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Inglesia del Nazareno Communidad de la Esperanza

Sermon Notes

 

December 15, 2013 : CELEBRATE ADVENT - BE FRUITFUL

 

Dr.  Burnie R.  Burnside

 

Matthew 3:1-12

 

One kind of tree that people especially enjoy are fruit trees. They are not only pleasant to look at, they produce delicious food. For a fruit tree to be healthy it must produce healthy fruit. Otherwise it is not being what it was created to be…fruitful.  Today we will look at what it means to be fruitful in our Christian walk.

 

 

Being fruitful means we “prepare the way for the Lord” and “make straight paths for him” through confession, repentance, and humbling ourselves before God.

 

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

        “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

         “Prepare the way for the Lord,

         make straight paths for him.” (vv. 1-3)

 

Repent means turning away from our sin and turning our lives toward God.

 

We prepare for a relationship with Christ by confessing, repenting, and turning from our sin.

 

 

Being fruitful means sharing the good news of the gospel with others.

 

“John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” (vv. 4-6)

 

“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” (v. 7).

 

Although they followed religious practices, their hearts were far from God.

 

As believers, we too, are to share the good news of Christ with others.

 

 

Being fruitful means we must both possess and practice faith.  It is not adequate to have one without the other.

 

“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” (vv. 8-9)

 

Those who truly repent live their lives in obedience to God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

“Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 'I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’” (vv. 10-12).

 

 

We are called to be fruitful.

 

Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

 

A fruitful life is not lived by our own strength. This is a life that is lived empowered by the Holy Spirit.

 

Living a fruitful life begins with confessing and turning from our sin and self, and turning toward God. But then we must commit each day to living under the power and guidance of God’s spirit, allowing Him to lead, guide, correct, and empower us to live a life bearing the fruit of God.

 

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