Summary: The Christian life is not simply the absence of sin but the presence of life manifested in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
The Fruit of The Spirit - Introductin
Scripture: Galatians 5:22-26
22 But athe fruit of the Spirit is blove, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, cgoodness, dfaithfulness, 23 7gentleness, self-control. eAgainst such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s fhave crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 gIf we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 hLet us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
I. The Indwelling Presence Of The Holy Spirit Gives Life
“It is one thing to overcome the flesh and not do evil things, but quite something else to do good things. The legalist might be able to boast that he is not guilty of adultery or murder (but see Matt. 5:21–32), but can anyone see the beautiful graces of the Spirit in his life? Negative goodness is not enough in a life; there must be positive qualities as well.”
• It is not sufficient to say as the Pharisee in his self righteous prayer did in Lu 18:11 "…‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men––extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.”
• Christ did not come to make us better “keepers of the Law”
• Christ came “that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
• It is one thing to overcome sin in your life, it is quite another to be able to see the fruit of His Spirit in your life.
II. The Contrast between Works and Fruit
When speaking of the flesh Paul writes in vs. 19 that“…the works of the flesh are evident.” Yet when he speaks of the Spirit he says “The Fruit of the Spirit.”
A machine can produce “work” It is an inanimate object that produces a work. On the other hand fruit can only come from something that has life and in the case of the believer, it is the life of the Spirit
What do you think of when you hear the word “Work?”
• Effort, labor, strain, toil, sweat
When you think of fruit what comes to mind?
• Beauty, quietness, unfolding of life
The Flesh produces only dead works!
• Some by reason of discipline and strong will may be able to inhibit or cease from certain sinful practices. But this is only “works”
• It requires the indwelling life giving presence of the Holy Spirit to produce the life giving graces known as the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Fruit by nature have living seed within them which will produce an even greater harvest of the same fruit.
• In this manner when the Holy Spirit brings for the fruit of the Spirit in Love, it will only serve to produce more love. Joy will only give rise to more joy.
• Jesus is concerned that our lives will produce Fruit
John 15:2,5 says “2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.”
• In fact Jesus says that this is how we glorify God. John 15:8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Our old sinful nature – the flesh can never produce fruit. Only our new nature can do that!
III. New Testament Use of Fruit
The New Testament uses the term Fruit for several things.
• In Rom. 1:13 refers to having “people won to Christ”
• In Rom 6:22 it refers to living a “Holy Life”
• In Col. 1:10 it refers to “good works”
• In Heb 13:15 it refers to our Praise to God “Fruit of our lips”
• In our text though the term fruit is referring to “Character”
We must understand and make a distinction as does the scripture. For instance:
Acts 2:38; 11:17 speak of the Gift of the Spirit refer to Salvation
1Cor. 12 speaks of the Gifts of the Spirit referring to enablements for service
But our passage in Galatians speaks of the Fruit of the Spirit which has to do with the graces of the Holy Spirit or Christian Character.
While it is important to understand and seek after the gifts of the Spirit for service (which we will speak of in Class 301), building and manifesting Christ like character (As we teach in class 201) should always take precedence over displaying special abilities.
After all, what good is it if you can sing like an angel but you have the character of a “Skunk.”
IV. IT IS FRUIT NOT FRUITS
The character that God wants us to manifest in our lives is the direct result of the inner working of the Holy Spirit in us. It is God’s design/purpose for our lives to manifest Christ.