Summary: How is the fruit of the Spirit developed in our lives?
[To receive free weekly sermons by email, please contact email@example.com]
How many of you bought some fruit this week? (Now we know who the unhealthy people are.)
Why do we eat fruit?
· Tastes good (but as good as junk food?)
· Healthy (“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”)
The Bible talks about a kind of fruit that has much greater benefits: the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
Imagine how different our relationships would be if we were always people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!
1. EXAMINING THE FRUIT
(The fruit of the Spirit is not a complete list of Christian virtues.)
a. Love – self-giving SERVICE
Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other (Galatians 5:13b-15).
b. Joy – REJOICING in the Lord
c. Peace – HARMONY with others
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).
d. Patience – ENDURANCE under provocation, with no thought of retaliation (“longsuffering” KJV)
e. Kindness – showing CONCERN for others (“gentleness” KJV)
f. Goodness – HELPING others in need
g. Faithfulness – loyalty, RELIABILITY, trustworthiness (“faith” KJV)
h. Gentleness – CONTROLLED strength (“meekness” KJV)
i. Self-control – RESTRAINT of natural impulses (“temperance” KJV)
Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:23b).
The law (OT law) exists because people are evil, not because they are good. It exists “against” sin, not “against” virtue. There is no need of the law to say, “you shall not kill,” to people who by the Spirit are loving one another.
2. UNDERSTANDING THE FRUIT
a. The fruit of the Spirit is a PORTRAIT of Christ.
b. The fruit of the Spirit is about inner CHARACTER, not outward CONFORMITY.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
The OT law was unable to empower (unlike the Spirit).
c. We cannot PICK and CHOOSE which fruit we want.
ILLUSTRATION: At a grocery store you pick and choose the fruit you want.
ILLUSTRATION: You could think of the fruit of the Spirit as an orange with nine sections or a cluster of nine grapes.
3. GROWING THE FRUIT
How is the fruit of the Spirit developed?
a. The fruit of the Spirit is SUPERNATURAL in origin.
ILLUSTRATION: Fruit is found in a grocery store’s produce department. The fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Spirit.
There is a contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. “Works” puts the emphasis on human endeavor; “fruit” puts the emphasis on divine empowerment.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful natures. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature [works of the flesh] are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God
But the fruit of the Spirit… (Galatians 5:16-22a).
Notice that eight of the fifteen “works of the flesh” are sins of discord among believers: hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy.
b. The fruit of the Spirit is CONDITIONAL in growth.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8).
ILLUSTRATION: Trying to grow watermelons as a child.
Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.