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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1081. The fruit God wants to see (19/6/24)

This week in our Luke series, we are focussing on Luke 13:1-9. Today, from Luke 13:6, we consider the kind of fruit that God wants to see in our lives. 

‘Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig-tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.”’ (Luke 13:6)

This text is designed to remind us of what Isaiah prophesied regarding the fruitless state of God’s people: 

‘I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?’ (Isaiah 5:1-4) 

Lesson: Holiness - a life of devotion to God - is the fruit that God wants to see in His people


To listen to this devotional, follow the link below: 



Jesus uses an everyday example of a fig tree to teach the vital idea that God wants us to bear good fruit. In speaking of ‘figs’, it’s obvious what fruit the farmer expected to get when he planted the tree. A farmer will choose the particular kind of seed for a particular kind of fruit. likewise, God has planted in us - all Christians - a particular sort of seed and He will have a particularly sort of harvest. We read of the seed of the gospel that bears fruit in us:

‘For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.’ (1 Peter 1:23) 
‘I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.’ (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

Having had the seed of the gospel planted in us, what fruit does God expect to see in us and our churches? 

The seed of the gospel that grows by the power of the Spirit creates holiness. Holiness is the umbrella term for the fruit that we are to bear. This is how God defines the church of Corinth when he opens his letter: 

 ‘To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours.’ (1 Corinthians 1:2)

‘Sanctified in Christ’ 

In this context, sanctified is being used to teach that Christians are chosen and set apart for God. ‘In Christ’ - when we receive Christ - we now belong to God. Through Christ - His death for us - we have been redeemed and purchased by and for God.  


‘Called to be His holy people’

To be holy, like sanctified, means to be set apart from the world in order to be set apart for God. Here the emphasis is on new behaviour and attitudes. God, by the Spirit, is leading us to live out our holiness as we bear the fruit of holiness. Our being ‘sanctified’ (chosen for God) will be seen in our holiness of life because those who are ‘in Christ’ have been ‘born again’ of the Spirit, who will bear fruit in His people. 


Response

Today, we have read of a farmer who found no fruit on a tree. Jesus is using this parable in order to challenge the religious leaders of His day; they were unfruitful as they lived in hypocrisy and rejected Him. In our last two devotionals, we saw how Jesus challenged their self-righteousness with the repeated phrase, ‘But unless you repent, you too will all perish (13:3, 5). In today’s parable, we are seeing this theme continued. God wants them to come back to Him and He will bear good fruit in them. 

However, this is also a challenge to all Christians - are we bearing fruit? Holiness - a life of devotion to God - is the fruit that God wants to see in His people and can this be said of us? Are there areas of your life that you are reserving for yourself rather than surrendering all to Christ? How do you need to respond today? 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message on Sunday was entitled, How to become a fruitful tree. In this section, we see how we are to become fruitful trees and help others to become fruitful trees through ‘digging and fertilising’. 


Please read Luke 13:1-9, and discuss: 


  • What would you say is the main message and application of  Luke 13:1-9? 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • What is the shared lesson and application of the three parabolic stories of Pilate’s killings, the falling tower and the unfruitful tree? 

  • In what specific ways are you prone to self-righteousness and pride? 

  • Who is The Parable of the unfruitful tree aimed at? and why can’t it be, principally, about Christians (See 1 John 3:9-10, Luke 6:43-45)?

  • How is a Christian to apply this parable of the unfruitful tree?

  • SIV - How can ‘digging round the tree and fertilising it’ be applied to how we seek to bring people to Jesus?

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • SIV - Spend some time together talking and praying about who and how you are seeking to bring your community to Jesus. 

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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