In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about the imprint of God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the way to spiritual growth in Christ. Here is an excerpt:

The Character of Jesus– Imprint of God’s Spirit

When our lives and relationships show forth the character of Jesus; when our sisters and brothers in Christ, our family members, friends, neighbors, classmates, teammates, and co- workers can see the imprint of God’s Spirit in our lives; it brings joy to the heart of God and a smile to His face.

How does the fruit of the Spirit grow in the garden of your life and mine?

Spiritual Growth is a Gradual Process

The first thing to recognize is that it takes time. Unlike the apples that appeared suddenly and miraculously on that pear tree, the fruit of the Spirit doesn’t grow overnight. Or automatically. It takes time. By God’s grace, the fruit of the Spirit will grow bit by bit as the Holy Spirit works gradually in your life.

Obedience

It takes obedience, too. It takes obedience to God and a heart yielded to the Holy Spirit. Someone (Terry Fullam) put it this way: “The fruit of the Spirit grows only in the garden of obedience.” If you want to bear the imprint of God’s Spirit, you must learn and practice obedience in both the big things and the little things of life.

Staying Connected to Jesus and to Other Believers

It takes being connected to Jesus, like branches connected to a vine. Listen to Jesus in John 15: “In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me” (John 15:4, MSG). Apart from Jesus, we can’t produce anything good. But if we are connected to Him, if we remain in Him and He in us, we will bear much spiritual fruit and bring glory to God the Father (John 15:5,8).

It also takes being connected and staying connected, whenever possible, to the fellowship of believers, to one another, in loving relationships where the fruit of a Christlike character can be modeled, encouraged, and developed. Do not minimize the importance of being connected to one another in the body of Christ.

Devotion to God’s Word

It takes devotion to God’s Word. It takes being tuned in to the voice of God. The writer of Psalm 1 compares those who delight in God’s Word and meditate on it continually, who not only hear God’s Word but live by it, to a tree planted by a riverbank that bears fruit season after season without fail. It takes devotion to the Word of God. And there is no substitute for it.

The Imprint of God’s Spirit Cannot be Produced by Ourselves

It takes the power of God’s Spirit at work in us, because you and I cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit by ourselves. The Holy Spirit puts His imprint on us and makes us more like Jesus as we yield to His rule in our lives. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit, which is always available to you and me. And it takes our resolve to keep in step with the Spirit and to follow where He leads…

The fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and remote control (I mean, self-control) – is a sign of a healthy Christian life. Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.

January 9, 2022

Galatians 5: 16-25

Dr. Neil Smith

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