Prayer For A Fruitful Life in Christ

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Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-Filled Life? | Cru

Prayer For A Fruitful Life in Christ

Every day can be an exciting adventure for the Christian who knows the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit and who lives constantly, moment by moment, under His gracious direction.

1. Natural Person (Self-Directed Life)

(Someone who has not received Christ.)

Self is on the throne, directing decisions and actions (represented by the dots), often resulting in frustration. Jesus is outside the life.

“A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

2. Spiritual Person (Christ-Directed Life)

(One who is directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.)

Jesus is in the life and on the throne. Self is yielding to Jesus. The person sees Jesus' influence and direction in their life.

“He who is spiritual appraises all things…We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:15).

3. Carnal Person (Self-Directed Life)

(One who has received Christ, but who lives in defeat because he is trying to live the Christian life in his own strength.)

Jesus is in the life but not on the throne. Self is on the throne, directing decisions and actions (represented by the dots), often resulting in frustration.

“And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to carnal men, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still carnal. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshy, and are you not walking mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
 


God has promised and provided for us an abundant and fruitful Christian life.

Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Spiritual Person

Some spiritual traits which result from trusting God:

  • Christ-centered
  • Empowered by the Holy Spirit
  • Introduces others to Christ
  • Effective prayer life
  • Understands God's Word
  • Trusts & obeys God
  • Experiences love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness & self-control

The degree to which these traits are manifested in the life depends upon the extent to which the Christian trusts the Lord with every detail of his life, and upon his maturity in Christ.

One who is only beginning to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit should not be discouraged if he is not as fruitful as more mature Christians who have known and experienced this truth for a longer period.

Why is it that most Christians are not experiencing the abundant life?

Carnal Christians cannot experience the abundant and fruitful Christian life. The carnal person trusts in his own efforts to live the Christian life:

  1. He is either uninformed about, or has forgotten, God's love, forgiveness, and power (Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 10:1-25; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:9; Acts 1:8).
  2. He has an up-and-down spiritual experience.
  3. He cannot understand himself – he wants to do what is right, but cannot.
  4. He fails to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.(1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 7:15-24; 8:7; Galatians 5:16-18)

The Carnal Person

Some or all of the following traits may characterize the Christian who does not fully trust God:

  • Unbelief
  • Disobedience
  • Poor prayer life
  • No desire for Bible study
  • Legalistic attitude or critical spirit
  • Impure thoughts, jealousy, guilt
  • Frustration, aimlessness
  • Worry, discouragement
  • Loss of love for God and others

(The individual who professes to be a Christian but who continues to practice sin should realize that he may not be a Christian at all, according to 1 John 2:3; 3:6, 9; Ephesians 5:5).

Jesus promised the abundant and fruitful life as the result of being filled (directed and empowered) by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through us in the power of the Holy Spirit (John 15).

  1. One becomes a Christian through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, according to John 3:1-8. From the moment of spiritual birth, the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at all times (John 1:12; Colossians 2:9, 10; John 14:16, 17). Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are filled (directed and empowered) by the Holy Spirit.
  2. The Holy Spirit is the source of the overflowing life (John 7:37-39).
  3. The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ (John 16:1-15). When one is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is a true disciple of Christ.
  4. In His last command before His ascension, Christ promised the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:1-9).

How, then, can one be filled with the Holy Spirit?

We are filled by the Holy Spirit by faith; then we can experience the abundant and fruitful life which Christ promised to each Christian.

You can appropriate the filling of the Holy Spirit right now if you:

  1. Sincerely desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:6; John 7:37-39).
  2. Confess your sins. By faith thank God that He has forgiven all of your sins – past, present and future – because Christ died for you (Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; Hebrews 10:1-17).
  3. Present every area of your life to God (Romans 12:1, 2).
  4. By faith claim the fullness of the Holy Spirit, according to:
    • His Command: Be filled with the Spirit. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
    • His Promise: He will always answer when we pray according to His will. “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).

Faith can be expressed through prayer…

How to pray in faith to be filled with the Holy Spirit

We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. However, true prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:

“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me.

I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith.

I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now and trust Him to do so.

How to know that you are filled (directed and empowered) with the Holy Spirit.

Did you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit? Do you know that you are now filled with the Holy Spirit? On what authority? (On the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word: Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:22, 23.)

Do not depend upon feelings. The promise of God's Word, not our feelings, is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).

The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be futile to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we, as Christians, do not depend upon feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.

How to walk in the Spirit

Faith (trust in God and in His promises) is the only means by which a Christian can live the Spirit-directed life. As you continue to trust Christ moment by moment:

  1. Your life will demonstrate more and more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) and will be more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
  2. Your prayer life and study of God's Word will become more meaningful.
  3. You will experience His power in witnessing (Acts 1:8).
  4. You will be prepared for spiritual conflict against the world (1 John 2:15-17); against the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17); and against Satan (1 Peter 5:7-9; Ephesians 6:10-13).
  5. You will experience His power to resist temptation and sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19-23; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 6:1-16).

Spiritual Breathing

By faith you can continue to experience God's love and forgiveness.

If you become aware of an area of your life (an attitude or an action) that is displeasing to the Lord, even though you are walking with Him and sincerely desiring to serve Him, simply thank God that He has forgiven your sins – past, present and future – on the basis of Christ's death on the cross. Claim His love and forgiveness by faith and continue to have fellowship with Him.

If you retake the throne of your life through sin – a definite act of disobedience – breathe spiritually.

Spiritual breathing (exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure) is an exercise in faith that enables you to continue to experience God's love and forgiveness.

  1. Exhale – confess your sin – agree with God concerning your sin and thank Him for His forgiveness of it, according to 1 John 1:9 and Hebrews 10:1-25. Confession involves repentance – a change in attitude and action.
  2. Inhale – surrender the control of your life to Christ, and appropriate (receive) the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith. Trust that He now directs and empowers you; according to the command of Ephesians 5:18, and the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15.
     

Get the Spirit-Filled Life Starter Kit

Adapted from Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-Filled Life? by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.

Источник: https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/the-spirit-filled-life.html

Be Fruitful

Prayer For A Fruitful Life in Christ
Fifteen years ago, we launched Boundless — passionate about directing the hopes and questions of the young adult years to a God who does “exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.” Between us, we’ve written hundreds of articles, blogs and Q&As on relationships, marriage, children, time, money, planning, work, prayer, Scripture and more.

But we’ve come to see a common theme throughout much of our writing that we’ve never focused on specifically.

We believe it’s an essential message to guide you in your Christian walk throughout all of life — a simple encouragement bringing clarity for those who wonder what to do with their life, who seek direction in work, in education, in relationships, and in ministry calling.

It’s the first two words the Bible records God speaking to humankind, and it’s an expectation He maintains throughout the Bible: “Be fruitful.”

Theologian Andreas Köstenberger explains that the bearing of fruit is God’s “primary creative and redemptive purpose.”See Genesis 1:28, 9:1, 17:6, 35:11, 48:4, Deuteronomy 28:1-4, Ps. 92:12-14, 127:1-5, 128: 1-6, Proverbs 31:16 and 31, Ez.

36:8-11, Matthew 3:8-10, 7:15-20, 13:23, 21:33-41, John 4:36, 12:24, John 15:1-16, Romans 6:21-7:6, Galatians 5:19-22, Ephesians 5:7-11, Philippians 1:21-22, Colossians 1:3-10, Hebrews 12:11, and Revelation 22:1-2 “By this my Father is glorified,” Jesus said to His disciples, “that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8). “We are to be productive,” says R.C. Sproul. “….

the idea of being productive is not the invention of capitalism; it is the mandate of Christ. He saves us in our futility and calls us to be fruitful.”

This is what God expects of His creation, what proves we are Christ’s disciples and what glorifies the Father. So, are you fruitful?

Perhaps the greatest impediment to fruitfulness is that we are notoriously conditioned to be consumers. It’s easy to take for granted just how much we are habituated to consume and how that affects our ability to be fruitful.

Consumption, of course, is a normal part of life. We need food, clothing, housing, and many other necessities.

What challenges fruitfulness, however, is a preoccupation with consumption that outpaces the corresponding role we are to play as producers.

Modern Marketing

A couple of years ago we visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. One of the most fascinating sections of the museum told about the birth of modern marketing. It explained that efficiencies in industrialization resulted in a supply of goods that outpaced demand. As a result, manufacturers needed to encourage people to desire, and then buy, things they didn’t necessarily need.

Modern marketers are now highly advanced in that science, carefully cultivating our appetites as consumers. Consider in 1950 there were 50,000 consumer goods for sale. Now? You can choose from 24 million consumer goods, and that’s just on Amazon.com.

Writing at the Huffington Post, George Washington University professor Amitai Etzioni said, “A culture in which the urge to consume dominates the psychology of citizens is a culture in which people will do most anything to acquire the means to consume — working slavish hours, behaving rapaciously in their business pursuits, and even bending the rules in order to maximize their earnings. They will also buy homes beyond their means and think nothing of running up credit-card debt.” Not surprisingly, the average U.S. credit card debt now stands at $15,325.

Far from satisfying our longings, consuming increases our appetites, leaving us always wanting more. Self-reported happiness levels peaked in surveys in the United States in 1957, a point in which Americans consumed half as much as they do today.

This consumer anxiety and unhappiness spreads as it moves beyond our purchasing decisions and into our attitudes toward education, work, relationships and faith. “No longer merely an economic system, consumerism has become the American worldview,” writes Skye Jethani in Leadership Journal. The most damaging reality about this spread is how it keeps us from grasping the hope of the Gospel.

Jethani goes on to explain that consumerism is now, “the framework through which we interpret everything else, including God, the gospel, and church.”

Our souls need the truth Jesus revealed to His disciples the night of the Last Supper:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. … As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.

Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:1-11, ESV).

There’s so much we could say about these words, but we’ll focus on three encouragements: abide in the vine, trust the pruning of the vinedresser, and pray for fruitfulness for God’s glory.

Abide in the Vine

The primary appeal Jesus makes to His disciples in these words is to abide in Him as their source for life. “The union between the branch of a vine and the main stem, is the closest that can be conceived,” J.C. Ryle writes. “It is the whole secret of the branch’s life, strength, vigor, beauty and fertility. Separate from the parent stem, it has no life on its own.”

In fact, Christ clearly says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” We have to humbly concede that we are dependent on Him for everything.

As Paul writes to the Colossians, “For by him [Jesus] all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Additionally, it’s only through uniting to the obedient life, substitutionary death and victorious resurrection of Christ that we can escape the death we deserve for our disobedience and “works of the flesh” (see Galatians 5:15-25).

Notice Jesus’ warning: “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

” Judas, who even as Jesus spoke these words was in the act of betraying Him, many people associate with Jesus, but are proven to be lifeless branches that aren’t truly abiding in the vine.

So what does it look to abide in Christ? Jesus explains that abiding in Him means having His words abide in us as well as following His commands as He followed His Father’s commands. Fruitfulness comes from our regular consumption of Scripture (and the kind of meditation and trust that causes those words to abide in us) and from obedience — humbly following Jesus as Lord of our lives.

Trust the Pruning of the Vinedresser

Marketers have taught us to believe that there are many things we deserve, that we are always right, and that we should have things our way. But God lovingly saves us from that kind of self-centered nonsense.

When He saves us, He also graciously conforms us into the image of His Son. “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away,” Jesus told His disciples, before adding, “and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

” God prunes fruitful vines to produce more fruit.

“Just as the vine-dresser prunes and cuts back the branches of a fruitful vine, in order to make them more fruitful, so does God purify and sanctify believers by the circumstances of life in which He places them,” J.C. Ryle writes.

“By trial He weans them from the world, draws them to Christ, drives them to the Bible and prayer, shows them their own hearts, and makes them humble. This is the process by which He ‘purges’ them, and makes them more fruitful.

” This goes against every consumer impulse in us, but it’s the most loving work God can do for us. “Fruit is the thing that our Master desires to see in us,” Ryle adds, “and He will not spare the pruning knife if He sees we need it.

” This is clear in Hebrews 12:11: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Feel the burn. Accept deprivation of some of your desires as God’s good design and not as His failure in your life. Embrace the pruning and bear more fruit.

Pray for Fruitfulness for God’s Glory

As you abide in the vine, reading and meditating on the nourishment of the Word; as you obey Christ as He obeyed the Father; and as you embrace God’s pruning work, pray.

Notice Jesus’ words: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

” And then He concludes by saying, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

What a generous gift. What an amazing offer to someone who is exhausted by the consumer treadmill, being constantly manipulated by marketing, and consistently being disappointed by promises made by brands who knew they were only selling the equivalent of sugar water.

“Ask whatever you wish.” “Joy.” These are words our souls need. John Piper summarizes these Scriptures by saying, “God designed prayer to give His disciples the joy of bearing fruit while God Himself gets the glory.

” So pray boldly for fruitfulness marked by joy and all for God’s glory.

You may be asking what kind of fruit you should specifically pray for. Theologians have brought different thoughts to this question. Some believe the “fruit” Jesus describes is obedience while others see it as sharing the Good News. Other theologians take an “all of the above … and more” approach.

“[T]he ‘fruit’ in the vine imagery represents everything that is the product of effective prayer in Jesus’ name,” D.A. Carson writes, “including obedience to Jesus’ commands (John 15: 10), experience of Jesus’ joy (v. 11), love for one another (v. 12), and witness to the world (vv. 16, 27).

This fruit is nothing less than the outcome of preserving dependence on the vine, driven by faith, embracing all of the believer’s life and the product of his witness.”

This is why we should pray boldly for fruit throughout our lives that brings glory to God — in our learning, work, life in a local church body, neighborhood relationships, friendships, dating relationships, marriages, parenting, mentoring, engagement in the public square, and more —in other words, every sphere of life where God for His glory is re-commissioning us as His creation to “be fruitful.”

One book about cradle-to-grave marketing says those born in the industrialized world are “born to shop,” but for those God has redeemed, we’ve been born again to be fruitful. This is our calling. Abide in the vine through Christ, trust God as He prunes you, and pray that He will produce fruit that will last in every area of your life for His glory.

Copyright 2013 Steve and Candice Watters. All rights reserved.

Источник: https://www.boundless.org/faith/be-fruitful/

The Spirit-Filled Life

Prayer For A Fruitful Life in Christ

by Dr. Bill Bright. – The following is taken from a booklet written called ‘How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit’. It explains how Christians can live their Christian lives with fulfillment and not become defeated by sin.

Every day can be an exciting adventure for the Christian who knows the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit and who lives constantly, moment by moment, under His gracious direction.

1. Natural Man

(one who has not received Christ)

“A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

2. Spiritual Man

(One who is directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit)

“He who is spiritual appraises all things…We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:15)

3. Carnal Man

(One who has received Christ, but who lives in defeat because he is trying to live the Christian life in his own strength)

“And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to carnal men, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still carnal. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshy, and are you not walking mere men?”
(1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

Jesus said,  “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

“I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10).”I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

”But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

”But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Spiritual Person

Some spiritual traits which result from trusting God:

TRAITS

The degree to which these traits are manifested in the life depends upon the extent to which the Christian trusts the Lord with every detail of his life, and upon his maturity in Christ.

One who is only beginning to understand the ministry of the Holy Spirit should not be discouraged if he is not as fruitful as more mature Christians who have known and experienced this truth for a longer period.

Why is it that most Christians are not experiencing the abundant life?

The carnal man trusts in his own efforts to live the Christian life:

  1. He is either uninformed about, or has forgotten, God’s love, forgiveness, and power (Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 10:1-25; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:9; Acts 1:8).
  2. He has an up-and-down spiritual experience.
  3. He cannot understand himself – he wants to do what is right, but cannot.
  4. He fails to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life.  (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 7:15-24; 8:7; Galatians 5:16-18)

The Carnal Person

Some or all of the following traits may characterize the Christian who does not fully trust God:

TRAITS

(The individual who professes to be a Christian but who continues to practice sin should realize that he may not be a Christian at all, according to 1 John 2:3; 3:6, 9; Ephesians 5:5).

The third truth gives us the only solution to this problem…

The Spirit-filled life is the Christ-directed life by which Christ lives His life in and through us in the power of the Holy Spirit (John 15).

  1. One becomes a Christian through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, according to John 3:1-8. From the moment of spiritual birth, the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at all times (John 1:12; Colossians 2:9, 10; John 14:16, 17).Though all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not all Christians are filled (directed and empowered) by the Holy Spirit.
  2. The Holy Spirit is the source of the overflowing life (John 7:37-39).
  3. The Holy Spirit came to glorify Christ (John 16:1-15). When one is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is a true disciple of Christ.
  4. In His last command before His ascension, Christ promised the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:1-9).

How, then, can one be filled with the Holy Spirit?

You can appropriate the filling of the Holy Spirit right now if you:

  1. Sincerely desire to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:6; John 7:37-39).
  2. Confess your sins. By faith thank God that He has forgiven all of your sins – past, present and future – because Christ died for you (Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 1; 2:1-3; Hebrews 10:1-17).
  3. Present every area of your life to God (Romans 12:1, 2).
  4. By faith claim the fullness of the Holy Spirit, according to:
    • His Command: Be filled with the Spirit. “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
    • His Promise: He will always answer when we pray according to His will. “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).

Faith can be expressed through prayer…

We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. However, true prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:

“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me.

I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith.

I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now and trust Him to do so.

How to know that you are filled (directed and empowered) with the Holy Spirit

Did you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit? Do you know that you are now filled with the Holy Spirit? On what authority? (On the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word: Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:22, 23.)

Do not depend upon feelings. The promise of God’s Word, not our feelings, is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).

The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be futile to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we, as Christians, do not depend upon feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.

How to Walk in the Spirit

Faith (trust in God and in His promises) is the only means by which a Christian can live the Spirit-directed life. As you continue to trust Christ moment by moment:

  1. Your life will demonstrate more and more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) and will be more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
  2. Your prayer life and study of God’s Word will become more meaningful.
  3. You will experience His power in witnessing (Acts 1:8).
  4. You will be prepared for spiritual conflict against the world (1 John 2:15-17); against the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17); and against Satan (1 Peter 5:7-9; Ephesians 6:10-13).
  5. You will experience His power to resist temptation and sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19-23; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 6:1-16).

Spiritual Breathing

By faith you can continue to experience God’s love and forgiveness.

If you become aware of an area of your life (an attitude or an action) that is displeasing to the Lord, even though you are walking with Him and sincerely desiring to serve Him, simply thank God that He has forgiven your sins – past, present and future – on the basis of Christ’s death on the cross. Claim His love and forgiveness by faith and continue to have fellowship with Him.

If you retake the throne of your life through sin — a definite act of disobedience — breathe spiritually.

Spiritual breathing (exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure) is an exercise in faith that enables you to continue to experience God’s love and forgiveness.

  1. Exhale — confess your sin — agree with God concerning your sin and thank Him for His forgiveness of it, according to 1 John 1:9 and Hebrews 10:1-25. Confession involves repentance – a change in attitude and action.
  2. Inhale — surrender the control of your life to Christ, and appropriate (receive) the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith. Trust that He now directs and empowers you; according to the command of Ephesians 5:18, and the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15.

Adapted from Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-Filled Life? by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.

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Источник: https://thoughts-about-god.com/biblestudies_/spiritfilledlife

What Does Bearing Fruit or Being A Fruitful Christian Mean? A Bible Study

Prayer For A Fruitful Life in Christ

The Bible mentions having or bearing fruit.  What does it mean?  What fruit does a faithful Christian bear?

What is Fruit?

The Greek word used for “fruit” is “karpos” and it refers to the fruit of vines or trees.  In the Old Testament it can refer to one’s children which are born of a family. In the case of bearing fruit for the Christian, it specifically means to be producing something similar to what the attributes of the tree or plant is.

For example, a vine can produce grapes and the fruit that is born is of similar nature and quality of the plant from which it comes.

  The key is that the fruit that it must be bearing is of the same type, quality, and substance of that which it comes from and when the Bible speaks about bearing fruit, there are only two options;  it will be fruit of the Spirit or fruit of the flesh.

Every Christian should be bearing fruit of the Spirit…

Fruits of the Flesh

Paul writes about two different kinds of fruits in Galatians chapter 5 and says “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Gal 5:16-17).

  The fruits of the flesh are evident in most of the world, among those who are not saved.  The fruits of the flesh include “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things these” (Gal 5:19-21a).

  Where do these kinds of fruits lead someone?  Paul answers that by writing “I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21b).  The rationality of this is if they aren’t inheriting the kingdom, then they are inheriting the wrath of God (Rev 21:12-15).

  Sometimes even a Christian can bear these types of fruit because they are still battling the old desires which is what Paul meant when he wrote “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:19).  The difference is that Paul didn’t want to do these things and neither do those who are born again.

  Those who are of the world have no problem with doing these things (Gal 5: 19-21a) but the Christian knows these are not good and desires to do good.

Fruits of the Spirit

Next, Paul writes about what the fruits of the Spirit are.  The “Spirit” is capitalized, meaning that it’s a proper noun, which is a person and in this case, the Spirit is God the Holy Spirit for we can’t produce godly fruit while we’re in the flesh or without the Spirit’s help.

  Paul tells us what the fruits of the Spirit are in Galatians chapter 5 “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).

  These are fruits that are attributes of God patience, joy, and faithfulness.  The fruit will closely resemble the parent plant, in this case the Spirit of God.

  We cannot see in the human heart to know who is saved and who isn’t but we can see the fruit of a person’s life or the absence thereof, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24).

  So a believer in Christ has crucified the flesh and that means the fruits of the flesh will be less visible but those who are born of the Spirit are crucifying or killing “the flesh with its passions and desires.”  A person who’s not born again cannot produce these fruits and doesn’t care if they’re not.

The Source of the Fruit

Jesus told the disciples “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  The key here is that apart from abiding in the vine, we cannot produce anything at all which is why He said “Abide in me, and I in you.

 As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).  You will never see a branch producing any fruit unless it’s attached to the vine.

  It’s not hard…it’s impossible so we must be abiding in Christ for He says “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

  If we abide in Christ we will produce fruit and when Jesus said His words must be abiding in us that means that we must be abiding in or dwelling in the Word of God for Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus (John 1:1, 14).  Apart from abiding in Christ and His Word, the Bible, we can do nothing at all (John 15:5) and nothing does not mean a little something.

  Jude described those who are headed for destruction as “fruitless trees” (Jude 1:12) meaning that there will be no fruit of the Spirit in those who are not abiding in Christ and in His Word.  What is missing is “the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:11) and “the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Rom 6:22) for which we were called “in order that we may bear fruit for God” (Rom 7:4).

Conclusion

As I wrote before, we cannot see into a human heart to know whether someone is saved or not but we can see what type of fruit is born.

  In other words, we can be fruit inspectors and we can tell if there is no fruit and if there is no fruit, there is no root and if the only fruit you see is that of the flesh, you can reasonably assume that person might not be saved.

  If you are abiding in Christ then you will be abiding in His Word, the Bible and you will be producing fruit of the Spirit.  The word “abide” means to dwell in, to live in, and be present in.

  Every Christian should be bearing fruit of the Spirit; some more and some not as much but every believer should be bearing at least some fruit but if someone claims to be a Christian and is bearing no godly fruit and you only see fruit of the flesh, you need to witness to that person because it could well be that they are not really saved.

More about some good fruit: Fruit of the Spirit

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Источник: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-does-bearing-fruit-or-being-a-fruitful-christian-mean-a-bible-study/

Study 4 THE WAY TO BECOME A FRUITFUL CHRISTIAN – Words of Life Ministries

Prayer For A Fruitful Life in Christ

THE SECOND LETTER OF PETER by Francis Dixon

Scripture Portion: 2 Peter 1: 5-15

In 2 Peter 1:5-11 we are given very clear guidance about becoming fruitful Christians. The key verse is verse 8. It should be the burning desire of every Christian to become fruitful; the alternative is to remain barren and unfruitful –- to be unproductive, the withered fig tree (Mark 11:20).

How many Christians are this! – and the Lord’’s desire is that each of us should be fruitful (John 15:1-16). In the KJV notice ““fruit”” (v.2), ““more fruit”” (v.2), ““much fruit”” (v.5), and ““that your fruit should remain”” (verse 16, KJV). It is only as we bear fruit that the Lord is glorified (v.8).

How can we bear much fruit, how can we become fruitful Christians? The answer is very important: we shall only become fruitful Christians as we do something, strenuously, regularly and conscientiously. This is brought out in verse 5, where Peter says we must “”add”” –- not casually and occasionally, but ““make every effort””.

The argument which Peter places before us is this: ‘God has done His part in giving you the gift of faith (v.1), in bringing you to a knowledge of Himself (vs. 2 and 3), and in making you a partaker of His divine nature (v.4); now you must do your part, and you will become a fruitful Christian.

’ Verses 5, 6 and 7 tell us that we must exercise our faith by adding to ourselves seven virtues or graces. God has given us the gift of faith, and on this foundation and by using this gift we must add –- what?

1. GOODNESS (verse 5)

This means ‘‘moral excellence’’ or ‘‘good character’’. Compare Acts 11:24, but notice this: it is a manly goodness, a quality that is masculine, vigorous and strong –- something which is greatly needed in our churches: men and women who are those of genuine and virile Christian character.

2. KNOWLEDGE (verse 5)

This means ‘’wisdom’’ in the sense of knowing how to act as a Christian in relationships and duties of life.

If we need counsel there are some friends to whom we can gladly go to seek such counsel, and we go to them because they have knowledge and wisdom; they know what to advise and how to act and they have spiritual intelligence; but we do not have to go to man to get such knowledge and wisdom –- Psalm 32:8 and Proverbs 2:6.

3. SELF-CONTROL (verse 6)

If we are characterised by this virtue it means that our desires will be under the Lord’’s mastery and control, and not only those, but our judgments, tastes, speech and everything else. This is what it means to be ““filled with the Spirit”” (Ephesians 5:18).

There is a special reference here to the mastery of sexual desires, which are very strong in any normal and healthy person; they are God’’s gift but must be brought under and kept under control, requiring discipline.

Does your body master you, or are you master of your body?

4. PERSEVERANCE (verse 6)

This is meant to convey the idea of endurance. The Christian pilgrimage is a very hard one, and as we travel on to Glory we are to “”endure hardship…… a good soldier of Christ Jesus”” (2 Timothy 2:3); compare James 1:2-6 and 12. We are to be people of grit as well as grace (Hebrews 11:27 and 32-38).

5. GODLINESS (verse 6)

This is the old-fashioned word we know best as piety, or reverence, referring to a quality which is very much needed today.

There is no suggestion of being sad and sombre, but we are to be characterised by a sanctity and a seriousness, a Christ-ness (1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and 1 Timothy 6:3,5,6,11).

There is a beautiful illustration of godliness in action in 2 Kings 4:8-10. Do others perceive that we are holy, godly and Christ-? –- look up Acts 4:13.

6. BROTHERLY KINDNESS (verse 7)

The word is ‘‘philadelphia’’, which means ‘‘brotherly affection’’. We as Christians are to develop kindness to those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ –- look up Galatians 6:10, and compare 1 Peter 3:8-9. What scope there is for exercising this grace!

7. LOVE (verse 7)

This should be the great characteristic of every Christian, and if we want to know what love is and how it is expressed, all we have to do is to read 1 Corinthians chapter 13. It means that we should not only love the people of God, but love all people.

These are the seven graces that we, through the exercising of faith, should constantly be adding to our lives, and we shall become fruitful Christians. What will be the result of the adding of these seven graces:

  1. (1) We shall no longer be barren and unproductive, but increasingly fruitful, especially in the knowledge of God –- see verse 8.
  2. (2) We shall no longer be blind, but spiritually enlightened –- see the first part of verse 9.
  3. (3) We shall no longer be forgetful of all that the Lord has done for us, but we shall be constantly filled with gratitude to Him for His grace to such unworthy people as ourselves –- see the second part of verse 9.
  4. (4) We shall no longer be ly to stumble spiritually, but we shall be ““strong in the Lord and in his mighty power”” (Ephesians 6:10) –- see verse 10.
  5. (5) We shall not suffer loss, but we shall receive a reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-15) –- see verse 11.

We must see to it that we do all in His power to become fruitful Christians.

Источник: https://www.wordsoflife.co.uk/bible-studies/study-4-the-way-to-become-a-fruitful-christian/

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