But the fruit of the Spirit is…

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Taste & See

“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

Fruit

1: The effect or consequence of an action or operation

2:  a result or reward that comes from some action or activity

 

   Quite simply, these are the fruits that Christ followers should employ.  We are no longer the people we once were; ones who took pleasure in sin.  We are to be different.  One important note to consider, the word fruit in this verse is singular; we are not to demonstrate one of these, but rather all of these should be fruits blooming from a regenerate heart.

   We don’t come across these fruits naturally as a human.  Before the Lord, we might demonstrate some altruistic qualities, but we are not truly changed.  It is God’s love permeating through our souls that causes these soul changes in us.

   These fruits are coming directly from God; via the Holy Spirit.  He is actually sharing who He is through us.

Love:  Love is the basis for all the rest of the fruit.  Love is not love in a generic sense; rather it is a self-sacrificing, unselfish, loyal love.  It is a brotherly love based on what God has done for us. We live and breathe the love of God.

Joy:  With the weight of the world looming always over us, a person with joy will shine like 1000 candles.  It’s not ignorant, blind joy.  It’s joy because we know Who is in charge, Who resides inside of us, and we know the End of the story.  We also learn to rejoice in our suffering and in our trials.  We speak volumes to the world with our joy.

Peace:  Peace coincides with joy.  Peace means that our comfort and our soul rest in knowing that God is in charge.  We are dependent on His peace to remain in us.  It is truly a ‘peace that passes all understanding.’ We reflect peace on to a peace-less world.

Patience:  Patience isn’t something that seems to be abounding on earth right now.  We need information, food, drink, service, immediately.  We cannot believe we would have to wait on anything.  We’re always facedown in our phones; we are constantly looking to find out more.  Yet, Christ followers are called to endure this and much more.  We are also asked to endure suffering and adversity in order to reflect God’s patience.

Kindness:  You just need to look around and see that kindness is slipping away. In our impatience, with a lack of joy; people don’t have the time or the heart to be kind.  Still, if we have the kindness and love of God flowing through us, we can’t help but be more kind to others.  We show God’s goodness of heart.

Goodness:  In this sense, goodness is what can draw people to God.  It is truly what sets us apart.  We are called to always be ready to serve, to be generous and good.  There is no manipulation in goodness.  People are drawn to us because we are safe; they can trust us to never hurt them.  We touch people with God’s goodness when we reflect this gift.

Faithfulness:  This is certainly one that is a notable difference to the world.  With relationships becoming more and more casual, marriages being temporary and families left in the wreckage, our faithfulness is a testimony to others about endurance.  We also stay true and faithful to God, knowing that it’s in His strength we rest.

Gentleness:  If we’re not careful, we can condemn with our words.  Rather than approaching people gently with love and truth, we smack them with truth and expect them to respond with thankfulness.  Christ-followers should be known by their gentle love.  Of course there are times when stern words are needed, but it’s relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us as to what is appropriate.  We use gentleness to demonstrate God’s gracious strength.

Self-control:  This one can be the most difficult.  The bible tells us that there is a struggle for control in us.  The sinful part wants what it wants.  We want to yell if we’re upset, we want to get angry if we’re wronged, we want to be critical when we see someone who makes us insecure.  God’s self-control is something entirely different.  We see time and time again in the bible where God exercises self-control toward His people.  We demonstrate self-control when we demonstrate that we walk in the world but not of the world.

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