Foundations for Fruit-bearing
6 May 2012
· Titus 2:14 “He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for Himself, His own special people zealous for good works”.
· Jesus gave His life for a purpose – raise up an unusual people passionate about advancing the Kingdom of God in this world.
· Mt.7:21-23 “Not everyone that says Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of heaven…”
· Context: Sermon on Mount to his disciples
Overview: (i) The attitudes and values of the Kingdom (Mt.5) “blessed”
(ii) Doing the works of the Kingdom (Mt.5-6) “Salt, Light – Rewards”
· Key Issues raised by Jesus – Intimacy with God and Purity of Motivation.
· He will evaluate all our works what sort they are (1 Cor.3:13) with reward in mind.
· How can I be productive as a Christian? What should I do?
2. Foundations for Fruit-bearing
(a) What you do flows out of who you are!
e.g. Jn.13:1-3 Jesus – knew where he came from, where going, purpose = He served.
· What you do (works) flows out of the person you are – overflow of inward life.\What you do (works) shapes and confirms who you are.
· It is important to commit to personal growth to become Christ-like.
· We are called to be ambassadors – to represent Christ to people.
(b) Key Foundations to Build
2 Pet.1:1-11 “Add to your faith …”
· Develop divine DNA in your life! – become more and more like Him.
· Add =2023= to thoroughly furnish a house, fully supply.
· NB You develop these qualities as you serve people.
V5 add to your faith “virtue”
· Virtue =703= excellence, moral purity
· It is our responsibility to cultivate purity
· Sexual sin and personal agendas defile the heart and create selfishness.
· Holy Spirit works constantly with us on purity in thought, word, action.
V5 add to your virtue “knowledge”
· Knowledge =1108= experiential knowledge of God and His purposes.
· We need to apply ourselves to spiritual knowledge and understanding.
· We need to know what God wants us to do
· Col.1:9-10 “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”.
· Col.2:8 “Don’t be cheated by drawing from the philosophies and ways of world”.
V6 add to knowledge “self-control”
· Must learn to manage yourself
· E.g. Books – physical diet, health, rest; soul – addictions, anger, lust
· What areas of your life are in bondage? – Out of your control?
(iv) Patient Endurance
V6 add to self-control “perseverance”
· Perseverance =NT5281= to maintain a positive attitude during setbacks and pressures.
· How do you respond in difficulties? – Complain? Self-pity? Quit?
· Gal.6:9 “Let us not grow weary in well doing – we shall reap if we faint not”.
V6 add to perseverance “godliness”
· Godliness =NT2150= respect and reverence towards God
· Respect attracts in relationships. Disrespect leads to distance in relationship
· Cultivate respect – high value towards Jesus, His Words, His house
· Respect a person = respect what they have to say and who they are.
(vi) Kindness in Christians
V7 add to godliness “brotherly kindness”
· Brotherly kindness =NT5360= love for Christians as part of a family
· Jesus identifies with His Church – we are one with Him
· How we treat the Christians we see and interact with is how we treat Him
· Local church = practical expression of Christ – place to put our faith to action
· NT abounds with “one another’s” – how we are to treat one another
(vii) Practical Love
V8 add to brotherly kindness “Love”
· Love =NT26= Agape = practical kindness with no selfish agenda
· We are called “to walk in love” (Eph.5:1-2)
· Love gives a flavour to all that you do (1 Cor.13:1-3)
· Love is very practical – it serves people with words and acts of kindness
(c) Why are these Qualities important to Develop
(i) V9 – 3 Negative Reasons
· Blind =NT5786= smoke, in a haze, dull intellect
· Short-sighted =NT3467= can only see what is near, no concept of eternity
· Memory loss =NT3024= forgotten he was forgiven, lost gratitude for the Cross
(ii) V8 and v10 - 3 Positive Reasons
· Neither barren nor unfruitful Barren =NT692 lazy, idle, spiritually unemployed
Become productive in good works
· Not stumble – never backslide
· Abundant entrance to Kingdom – abundant reward in eternity!
· What am I doing to develop my inner life in Christ?
· Which of these qualities do I need to work on?
· What heart issues, bondages block the flow of the Holy Spirit in this area?
· In what relationships in my life do I need to apply these?
· How am I incorporating Jesus Words into my life?