Summary: How is the fruit of the Spirit developed in our lives?
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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.