Dying To Live, Week 4

Day 1: Spirit-Produced Fruit

Paul references characteristics of life that are true of disciples of Jesus living in surrender to Christ under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is important to note that the word “fruit” here is singular. The Spirit-led disciple of Jesus does not pick and choose which of these characteristics to manifest. As we live under the Spirit’s control, He produces each of these qualities in us. In other words, picture this less as a bowl of fruit from which to choose and more like a can of V-8 juice. These cannot be produced or manifested in isolation from each other. All nine of these manifestations will be present in the life of a disciple living surrendered to Jesus.

Questions to consider:
  • What is the difference between the fruit we produce in our own flesh/abilities and the “fruit of the Spirit”?
  • How does the view of the fruit of the Spirit as singular instead of plural impact your understanding of what God desires to do in and through your life?
  • If you see evidence of certain aspects of the fruit of the Spirit but not others in your life, what does this say about your current level of surrender to Jesus?
  • If the fruit of the Spirit is the result of surrender to Christ, what practical steps could you take today to see more of the fruit evidenced in you?

Day 2: Bear More Fruit

God has a process for helping us bear more fruit. Look at the verse. Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. Pruning is required in our lives. Is it painful sometime? Yes, but the Master Gardener knows what He is doing. Trust His clippers. He is only pruning away the dead growth to allow new growth to appear which will produce more fruit.

Questions to consider:
  • What areas of your life need pruning?
  • What is affecting your fruit production?
  • How has the Lord used the fruit He has produced through You?
  • Have you given Him the glory for the fruit in your life?

Day 3: Known By Our Fruit

No good tree produces bad fruit and no bad tree produces good fruit. Thus each tree is known by its fruit. This example is given in terms of how we, as humans, live. A good man’s life will bring forth what is good and an evil man's life will bring forth what is evil. The actions of our lives—what we say, what we do, how we treat others, etc.—will show if our lives are truly surrendered to the Lord or not. And if we are living our lives according to His Word or not. Just as a good tree produces good fruit, a Christians life will produce the good actions of God as a result of God’s own Spirit living inside of them.

Questions to consider:
  • What are the two things being contrasted in this verse? How can we tell if a tree is good or bad?
  • Have we taken the time to examine our lives to see if we are producing good or bad fruit?
  • Are we allowing the Spirit of God to change our lives to where our actions match up with God’s Word?

Day 4: Faith and Works

Our faith is shown through the works done through us by the Spirit of Christ. Many believers settle for “just believing.” But belief in and of itself does not show a lost world what Christ is doing in you. When we allow the Spirit to work His works through us, we put Christ on display. It is He who draws men to Himself, not us.

Questions to consider:
  • Are you allowing the works of the Spirit to shine forth in your life?
  • What has God called you to do today that would put Christ on display?
  • Are you settling for a “workless” faith?

Day 5: The Trap of Trying

The Christian life is often confused with a life of trying hard to do good. Many believers fall into the trap of trying hard to live for God. However, Paul reminds us that we are never called to try hard on our own! He tells the Galatian believers that we produce fruit and live our life by faith alone not by works of the Law.

Questions to consider:
  • Read Galatians 3:1-5. How does this passage connect to bearing fruit?
  • What does Paul mean when he says “being perfected by the flesh?”
  • How do you fall into the trap of being perfected by you flesh or works of the Law?
  • How does the truth in this passage encourage you to love Jesus more?