Summary: Think about it ... ORANGES and LOVE are a lot a like ... they can change your whole body!
Galatians 5:22-23: The Fruit of the Spirit
What is your favourite fruit? I really like ORANGES ... although I’m not certain I can call them my favourite fruit ... I really do like them ... I think ORANGES can change your whole body!
- Just seeing an ORANGE stirs up something in me that I can’t quite explain ... it actually has 3 physical effects on me
- FIRST: A smile comes over my face ... ORANGES make me happy
- SECOND: My mouth starts to water ... a physical sensation comes where I can almost taste the fruit and it makes my whole body anticipate the wonderful flavour
- THIRD: I reach for the ORANGE and slowly peel away the skin exposing the beautiful orange flesh and almost heavenly scent ... the distinctive aroma
- But ORANGES do something else for me ... ORANGES provide for my needs ... as I eat them
- ORANGES provide vitamins that my body needs for nourishment
- ORANGES provide strength and health and vitality that I need in order to live
- ORANGES do something else in me ...
- ORANGES produce in me the ability to go forward in my life
- ORANGES produce steady strength ... not bursts of energy and then sudden collapses like chocolate, raw sugar and coffee ...
- And ORANGES produce consistent, even energy
- But if I only observe ORANGES ... look at them in a picture or read about them in a book or admire them on a shelf and never eat one ... I will soon turn to something else to satisfy my longing taste buds and my once confident smile will turn to a sigh of disappointment ... I might actually become cynical about ORANGES and convince others that ORANGES aren’t what they appear
- Yes ORANGES have an effect on my entire body
<< PRAY >> O God, you long to produce good fruit in us through your Holy Spirit ... teach us from your Word today and cause in us a harvest of LOVE
The book of Galatians was written to first century Christians who were falsely teaching that in order to become a CHRISTIAN, a person would have to strictly observe the practices of Judaism ... including circumcision. These Galatian believers were placing heavy burdens on new believers making it almost impossible for them to live. It is in this context that the author Paul (who was once the most staunch observer of the letter of the law) writes this letter of FREEDOM in Jesus. Paul argues that FAITH IN JESUS MEANS TRUE FREEDOM AND THAT THIS FREEDOM PRODUCES A SPECIAL KIND OF FRUIT IN THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER ...
- THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE ... so lets take our Bibles and turn to Galatians 5 and lets read it
- But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against this, there is no law
- Notice the way I have written the passage on the screen ... the punctuation is not found in the earliest known texts of Galatians ... but the weight of the passage seems to support that the FRUIT Paul is speaking of is LOVE and then PAUL goes on to define LOVE for us
I believe that the Holy Spirit ... through the Apostle Paul ... is telling us this: I WANT YOU TO BE FREE ... and in order for you to be free I WANT TO PRODUCE IN YOU MY FRUIT ... that fruit is called LOVE
- God, through his Holy Spirit wants to produce in me the fruit of love
- 1 John 4:8 says: “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love”
- God wants love to be produced in our lives and in our hearts so that we can:
- LOVE GOD and demonstrate that in the way that we ...
- LOVE OTHERS
- Our family members ... our Church family members ... even our enemies
- The begging question is this ... do we love each other? ...
- Love is not an emotion or a feeling, even though it is emotional
- Love is not a physical expression of intimacy although it has many physical manifestations
- Love is the fruit on a tree called freedom
- With it we live ... Without it we die.
But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against this, there is no law
LOVE HAS 3 PHYSICAL EFFECTS ON ME:
- Love brings joy. Hear what Paul says in Philippians 4:12-13
- I know what it is like to have a little and to have much. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of joy, of being content ... I am able to do all things through Christ who gives me strength