The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Beloved Church Family,

The Spirit produces in each of you many fruits including the list detailed in Galatians 5:22-23. It is a reality for the born-again believer and is part of our new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), while also our future hope. Each of these attributes and inward realities are perfected in Christ. He is the perfect example. He is the “author and perfecter of (our) faith” and is the One of whom it is said, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”

Brothers and sisters, are these fruits currently being manifested in your life? Would you describe your life as full of peace, joy, and patience? During this strange time, can we manifest these attributes? Is it possible for believers to display these gifts in difficult times? I want to encourage you to know these answers are “yes” in Christ. The Holy Spirit desires to manifest these spiritual fruits in your life for the world to see, for you to enjoy, and for the Father to be honored as you display His Son’s glory in your life. As the world seems to change by the day, our God does not change. Let us briefly examine these attributes from God’s word to see how we can produce spiritual fruits in our lives.

The initial fruit of the Spirit listed is love.  Agape love is a selfless, giving love, which is unnatural for the world. Jesus answered that the greatest commandment is to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and the second was like it “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus displayed a perfect selfless love to His disciples when they failed him, to the crowds that later turned on Him – he fed them, to a disciple that later betrayed Him – He restored him, and the greatest display of His love – He laid His life down for our sins on the cross so that we may have eternal life.  Jesus’s love was perfect no matter the circumstanceJoy is a complete sense of well-being and happiness as a result of the work of Christ perfectly reconciling us to the Father. “For the joy set before Him (He) endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).  No matter our circumstances, Jesus perfect work is done.  We may experience much failure, but the reality of to Whom we belong and where we are going does not change.  No matter our circumstances, God’s children also have Peace.  The peace of knowing we are right with God not because of our performance, but because of the Son’s completed work on the cross. Jesus offers peace by reconciling us perfectly and forever with the Father (Romans 5:1). We have peace with the Father through His Son. This peace can be displayed in many aspects of our lives.  I think of the time when the disciples were restless and consumed with fear being on a boat with Jesus in the Sea of Galilee during a storm.  The One in the boat is the One who controls all things, knows all things, and works all things according to His perfect will.  No matter the circumstance, He is working things out and by one simple word He can stop the seas from raging.

Patience is the ability to go through our circumstances, even enduring over a long period. The world has people that can endure for a time or a season, but then what’s inside erupts or gives up. These fruits are from the Spirit of God, not our will-power. God’s Word tells us the Spirit produces this fruit of patience. This supernatural ability to remain steadfast stems from knowing God allows circumstances for His purpose and thus His children can be at peace by accepting His will, knowing He is good.  I think of how men treated Jesus, in the darkest hour, pouring out insults and inflicting torment on Him.  Jesus could have called on an army of angels who could have wiped out all of mankind in just moments.  Jesus however is perfectly patient, not wishing for any to perish but all to come to repentance.  Kindness, a deep-seeded tender goodness for others, can also be displayed no matter our circumstances. Kindness is natural to our Lord and Savior as we see when He raised Lazarus from the dead and was concerned with helping him remove his grave clothes (John 11:44) or when He raised a little girl from the dead and He desired for her to be fed (Mark 5:43).  Goodness is moral and spiritual excellence. Displaying the character of God rightly would be goodness.  A rich young man ran up to Jesus and addressed Him as, “good teacher.”  Jesus was known for and displayed a perfect moral character that matched His perfect teachings.

Faithfulness is loyalty and trustworthiness. Jesus displayed this perfectly in His life. Taking on humanity, emptying Himself of divine privilege, and though Satan sought to tempt Him, He never wavered from the Father’s plan.  Gentleness implies a disposition of humility and consideration of others. Children were not looked highly upon in the rankings of society in Jesus’s day, but He commanded that the children be brought to Him to receive blessings (Matthew 19:14).  Self-Control is restraining passions or appetites. Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever. He, being our perfect High priest, was tempted in every way “yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).  As we belong to Him, He will provide a way out from our temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Beloved, these are the fruits that manifest in the people of God by the Spirit of God.  This is a reality for you today; God will produce these in you.  I exhort you to seek these fruits in your life.

John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 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”.

Abiding is the key.  If we are to bear fruit we must abide in Christ.  Let me suggest a few ways to Abide in Christ.

  • Prayer –One observation we can draw from Jesus’s life in producing these fruits is giving your life away as opposed to trying preserve it. This is foundational. Approach God with a willingness to surrender your will and make much of Him in your life. Will the Spirit of God be pleased to bear fruit in this approach?  Yes, and Amen!
  • Live a life that seeks to please Him in response to all that the gospel has done and continues to do for you. In light of how wonderful His precious gospel is to us, we should desire to throw off things that displease Him and put on things that please Him (Colossians 1:10).
  • Depend upon Him. We must recognize that “apart from (Him) we can do nothing.”  Paul requested his thorn in the flesh be removed. The Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  What a marvelous truth, believe this!  God’s grace is bigger and more powerful than any circumstance. Brothers and sisters, come to Him, put your confidence in Him, depend upon Him.

May the Lord Jesus, the True Vine, strengthen you to bear much fruit for His glory alone.

In His gracious love and matchless grace,

Pastor Jeff

Heritage Christian Fellowship