Sermon 9, May 5: Genesis 3:1-5; Galatians 5:18-26 “From Forbidden Fruit to Bidden Fruit”
Discussion Questions: Our focus here is on what “fruit” represents, stands for, or means in these passages. We have words we use when we are ‘stretching’ the truth or hyperbolizing / exaggerating, words that say more than is true. Such as “You always… No one ever… Which such word does the serpent use in verse 1 of Gen 3? In the last part of Eve’s reply in verse 3, is she directly quoting God? What is she doing there with the truth? In verses 4 and 5, what does the serpent say the fruit can do? Is he lying in those 3 statements? Look at verse 7 (and at 3:21ff). Are their eyes opened? Are they more like God? Do they know Good and Evil? What is their immediate response to whatever changed? Why would they act as they do in verse 8? Having looked at and reflected on that, what does the “Fruit” represent? Now to Galatians 5:18-26. Do you find what Paul writes in 16-21 related to what we just looked at in Genesis 3? What would be “contrary to the Spirit” in Gen 3? Are desires mentioned there? Is the list of ‘fruit’ of living by the Spirit a list of things we can take a course in and learn? Do they have more to do with physical life (external) or attitude life (inner)? How are “fruit” like these the same as or different than “Works”?
This message (in my intentions) highlights that ‘reaching for forbidden fruit’ is any time we reach for God-hood ourselves, reach for equality with God. THAT is what has disrupted God’s perfect creation and still does. I contrast that with the kind of fruit Paul points out should be evident in the lives of those who are part of the body of Christ. That set of a particular kind of fruit (of the Spirit) cannot be manufactured by our own efforts. In a way, it is a byproduct, a side-effect of our relationship with God.