Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, April 14, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
TAKE ROOT, AND BEAR FRUIT
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 37:22-32
Text: Isaiah 37:31
Isaiah 37:31 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:
Introduction: Our text today points out a TREMENDOUS truth about why the majority of Christian people do not glorify God. First, let’s remind ourselves of how God is glorified:
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
FRUITBEARING glorifies God. One of the most important factors in planting a tree and seeing it bear fruit is the proper planting and care of the ROOT system. Many saved people bear little fruit or no fruit. The reason for that is that their ROOTS are in bad shape.
Proverbs 12:12b … the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.
Jeremiah 12:2a Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit …
Hosea 9:16a Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit …
I’m telling you that the BIBLE says that an important factor in FRUIT bearing is the ROOT.
Romans 11:16b … if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Matthew 13:6b … because they had no root, they withered away.
If a Christian is not a FRUIT-bearing Christian, it is because his ROOT is bad.
I believe that a root is bad before the fruit ever shows it. If someone has no root or bad roots, it will only be a matter of time before they produce bad fruit. If your heart is bad, it will eventually be known. If your thoughts are bad, they will eventually manifest themselves. If your desires are corrupt, that will be seen, too.
The message title today is, “TAKE ROOT, AND BEAR FRUIT.” If you have never been a fruitful Christian, I urge you to get ROOTED today. If you are not as fruitful as you used to be, I urge you to examine your ROOTS. You may have diseased roots, damaged roots, or dried up roots.
I want to give three areas this morning in which you must be rooted in order to be a fruitful Christian.
I. GET ROOTED IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
A. There is a POSITIONAL rooting for SALVATION
- This is something that GOD does, and not you.
- This rooting puts you into Jesus Christ and makes you a new creature:
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
- This takes place the moment a person trusts Christ, His substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection for his salvation. It is a ONE-TIME event!
- Many people who CLAIM to be saved but never bear fruit have never truly BEEN saved. That is, they are PROFESSORS of salvation, but they are not POSSESSORS of salvation.
B. There is a PRACTICAL rooting for SERVICE
- This is something that YOU do as you submit to the Spirit of God and draw strength from the Son of God.
- This rooting is a growing fellowship with Jesus Christ that enables you to be a strong and fruit-bearing Christian:
- John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
- This takes place on a DAILY basis as a believer draws close to the Lord and gets to know Him better. This is the main subject of today’s message.
- You need to build a private, personal relationship with the Lord after you are saved. In addition to two other main points I’ll give you in a moment, let me say that THREE KEYS to this relationship are:
- PERSONAL PRAYER
- PERSONAL BIBLE-READING
- PERSONAL SOUL-WINNING
II. GET ROOTED IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Acts 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
The blessed man of Ps. 1:1 is a FRUITFUL man, as we shall see in verse three of that chapter. The man who is fruitful has three characteristics concerning his association with the right kind of church.
A. A fruitful Christian AVOIDS the WRONG crowd
- See the above verse, Ps. 1:1 and
- Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
- People who don’t get their fellowship and friendship from fellow members of a local church are getting it from somewhere, usually a bad place!
- That’s a reason why we have our Men and Boys fellowship, to provide a time for them to associate with the RIGHT kind of people for fun, games, food, and fellowship!
B. A fruitful Christian ASSOCIATES with the right crowd, a Bible-believing, fundamental, independent Baptist church
- He JOINS it!
- He ATTENDS it — every time the doors are opened! I have never seen a Christian grow who attended only on Sunday mornings.
- He TAKES PART in it! This brings me to another thought about getting rooted in the local church:
C. A fruitful Christian is ACTIVE with the right crowd
- You will not grow and be fruitful without becoming more than a pew sitter. Growing in Christ is not accomplished by sitting; it is accomplished by serving and by bearing burdens!
- Notice what the Bible says of the person who chooses the right crowd in Psalm One:
- Psalms 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
III. GET ROOTED IN THE LAW OF GOD
Continuing to look in the first Psalm at the blessed, fruit-bearing man, the Bible says
Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
You WILL NOT be a fruitful Christian unless you get ROOTED in the word of God!
Let me quickly give you some ways to get rooted in the Bible, and I’m done. This is a whole message in itself, but let me just list the points:
A. Rely on the Bible
- Believe the Bible
- Trust that it is true
B. Receive the Bible
- Don’t reject the Bible because you don’t like what it says.
- Receive it with all readiness of mind (Acts 17:11). Come to church prepared to listen, to learn, and to live by what you hear from the word of God that day!
C. Read the Bible
- Do this daily!
- Get our reading plan for reading your Bible through each year!
D. Research the Bible
- Study it!
E. Retain the Bible
- Take notes!
- Memorize scripture!
F. Respond to the Bible
- Talk to God at the invitation after the sermon!
- Put the truths into action
- Let it change your life!
G. Relay the Bible to others
- Tell it
- Teach it
- Transfer what you know
Are you rooted in the Lord?
Are you rooted in the local church?
Are you rooted in the law of God?
How are your roots? Are they healthy? Are you slipping and backsliding?