Summary: The Fruit of the Spirit are most fully realized in relationships and no relationship is more basic than the marriage relationship.

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Sermon Objective: The Fruit of the Spirit are most fully realized in relationships and no relationship is more basic than the marriage relationship.


I brought a picture with me this morning from the wall in my office. What I want you to see is not the picture … it’s the frame. Have you ever noticed how a frame can change a picture? Sometimes, often times, the change is subtle; you are unaware of it but it happens none-the-less. If this picture was in a rustic frame it would set a much different mood when you see the picture than if it was in a regal, elegant frame.

Looking at the Fruit of the Spirit from a perspective of relationships “frames” the fruit. It sets them in a different environment and reveals applications that are much more varied and substantive than simply looking at how the fruit impact my own personal development. Marriage, in particular, provides a frame that shows if the fruit are growing within you – if they are real and mature or superficial and weak.

Steven Gola (from writes: “The way we respond everyday to the various encounters with people and situations determines what kind of life we will have. The same situation can have two opposite outcomes depending on how we respond.”

I think Gola’s words are insightful and point us, again, to the power of walking in the Spirit and bearing marks of the Spirit’s fruit within us. Allowing God’s Spirit to flourish within us and submitting to His authority and control definitely affects the way we interact and respond to other people.

It seems important to me that we read about the fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) within its context; namely Galatians 5:13-21 and 24-26.

These verses definitely frame the fruit. Just as the right frame can enhance a picture or even change the mood it sets so the verses before and after the fruit do so as well. And since we are looking at them from a very particular perspective anyhow (marriage) I think you will find the context especially helpful.

A little girl, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.” The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?” The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?” “Yes, that’s true,” the Mother replied.

“He also said that God lives in us. Is that true, too?” Again the mother replied, “Yes.”

“Well,” said the little girl. “If God is bigger than us and he lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”

I like that little girl’s way of putting it. If God lives in us, then there’s no way of keeping him from “showing through.” That’s the power of walking in the Spirit; living in such a way that people around us will see God in our lives.

And can you think of a more noticeable virtue in our day and age than peace? I mean there seems to be a dearth of peace wherever you look. The world is just frantic these days.

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