So what kind of fruit do you have in your life? What kind of fruit do you desire to have in your life?
I don't think, you know, anybody in here desires to have bad fruit, stinky fruit, rotten fruit. But if you make decisions that produce that kind of fruit, that's what's going to happen. But if you make the decisions and the choices and yield to the Holy Spirit, you can have good fruit.
Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. Just like an apple tree bears apples, as a Christian, we should bear good fruit. Today, Pastor David discusses the importance of bearing fruit as he continues in Romans 6 with his teaching, Free to Do What is Right.
Here's David. Look at verse 21. What fruit did you have then and the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. When you're engaged in sin, it brings shame, doesn't it? Now, friend, I've got no interest in making you feel shame or guilt. There's a big difference between conviction and condemnation. A lot of pastors, a lot of Christians are engaged in condemning people. I don't want to condemn you. However, I do want to see you convicted or convinced of what I'm saying.
Well, what's the difference? Condemnation drives people away. Conviction draws people to the Lord. And so while we're looking at these things, understanding these things, I want to see you drawn to the Lord. And what happens a lot of times is we forget the pain and the heartache that we suffered in those seasons of sin, if you will. We remember the good times. That's part of what draws us back sometimes. Can you imagine being in Egypt years ago, children of Israel standing on the edge, plagues have passed, Moses is the deliverer, and they stand at the edge and go, okay, well, we're free, but I don't think I'm going to go anywhere. We're just going to hang here. Do you understand that's what some believers do?
Do you understand that some of you that are listening right now, that's what you're doing? You've been set free, but you've not headed out for the promised land, into the promises of God. Now, once they got out into the desert, going to the promised land, many of you know the story, they got out there and what did they want to do?
They wanted to go back to Egypt. We miss the onions. We miss the leeks. We miss the garlic and the cucumbers.
It was such a great place to live. It's really interesting when you read the chapters before they were set free, it talks about them being in bondage and slavery and these people killing their children. But somehow they felt there was a draw to go back instead of pressing on. Friend, there's always going to be that draw to go back. Over time, that draw weakens as you press on and you press forward. The New Living Translation gives us this verse like this, and it says, and what was the result?
It was not good since you are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. Strong words there. But what fruit? What fruit? What a great question. What fruit is going to come from this? We ought to ask ourselves that question a lot.
I know that I should ask myself that question more. What fruit is going to come from this? From this activity or from this behavior, what fruit is going to come from it? Is it going to be good fruit or is it going to be bad fruit? There's certain things that bear good fruit in your life.
You know what? You are engaged in something that bears good fruit and coming here today. You made the decision to come here. Now, you could have laid in bed, you could have hit the snooze bar on and on or thrown the clock against the wall or whatever, but you came, you yielded to the Holy Spirit to come here. That was a great choice.
Why? Because this can bear incredible fruit in your life. It can even bear eternal fruit in your life if you allow God to speak to you. And I've heard people say, well, I don't think you have to go to church. You know what?
God is the one who designed the church and the church, when it's doing what God has called it to do, produces incredible, lasting, eternal fruit. It does. I've seen it.
I've seen it here. But people go, well, I don't know. I think I worship God better without all the people.
And so I, you know, I'm just not going to go to church. I've had this discussion so many times and you know what? It comes down to somewhere in that discussion. I come to, you know, I'll go back and forth with somebody and then I'll say at the, you know, towards the end, I'll say, you know what? Well, let me ask you a question. How's it going?
And every time without fail, the response is something like this. Oh, well, um, it's not, it's not going so well. That's bad fruit. That's bad fruit.
You can have good fruit and good decisions or bad fruit and bad decisions. It's me. It's interesting because I love talking to people. I love talking to them before they figure out I'm a pastor because once they figure out I'm a pastor, it gets, it just gets weird.
I don't know. You know, so I try to talk to them as much about spiritual things before they say, Oh, what do you do? You know, and then when they quit laughing, you know, I thought you said you were a pastor.
That's what I said. Oh, you know, I don't usually drink like this. I don't usually talk like this. I don't, you know, and they just start backpedaling. It's like, they just put up the facade.
It won't let me speak to them anymore. So I, yeah, they talk about, well, the church is this church is that, and you know, people's excuses for going to church or enter going to church. There's hypocrites always room for one more. I mean, you know, if that's, if that's your now understand because we use this and this is, it's very, the word in the Greek Hippocrates is aware of mask. Okay.
What that means is that somebody puts on a mask and they completely pretend to be somebody that they're not. That's a hypocrite. Okay. So if you, if you're in here this morning and going, Oh, okay.
You know, I'm, I'm good. I'm really not struggling with sin. And, and, uh, you know, even though I've rejected Jesus, I'm going to tell you, I've been born again. That's a hypocrite. If you're sitting in here today and you're going, yeah, I've been born again and you actually have, but you're going to maintain that you don't ever struggle with sin. That's being a hypocrite. But let's be honest. All of us are in this battle. Paul said in Romans chapter seven, we'll get, we'll get to it. You know, he said, you know, the things I want to do, I ended up not doing those things, things I don't want to do.
I ended up doing those. That's not Paul being a hypocrite. That's Paul being real. Let's be honest. We're believers. We're trying to follow Jesus.
You know what? We are all, if you will, just hypocrites in transition. We're trying to be more of who Jesus has called us to be. That's what I'm trying to be. Am I perfect?
Absolutely not. But I want to follow Jesus. So what's the fruit, the fruit of not going to church is it's bad fruit. Jesus and Paul, they talk about the church being the body of Christ. When the body works together, you know what?
You are an incredible. And I don't, if you're here and whatever you believe, whether you believe the goo to do to you thing or, you know, theistic evolution, I happen to believe the Bible that says God created us. So you have to stop and think, you know what? And I don't know how you think your parts just at all kind of got jumbled together, but that's a whole nother. That's a whole nother thing. We'll talk about evil evolution, evil evolution, sorry.
Um, another time, but you are an incredible creation. If you allow me to use the word creation, I mean, just the way your body, the way that like right now, your, your, your eyes are registered, you're hearing things and you can, you know, sense things. It's just, you know, get something in your eye and you're, and you produce a tear and it's just incredible. And, and God and the Bible and Paul uses this analogy of us being the body of Christ. And when the body works together, it's incredible in it. When the body is not working together, it's bad. When the body starts working, it's against itself. As a matter of fact, one word for that would be cancer.
Then that's not good. That produces bad fruit, but when we're engaged and I'm not talking about just being a spectator, I'm talking about actually being engaged in the fellowship that produces good fruit. But imagine, you know, talking about the body in a moment or whenever we close, you know, people are going to go out to eat and whatnot. And, and, you know, just eating is just, it's just a marvel. If you think about the way your brain is interacting with your hands and you're putting food in your mouth and your slaver glands are working and your stomach and your digestion, and we'll stop there. And so, and, and all the, all the things that are working together and realize, do you realize when you sit down to eat a meal, you are taking, your hand is taking a deadly object into its possession. And what would happen, friend, if your hand said, you know, I'm tired of being a hand. I think I want to be the brain.
And since we already got a brain, the first thing I need to do is take the brain out. And so there you are, you're innocently thinking your hand is going to take the fork and put the food in your mouth, but your hand is in rebellion and it smacks you in the forehead with a fork. That's the body not working gets ugly quick. Doesn't it? That's what happens when the body of Christ doesn't work together. It can get ugly quick.
I've seen it. You've probably seen it, but when it's working together, it's producing incredible fruit. So it says the end of these things is death. As a Jewish saying, sin is the seed death is the harvest. What fruit James 1 15 says this says when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full grown, brings forth death.
That's, that's the end result of sin. So what kind of fruit do you have in your life? What, what kind of fruit do you desire to have in your life? I don't think, you know, anybody in here desires to have bad fruit, stinky fruit, rotten fruit, but if you make decisions that produce that kind of fruit, that's what's going to happen. But if you make the decisions and the choices and yield to the Holy spirit, you can have good fruit and keep in mind the Bible indicates that we are to produce fruit. We're to produce good fruit. Doesn't say we're supposed to be fruits. It says we're supposed to produce fruits.
It's a life lesson here. We should bear good fruit, simple enough. We should bear good fruit. And if you're in here today and you're not bearing good fruit, you should be concerned.
Now you can begin to bear good fruit even in the next few minutes. Let me ask you like this. If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Could somebody look at your life, the way you live your life, the things you do? Could they look at your day planner or whatever and see that you were Christian?
Could they, could they look at your checkbook and gain evidence that you're a believer? Are you producing good fruit? I talked about Egypt and talked about Moses. Moses made a choice. He could have lived in greatness in Egypt, but he decided to go down in history. Oh, if he'd have been a prince of Egypt, would we be talking about him today?
No, no, no. There was many princes of Egypt. Can you even name one?
I know I can't. Maybe some of the pharaohs, but princes. I don't remember any, but how many people have heard of Moses?
Why? Because he yielded to the Lord and he, and he followed God's plan for his life instead of following his own plan. We're told about it in Hebrews 11, 25. Speaking of Moses, it says, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
Isn't that the decision we all have to make, whether to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin or really to follow the Lord? Don't go back to Egypt, friend. There's nothing there. You've been set free from that. Let it go.
It's in the past. The sin thing, the cruel taskmaster that it is, wishes you death. It reminds me of a story, and I'm not sure it's true or not, but it's an interesting story. This guy's driving down the road and he sees this little kid, you know, fishing at this pond and he figures, well, I'm going to stop and see if he's catching anything. He said, hey, you know, the fish biting. And the little kid said, well, the fish aren't, but the worms are, you know. And then the man laughed and drove on. And he got down to the gas station or whatever and he made the comment, you know, there's a little boy back there.
He's fishing. I asked him if the fish were biting and he said, no, but the worms were. And when he told it, the guy that he was talking to, his face went white. And he said, where's the kid? And they jumped in the vehicle and drove back.
But the child was dead because he'd been standing in the nest of baby cottonmouths that slowly killed him. Friend, that's, that's what sin does. And the Lord comes to you and he goes, get out of there. It will kill you.
The end, the fruit of that is death. And yet how we protest, nah, I'm good. It's okay. I'm just going to stay here a little while longer. I want to enjoy this for just a few more minutes.
How many times have you heard that? Oh, I'll become a Christian one day, but I'm just enjoying myself now. I'm not saying the world's ending tomorrow and next week, but here's what I do know. Each day that passes brings us one day closer to that event when time's done and you could still be at that starting line going, I'm about to get started. And the Lord's going to come up and say, you know what? Race is over. It's done. It's done.
What will happen then? Start 2012 off right with the new daily devotional book from David McGee, Cross the Bridge Every Day. Pick up for yourself what has already helped thousands. Cross the Bridge Every Day features 365 daily devotionals that are sure to make everyday life a God-sized adventure. This book is perfect for your quiet time, lunch break, evening wind down, or can even be used as a small group resource. With a handy subject index, you can look up various topics on your life's unique circumstances to help encourage you to live every day for Jesus. Cross the Bridge Every Day is available for a donation of $25 or more to Cross the Bridge Ministries. To order, simply go online to crossthebridge.com or call our friendly representatives at 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Cross the Bridge Every Day with David McGee and find hope along life's journey. Now let's return to our study. Look at verse 22.
But now having been set free from sin and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness and they end everlasting life. Slaves of God. We encourage people to serve. It's interesting. Every now and again, somebody might come, why are you talking about serving so much? It just bothers me.
And I'll say, okay, well, let's, let's look at it. Are you serving? Well, no. Why do you think it bothers you that I talk about serving?
Look, guys, when I, I don't, I don't shy away from the truth. It's talking about being slaves of God. I'm being kind and using the word serve. Cause I didn't, I just didn't think, you know, it'd be good marketing to say, Hey, let's all become slaves. So, you know, serving the Lord, I'm kidding, but, but serving the Lord is what we're supposed to be doing.
I don't know how we got to this place where we think that's an option. Well, I'm a Christian. We serve God serving local church. Oh no, I totally reject spectator Christianity. And if you're here today and you're not engaged in ministry, you need to understand something. I love you enough to encourage you towards doing that because that's where you're going to find a lot of the joy and the fulfillment and peace and purpose and all these things that are promised in the guy from the word. You're not going to find them at the start line.
You're going to find them as you run the race. And the Bible talks about stirring up one another to good works. Do you know the Greek word? You know, there's another way to translate it in English agitate. You need to understand something. I love you enough that if I need to agitate you into serving God, I'm willing to do that. Now, some of you are going, yeah, obviously you're willing to do that. I'm already agitated with you. The first time I've been here, I'm already agitated at you.
You know what? I love you enough to do that because I know that if you take those baby steps, if I can push you or pull you or agitate you into taking those baby steps, you're going to find out what I'm saying, what the Bible is saying is absolutely true. But if you're there on the start line, you're not going to find them. While all these things are swirling around us, there's no time to be hanging out on the storyline. It's time to get involved.
Most churches, and we've talked about this before, but most churches have about five to 8% of the people are actively engaged in ministering the church. I think that's horrible. That's the standard average. I don't know why that is.
To me, that's unacceptable. Understand you say, well, where do you get this? Well, it's, it's all in the Bible. It actually, the, the, it talks about the five fold ministry in Ephesians chapter four. And it talks about my responsibility as pastor teacher. You know what my responsibility is to equip you to do the works of the ministry. Now, how we've gotten that backwards because most churches ain't well, pastor pastor is supposed to do the work of the ministry, not according to the Bible. We're supposed to do the work of them. Could you imagine if I was trying to do the work of the ministry in this place now, it would be such a flop and a failure. Y'all hang on.
Somebody's pulling out a parking lot. I got to go. I got to go help them park and I'll run in and greet them and I'll go serve them coffee in the cafe. And then I'll go, you know, take their children.
No, no, no. As we joined together, it happens. We do the work of the ministry. You're equipped. You're fed the word of God.
You're equipped. You're challenged to do the work of the ministry. And when it works, the body works together. It works beautifully.
So in this church, we have over 50% of the people that attend this church are actively engaged in ministry. That's awesome. You guys rock.
Let me clap for y'all. Thank you. I am convinced that each person wants to make a difference. Each person wants to see themselves as people of influence. I've never talked to anybody that said, well, what are you doing with life? Well, I'm just trying to run to the grave as fast as I can and try to not make any difference while I'm on the way.
I've never heard anybody say that. The question is, are you willing to do the things that'll make a difference? Are you willing to yield to the spirit to do these things? Christianity is not just, you know, getting your ticket to heaven. It's not just, okay, well, you know, I'm going to do my own thing and live my own life.
And then I got my ticket to heaven. Jesus is talking about how to live life now. As a matter of fact, it's interesting. Life is mentioned in the Bible over 520 times. Live is mentioned in the Bible over 280 times.
And you know what? The sinful life is not the abundant life. That's not the blessed life.
It's interesting. So many people, they toll and they do all this stuff so they can be blessed and you know what? They don't end up blessed. You come to God and God will bless you. Why? Because he's a blessing God.
Yeah, rocking chairs are interesting things because there's a lot of motion, a lot of energy, a lot of activity. It's not going anywhere. And you know what?
This is the way some people live their Christian life. I don't know why I'm not free. I'm rocking as hard as I can go.
I wish I was free. I hope I make a difference. I hope I can help change the world, but I'm not going to get out of the rocking chair. Jesus wants to teach us how to live. Not tomorrow, not next week.
I'm talking about right now. And we make a decision. You'll make a decision in the next few minutes, friend, of whether you're going to follow Jesus and and listen to what he's saying or to say, you know what?
I'm going, I'm doing my own thing. Jesus talks about life. John 3 15 says that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 5 24. Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him, who has sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 11 25. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. John 10 10. The thief does not come except to steal, to kill and to destroy. And I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.
There it is. There's the enemy of your soul who wants to kill, steal, destroy, rip you off. And he's having his way with some of you.
And then here's God, here's Jesus saying, I want to give you the abundant life. And even now there's a battle going on because you know, in a few moments, whenever the Lord leads me to close, I'm going to close. And some of you are engaged in the struggle. Some of you already know I'm going to invite people to come forward and you're already trying to work through your head. I don't want to do that. I want to do it.
I don't want to do it. There's a battle going on right now for each and every one of you. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you've prayed this prayer with Pastor David, receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, or rededicating your life to the Lord, please call and let us know. We want to send you our exclusive First Steps package for free. This package will help you grow in your new life. Receive your First Steps package by calling 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or visit us online at crossthebridge.com. When you call, let our call team representative know where you heard about our broadcast. If you enjoyed today's teaching, we invite you to visit David's home church, The Bridge, in Kernersville, Sundays at 9 and 11, 15 a.m. and Thursdays at 7 p.m. You're also invited for a special presentation on February 26 featuring the Pottersfield Ministries.
Don't miss this dramatic and musical presentation that offers a vivid illustration of our relationship with the Lord, the Master Potter, and us as the clay. For details, visit us online at aboutthebridge.com. Hi, my name is Pastor David McKee with Cross the Bridge Ministries. I want to encourage you to become a bridge builder.
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