"BRING FORTH FRUIT"
I. PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD.
A. Immediately in their minds they would associate this with Isaiah 5
. "For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel."
1. The parable in Isaiah 5
is the vineyard that had been given every advantage and benefit, yet it failed to produce good grapes, only wild grapes.
2. The vineyard was thus to be neglected and trodden down.
B. Here again is the vineyard this time it was let out to husbandmen while the Lord was in a far country.
1. He sent back His servant that he might reap the fruit of the vineyard, and they beat him.
2. A second servant was sent and they cast stones at him.
3. And all that were sent were abused by those who had been left in charge of the vineyard.
4. Last of all He sent His own beloved Son, saying, "Surely they will reverence Him." But they said this is the heir, let us destroy Him and the vineyard will be ours. Jesus asked what will the Lord of the vineyard do?
5. He will destroy the husbandmen, and give the vineyard to others.
C. Jesus then quoted from the psalm that the disciples had just quoted from two days earlier as He made His entry into Jerusalem on the donkey. Psalm 118
, "The stone that the builders rejected is become the head of the corner."
D. In the parable the vineyard is Israel, the husbandmen are the religious leaders, and the Lord seeking fruit is God. The servants are the prophets, and of course the Son is Jesus Christ.
II. THE OTHER HUSBANDMEN THAT THE VINEYARD IS TO BE LET OUT TO IS HIS CHURCH.
A. The desire of the Lord is the same, He desires to enjoy the fruit of the vineyard.
B. In John 15
where he gives the analogy of the vine and the branches He said,
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
C. Quite obvious the fruit that the Lord is seeking is love. The agapas.
1. Agapas is a word almost coined for the New Testament to describe a love that is beyond the ordinary.
2. Man exists on three planes, body, soul, and spirit. He thus loves on three planes. Physical, emotional, spiritual.
a. The most shallow plane is the physical, thus the eros or physical love is the most shallow of all.
b. The emotional plane is deeper thus the phileo is deeper than the eros.
c. Love on the spiritual plane is the deepest love of all, this is the love that God has for you and desires to receive from you.
D. When a new word is coined in a language, it is necessary to define the word.
1. There are two places in the New Testament where the word agape is defined.
Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things endureth all things.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
2. This is what God was seeking from the nation of Israel.
3. This is what Jesus is seeking as He has come to commune with us today.
E. In the book of Revelation, John sees the vision of Jesus walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks which are explained as the seven churches of Asia.
1. As Jesus addresses these churches beginning in chapter 2 He declares to the church of Ephesus, that they had left their first love. They were commanded to repent and to go back to their first works, or else He would remove the candlestick from its place.
2. He had come to the church seeking love, and He found the works continuing, but the love was gone.
III. Things that stop the flow of love in a congregation.
A. In Galatians 5
, Paul contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit which is love. These works of the flesh are contrary to love and stop the flow of love from your life.
1. Adultery, Satan so often lies and declares that this is true love.
a. The common line is that I don't love my husband or wife anymore, I don't think I ever really loved them, our marriage was a mistake from the beginning.
b. Look at the damage it does not only to your spouse but your children who interpret it as, "Daddy or mommy doesn't love us anymore." Whatever the case may be. And in a real sense, they are right, if you truly loved them, you would not put them through such pain, for your own personal pleasure.
2. Fornication, the line here is often let's make love, it would be more accurate to declare let's indulge our lusts.
a. This is love on the animal plane, the eros.
b. It is not a true love at all. If you truly loved them you would marry them. It is taking something valuable from someone without commitment, or giving anything in value in return.
3. Uncleaness, from the Greek word Akatharsia, the word catharsis is to cleanse, put the negative prefix a in the front, and you have uncleaness. This is usually in a moral sense.
4. Lasciviousness, Debauchery, excess, absence of restraint, insatiable desire for pleasure. Self centered, not concerned for what it might do to others.
5. Idolatry. That is allowing something else to take the supreme place in your heart and life other than Jesus Christ. The first commandment was, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength."
6. Witchcraft (pharmakia) Use of drugs to come to an altered state of consciousness.
8. Variance. Strife.
9. Emulations which is envy or jealousy.
10. Wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkeness, revellings, and such like.
11. These are all contrary to true love, and stop the flow of true love.
B. These are called the works of the flesh, in contrast to the fruit.
1. Whenever you get into the flesh, you are in the realm of works.
a. The Lord is not interested in coming to a factory with all the clanging and banging, the whirring of engines, to examine how much product is coming out.
b. He is wanting to come to His garden to relax and enjoy the beauty and the fruit.
c. Some churches are like factories, may we always be a a garden.