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Summary: Nine perils of allowing spiritual fruit to spoil. Failure to fully appropriate the fruits of the Spirit lead many to a false assumption that they are not doing anything wrong. (Symptons include possessiveness, frenzied actions, passivity, leniency, s

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Please, Do Not Let Your Fruit Spoil (Gal 5:22,23)

Many believers are suffering needlessly because they are not allowing the Spirit of God to exhibit the fullness of the nine fruits of the Spirit in and through them. Consequently, many tolerate the leaven of neutrality, apathy and indifference that cause them to pervert (or fall short of the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit). Many of the ideas for this message came from the "The Mind of Christ" by T. W. Hunt.

Illustration: Jesus said, "A little leaven leavens the whole loaf of bread."

We couldn’t figure it out. My son and I had purchased an old powerboat for fishing and couldn’t make it run properly. We were unable to get it up to speed, and it shuddered when we tried to go faster. We figured that the trouble was with the fuel system, so we adjusted the carburetor and changed the fuel filter. But that still didn’t solve the problem.

When we took the boat out of the water, my son found the cause of the trouble. One of the propeller fins had a 3/4-inch (2 cm) nick in it. That can’t be it, I thought. That nick is too small. But when we installed a new propeller, what a difference it made! We had been slowed down by a tiny nick.

A similar problem is often at work in our lives as Christians. Sinful practices like those described in Galatians 5:16-21 have their roots in the seemingly insignificant thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Matthew 5:28; 15:18-19). If we ignore or tolerate these "little" sins, they will eventually grow, corrupting more of our thoughts and actions—even harming people around us. Just as a little yeast leavens a whole lump of dough (Galatians 5:9), so also a "little" sin can eventually weaken our service for Christ and the ministry of His church.

Remember, little nicks can cause big trouble. —Dave Egner

One little sin, what harm can it do?

Give it free reign and soon there are two.

Then sinful deeds and habits ensue—

Guard well your thoughts, lest they destroy you. —D. De Haan (Our Daily Bread)

Little sins won’t stay little.

Here is the overview of how a failure to extricate even the smallest element of the leaven of apathy, selfishness and carnality deludes many. Leaven tends to cause one to think they have caused no harm to others and yet they are guilty of terribly offending God and doing pernicious harm to themselves:

1. The fruit of the Spirit is love; the opposite is hate but the perversion is possessiveness.

People who are not controlled by the Spirit begin to dominate those who they profess to love by controlling their time, activities and decisions. This leads to a perverse sense of cultic control over those who we believe we are loving. This often occurs when a husband tries to control his wife’s every minute by insisting that he be given information about her entire schedule. A mother often smother’s her children when she evidences possessiveness in her attempt to express too much fleshly oriented love.

2. The fruit of the Spirit is joy; the opposite is pain but the perversion is frenzied expressions that are out of control.


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