Correcting The Barrenness of an Unfruitful Life

Introduction to Study Series on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23


I.         Introduction (2Peter 1:4-10)



A.      Message title sounds negative – and it is

B.       Especially because it strikes at the very heart of every Christian – “am I producing ANY fruit as a Christian?”

C.       This is the introduction to a new series of messages on the Fruit of the Spirit

D.      There are NINE fruits placed in the life of the believer at salvation – list them

E.       These are God’s replacements for the seventeen WORKS of the flesh

F.       In contrast:


1.        The fruit of the Spirit is a direct result of my personal walk and relationship with Jesus Christ

2.        The works of the flesh occur naturally – they “just happen” – they are the results of doing NOTHING – that’s why LAZINESS is the source of the majority of our sins folks!

3.        Without spiritual fruit in my life, I am barren


G.       But the Christian was not saved to live that way (2Pet 1:4-10) – se especially verses 8 and 9!

H.      If a Christian is living an empty life spiritually, then they need to realize that Christ has given them all they need already to defeat all 17 sins

I.         The fruits of the Spirit can be intimidating. Working all nine of these traits into your life seems impossible, and indeed it is. But the moment you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit began a divine work to produce Christ's character in you. Regardless of who you are, the Spirit works from the same model, Jesus Christ. The Spirit looks to Christ in order to find the blueprint for your character.


1.        The Spirit will immediately begin helping you experience and practice the same love that Jesus had when He laid down His life for His friends.

2.        The same joy He experienced will now fill you.

3.        The identical peace that guarded the heart of Jesus, even as He was being beaten and mocked, will be the peace that the Spirit works to instil in you.

4.        The long-suffering/patience Jesus had for His most unreachable disciple will be the patience that the Spirit now develops in you.

5.        The gentleness Jesus showed toward children and sinners will soften your heart toward others.

6.        There will be a goodness about you that is only explainable by the presence of the Spirit of God.

7.        The Spirit will build the same faith into you that led Jesus to be entirely obedient to His Father.

8.        The Holy Spirit will blossom the same meekness that made Christ great

9.        The Spirit will teach you temperance/self-control so that you will have strength to do what is right and to resist temptation.


J.        All of this is as natural as the growth of fruit on a tree. You do not have to orchestrate it on your own. It automatically begins the moment you become a believer. How quickly it happens depends upon how completely you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit's activity.

K.      This message is intended to help you begin to do just that!


II.       Background (Mk 11:12-14,20,21)


A.      Jesus has entered into Jerusalem – what people have called, Palm Sunday

B.       He has gone right into the Temple, and kicked out all the merchants out of it, and called for it to be returned to a place of Prayer

C.       The next day, as He is re-entering Jerusalem, He is hungry, and seeing a FIG tree with leaves, He looks for some fruit

D.      But there is none


1.        The tree is barren of fruit – empty, sterile!

2.        There are leaves – so you can’t blame the soil

3.        But there are ONLY leaves, so it is nothing more than a plant, not a fruit tree as it was supposed to be


E.       This fig tree is representative of two things


1.        Israel – lots of prophecies about Israel as a fig tree

2.        The Christian


F.       How?


1.        Both were called out by God from the world system

2.        Both were designed by God to produce fruit

3.        Both had loads of investment of time and blessings of God


a.       The Lamb

b.       The infallible words of God

c.       Supernatural protection

d.       Constant help


4.        But, for the most part, neither has been very fruitful as a whole

5.        Yet BOTH are so self-righteous, thinking they don’t need fruit!


G.       So, how could a barren and unfruitful life be corrected?


III.     Message


A.      Christ Curses the Fig Tree


1.        Corrective because it scares us away from a lackadaisical lifestyle

2.        It shows us God expects some things from us


a.       We have such a sinful disposition – only expect things FROM God

b.       But we were created, and then later saved to glorify GOD


3.        There comes a time when we need to stop taking God’s grace for granted

4.        That only occurs when people get scared a bit – called having the fear of the Lord

5.        Thank God


a.       He ONLY cursed the Fig tree – instead of us at first


1)       It was just a fig tree

2)       It was a warning shot – made it an example to us

3)       Showed how serious He was about us living for Him, instead of for self, and especially for the devil!


b.       HE Himself became cursed on the cross – instead of us (Gal 3:13)


1)       Jesus is not some tyrant

2)       He, as Judge, takes the judgment of all sins, and dies

3)       Thank God – thank God – thank God!


6.        Without this step, there would have been no way to correct our lives


a.       You can’t LOVE people to God

b.       People have to RUN to Christ


B.      Commands us to Repent


1.        We often repent of sin and ungodliness in our lives

2.        Instead we should be repenting of not nurturing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Gal 5:16)

3.        We focus on trying NOT to sin, instead of TRYING to walk in the Spirit, and do RIGHT

4.        We so often repent of what we naturally do (Gal 5:19-21)


a.       Adultery, fornication, pornography, uncleanness (of imagination), lasciviousness (self-gratification)

b.       Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (inconsistent), emulations (acting and hypocrisy)

c.       Wrath, strife, seditions (hatred of authority), heresies

d.       Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings

e.       And the list goes on, and on, and on!


5.        What every Christian needs to see is that our biggest sin is that we keep focusing only on the sin, instead of the cure

6.        God’s cure for a life of adultery and fornication is a life of giving out God’s love

7.        Every Christian needs to repent of NOT doing right, instead of repent only of doing WRONG (James 4:17)!


C.       Calls us to Abide (John 15:1-8)


1.        God has a large garden

2.        Christ is the vine – the source of all we are and need

3.        We are the branches, attached to the vine

4.        In order to NOT be barren – we are that way by default


a.       We need to “abide in the vine” – stay close to Him

b.       We need to soak up God’s word – it cleanses us

c.       We need to let Christ abide in us – be Lord IN us


5.        Then, and only then will we begin to bare fruit, and not just a bit, but MUCH fruit

6.        Those who ignore this principle, get burned so to speak by the world – by the works of the flesh


D.      Commences with Love (Gal 5:22) Which we will begin with next week


1.        Mark my words… The kind of love that God is talking about here


a.       Is NOT the world’s kind of love

b.       Is not the modern day “christian’s” kind of LUV – dopey, gooey, sickly, putrid


2.        The kind of love this church needs is called fervent charity – it includes


a.       Tough love

b.       Tender love

c.       Sacrificial love

d.       Forgiving love

e.       Radical love

f.        Steadfast love

g.       Unending love


IV.    Conclusion


A.      The Need for this message series


1.        The world already is barren – they know it – that’s why drugs, drink, murders, adulteries, beatings, hatred, all are on the increase

2.        This ought not to be true in Christianity

3.        A barren Christian is one of the most miserable creatures

4.        It’s just like a man without an accomplishment in his life – nothing to show for years and years


B.       The Cure for Barrenness


1.        Take note of Christ’s curse of the fig tree, and of God’s curse of His Son in our place

2.        Abide – stay near the Lord, His word, and His work IN your life – quite running from it

3.        Repent of NOT focusing on baring spiritual fruit in the place of sins!

4.        Start and end with love – real love.


a.       Have you accepted God’s love on the cross for you?

b.       This week, lets pay special attention as we read and study God’s word, and take notice of all the times God tries to teach us about HIS kind of love!