Summary: A brief message regarding the Fruit of the Spirit, given at a high school chapel service.
Facts about the Fruit
ACS North Campus Chapel
August 30, 2007
I like fruit. Not every fruit. Just some fruits.
For instance, I like apples and bananas. But I don’t like apricots and blueberries.
And I like pineapple, as long as it’s not on pizza.
But there’s a kind of fruit that I like whenever I come across it, and it’s the fruit of the Spirit.
I like people who are kind, patient, loving, and all that cool stuff.
And who doesn’t? I can find all sorts of folks who don’t like being around people who are rude, inconsiderate, and selfish.
But I don’t think I’ve found anyone who doesn’t like seeing the fruit of the Spirit in people. Have you?
Over this school year you’ll be focusing on each of the nine things listed under the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 –
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Today I just want to give you some general stuff to keep in mind over the coming months.
Aside from living in us, the Holy Spirit does at least two things to help us live for Christ.
First, He gives us gifts that help us serve Him. These are things like the gift of evangelism, mercy, service, and that kind of stuff.
And He also makes fruit grow inside us to make us more Christlike, and that’s what these things are – attributes of Christlikeness that the Holy Spirit produces in us.
So today I just want to go over some facts about the fruit that I think will help you as you go through the year focusing on each one.
1. First, it’s important to note that one of the main differences between the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is that while the Spirit gives certain gifts to certain people and not everyone has every gift, the fruit of the Spirit is supposed to be evident in every person who claims to love and follow Jesus.
We are all supposed to loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, and so on.
Not everyone has the gift of evangelism, not everyone has the gift of administration, not everyone has the gift of mercy. That’s because the Holy Spirit, in His wisdom, determines who gets those.
But these things that are listed here are those things that should be evident in all who have the Holy Spirit living in them, which is everyone who has trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior.
When Paul lists the gifts, he says, “To some He gives this gift, and to some He gives another gift…”
Here He says that this is what should be happening in everyone who claims to love and follow Jesus.
These things are the natural result of living for Christ.
Notice that it doesn’t say the “fruits” of the Spirit, it says the “fruit” – singular. If you’re intentionally living for Christ, the Holy Spirit bears fruit in your life – this fruit.
That fruit shows itself in these nine ways.
2. Second, I think it’s helpful to understand that the gifts of the Spirit help us do something for Christ and His kingdom. But the fruit is there to make us be something for Christ and His Kingdom.
You’ll notice that all of these things are character qualities, and real character isn’t something you can “do.”
You can’t do “patient” or “kind.” You have to be patient or kind. It’s part of who we are.
The bad news is that on our own, without the Holy Spirit, our character defaults to the negative stuff we see all around us.
But the good news is that because the Holy Spirit lives in you, He can work in you to make you a person of Christlike character that possesses and exhibits the fruit.
But you do have a part to play in that development. You have to cooperate with the Spirit.
How do you do that? The main way to cooperate is to obey the Scriptures.
Humble submission to Christ and His Word opens the door for the Spirit to do His work in you.
And here’s the third fact about the fruit I want to mention today:
3. One of the best measures of a person’s maturity in Christ is how well they exhibit the fruits, not the gifts.
Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians where he says that even if he could do all these amazing things for Christ – in other words, exercised all these great gifts of the Spirit, but had not love, then it was all for nothing.
And wouldn’t you know it – love is the first fruit of the Spirit listed here.