Summary: The fruit of the Spirit allows those around us to see and savor our Savior! As we allow the Holy Spirit to grow these fruit in our character, we are able to exhibit Christ-like attitudes to our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even those who don’t like us or agree with us.
Dance Lessons: Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22-26 (Part 2)
Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
This Means War!
Growing up, we had two crabapple trees in our front yard. Crab apples are about the size of a cherry and make excellent ammunition.
We used to pick a bunch of crabapples, hold them in our rolled up t-shirts and launch them at each other in a game aptly named “crabapple war!”
It was the 70s version of paint ball and it you got nailed with a crabapple it left a welt for a week. Everything was fun and games until someone would inevitably by hit in the ear with one and run in crying to tell mom.
If you think that’s bad, Maxine and her sisters played war with oranges! It might not of hurt as bad to be hit with an orange but sometimes they exploded on impact, leaving the victim covered in sticky orange juice.
Fruit is not really meant to be used as ammunition. You don’t see people going to war with a bag full of fruit on their hips.
The fruit that we are studying these three weeks are actually a type of ammo. The fruit of the Spirit allows those around us to see and savor our Savior! As we allow the Holy Spirit to grow these fruit in our character, we are able to exhibit Christ-like attitudes to our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even those who don’t like us or agree with us.
Spiritual Fruit Basket
Last week, we began our study of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-26.
Let me remind you of a few important aspects of these fruit:
What is the fruit of the Spirit? Alistair Begg defines the fruit of the Spirit as “a spontaneous product of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”
[Slide] 1. These fruit aren’t something we try to grow ourselves.
This fruit is the product of the Spirit’s work inside of us and not a product of behavior modification on our part. We don’t try to be more loving. We trust Christ to work the fruit of love in us:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that once we are in Christ, we are “new creations.” Part of this process of being a new creation is that God grows in us new character traits that proclaim Jesus to a lost and dying world around us.
[Slide] 2. The fruit of the Spirit and gifts of the Spirit are different things. Each Christian is given gifts of the Spirit but not all Christians have every gift.
The fruit are a package deal. It’s not like a buffet where you pick a little love and joy but leave gentleness and self control to others. God wants to grow well-rounded Christians.
[Slide} 3. The word “fruit” is singular as opposed to the “works” of the flesh. Think of these nine fruits as this bunch of grapes. It’s one bunch but has multiple grapes. Or a bouquet of flowers - one bouquet but multiple flowers. Or a precious gem that has nine facets.
[Slide] 4. This fruit grows gradually. The process happens with a Christian. The growth is subtle, quiet, and sometimes seasonal. We go through times when it doesn’t seem like anything is happening spiritually and then we go through spiritual growth spurts.
[Slide] 5. These fruit are inevitable. Tim Keller has said, “We are saved by faith and not by growing fruit. But our faith is not fruitless faith.” These fruit are simply the product of a normal Christian life.
Just like a healthy crabapple tree produces good crabapples, Christians submitted to the Holy Spirit’s work inside of us will produce these nine character traits more and more as they grow spiritually.
[Slide] 6. These nine fruits are actually what one commentator calls “a character sketch of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit’s job is to glorify Jesus and mold us and make us into the likeness of our Savior.
As we go through these fruit, you may discover that you don’t really exhibit any of these and your life is characterized more by the list of the deeds of the flesh.
[Slide] “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor 13:5)
These messages could be God’s way of showing you that you need to stop trying to be good and simply trust Christ for your salvation.
Theologians have attempted to divide these nine into categories. We are going to follow John Stott: