We’re all probably, in some way or another, trying to be the best version of ourselves— a good person. But what does that look like? How do we achieve that? The answer isn’t to just get better— to be more patient, kinder, happier. Jesus, during his lifetime and ministry, was gentle, self-controlled, and loving. He showed joy, peace, and patience to all whom he met. He was faithful. He was good.
Over the next nine weeks, we will be looking to the character of God and how he defines and exemplifies the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. That fruit, in us, is the evidence that we’re following Jesus closely and remaining in him, the vine. As we spend time with each trait, we will look to the life and example of Jesus— the perfect picture of every aspect of the fruit of the Spirit.
We have the exciting opportunity to hear the sermons from this series live at each campus on a rotating schedule! Below you will find the sermon audio in the order in which they are listed in Scripture.
Zach Van Dyke
As Teaching Minister Zach Van Dyke preaches on love, we see Jesus use his encounter with a woman with a reputation to teach a religious man what love looks like. Both of the characters in Luke 7:36-50 are seeking after Jesus, but one sought him as a Savior, the other as an example. In this, Jesus exemplifies that we can only love if we've been loved, and we can only love to the degree we've been loved. And being loved is directly tied to being forgiven.
Zach Van Dyke
We serve a God who is full of joy! Interestingly, Jesus demonstrates this when He started His ministry by making a party better. And it was not just any party, but one of the most joyous celebrations we share – a wedding party. His first miracle of turning water into wine points to the joyful celebration that lies ahead at the wedding supper of the Lamb with His bride– the church. If God is full of joy, the question for us is: how can we also experience the joy of Christ in our lives?
Zach Van Dyke
Everyone longs for peace, but we can only experience authentic peace when we are free. But sometimes, our sins, our guilt, and our past take us into a prison cell in which the lock has actually already been broken, because of Jesus. The punishment that brought us peace was on Him. How do we live out of that freedom and that peace that Christ offers to each of us?
Patience in the biblical sense is much more than being calm, or slow, or unruffled. Jesus demonstrates great patience all through his ministry, but it's seen most poignantly in his emotional struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Anyone can be kind when they're having a good day. But when things aren't going well— when you're being slandered, or abandoned, or betrayed, or just plain ignored— that's a different story. Kindness is grace revealed and, regardless of our circumstances, we're to show favor to others even though they might deserve the opposite.
We all want to be good, but we often look in the wrong place to find out whether we're actually good. In fact, there's a strong chance our definition of goodness is inaccurate. Being good based on comparison is fleeting or disappointing or both, but Jesus declares that we are good enough and shows us that the goodness of God is always relational.
Faithfulness starts with an understanding of grace. It's grace that we've been saved, but it's also grace that we've been called. Our faithfulness begins with Jesus' faithfulness to us. And while faith can happen in a moment, faithfulness is built through consistent movement in the right direction over time.
Gentleness starts with treating humans like they're humans. It includes being present for hard questions in difficult situations, and it always sees a bigger vision and a better promise.
Self-control is often understood only in terms of self-restraint, but self-restraint is only one manifestation of properly cultivated self-control. Jesus displays incredible self-restraint in the desert temptations, but this power is the culmination of a controlled-self on a much longer timeline. Jesus' testing (and victory) in the desert mirror Israel's testing (and failure) in the desert. We cannot produce fruit by our own effort alone. We need to remain connected to the vine — but that requires effort from us.