There was this heresy that was floating around at that time that was really minimizing the Gospel, who Jesus was, what his work that he accomplished was, as well as what the Christian life looks like.

It was just sort of do whatever you want. John is responding to that, and he's saying, look, if that's how you're living, if that's what you're thinking, you're completely blind, because when the Spirit of God is at work in your life, it does begin to produce love in your heart for the brothers, as opposed to abandoning the church, which is what some of the people in 1 John were doing. We see that in 1 John chapter 2.

But it really is this encouragement. And John gives this final encouragement also in chapter 5, verse 13. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. He's not trying to get them to question their salvation, saying, look, you better do this, this, this, this, and this, and pass with flying colors, otherwise you're probably not saved. No, he's saying, I want you to know, if you believe in Jesus Christ, if you're trusting in him for your salvation, you have eternal life.

And now, what does that look like? What does it look like to walk with Jesus, to know him? Well, the Spirit of God begins to work in you, to bear the fruit of the Spirit through Jesus.

And that's precisely what Jesus himself says in another place, also thinking of John's writings in John chapter 15. And I'm just going to read a couple of verses here, because I think they're so beautiful, and it's such a good reminder for us, as we think about how to bear fruit, if you will. Jesus said in John 15, verse 4, Abide in me and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine. Neither can you unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing, sister. As you rest in Jesus, as you abide in Jesus in his word, and Jesus himself, his life begins to flow in and through you, and by the Spirit of God, Christ himself bears fruit in and through you.

It's not something where it's like, I've got to just try harder and do more. No, it's as you draw near to Jesus, as you know him, as you rest in his gospel and grow in his word, the Spirit of God works the fruit of the Spirit in you. And so you can take comfort in that. Thank you for calling us. Great response, and hopefully, Amber, that is helpful to you in your Christian walk. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Let's go to Ashley in Kansas City, Missouri. Ashley, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, Pastor Adriel, thank you so much for what you do. I had a question in regards to the Bible about alcohol or drinking. I know in the story of Job, I know he would, in Job it says that he would pray for his sons and daughters after they, you know, went to a party or, you know, celebrated or whatever. And then I know in John, John the Baptist's mother, Elizabeth, you know, it said, I think an angel told her not to drink. So I'm just confused.

I didn't know if Christians are allowed to have wine or beer or how that goes about. And I was looking for some guidance on that. Thank you.

Hey, thank you, Ashley. Really a great question. And obviously there are a number of different views on this in particular, but I think that the Bible is pretty clear here. Wine is never in and of itself condemned in the scriptures. The abuse of alcohol is. Drunkenness is a sin. It keeps people from the kingdom of God. And of course, especially in the book of Proverbs, you have all sorts of wisdom there related to drunkenness and the foolishness associated with that. And I'm sure we all, you know, you know people, we know people who have really been taken captive by alcohol, an abuse of alcohol. And it can destroy lives. It destroys families. And so we have to be wise.

And for some people, I would say just stay away from it a hundred percent. But again, scripture never outright condemns alcohol in moderation. In fact, Psalm 104 verse 14, it says, You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man's heart.

Think of the first miracle that our Lord Jesus did. In John chapter 2, it's recorded where he went to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. And at the wedding, they'd ran out of wine, and Jesus takes these water pots of stone, and he has them filled up, and he turns the water into wine. Wine in the Bible is this drink of celebration. It's not to be abused, but it's this drink of celebration. It's also a picture of God's kingdom. Isaiah, when he talks about the new heavens and the new earth, the new creation, he pictures our existence there as being at this great feast, this great banquet, this great party with the best food and the best wine. And so, you know, it's a gift. It's a gift that God gives to the world, like all of his creation, that we can enjoy when we don't abuse it. And so, thank you so much for your question. May the Lord bless you. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-03 05:44:25 / 2023-11-03 05:54:52 / 10

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