Summary: The Fruit of the Spirit is a singualr noun. In other words all aspects are for us
Galatians 5: 13-26
Let us open in prayer
Father, I pray that you will anoint my words this morning that they may be words for each of us from you. I ask what I say may be relevant in our Christian lives. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Story: Four years ago, Maddy and I moved from Frisby on the Wreake in the Diocese of Leicester to Tilney St Lawrence in the Diocese of Ely.
When we started to pack up in Frisby, we came to take the bedroom apart and I was surprised to find a small basket underneath our bed with three eggs and £1000.
I was a bit puzzled and so I called Maddy and asked her what this was all about.
She said: “Well I have to be honest with you. Every time you preached a bad sermon, I put an egg in the basket.”
I thought – well three bad sermons in 3 years – not bad going.
But I was still puzzled – “Well, what is the £1000 about”
She replied, as wives always do: “Every time I got a dozen, I sold them”.
I hope this evening won’t be an egg sermon!!
I gather from Franz that you are looking at a sermon series on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5.
May I therefore focus on a few verses from Galatians 5
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
I would like to start by pointing out that the word FRUIT is a singular noun.
It is not the FRUITS of the Spirit but the FRUIT of the Spirit.
In other words, it is all aspects of the Fruit in which we have to GROW.
Jesus doesn’t expect us to say:
“Yes I can sign up for changing in the areas of love, joy, peace, faithfulness and gentleness in my life – but sorry I just can’t do anything about my awful temper – it’s in my genes – I inherited it from my father.
love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
are aspects of the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives
There are no opt out clauses!!
We can’t change ourselves – but we can allow the HOLY SPIRIT to change us. The choice is ours.
Contrast this with I Cor 12 where Pauls speaks of the GIFTS of the Spirit not the GIFT of the Spirit
Paul puts it like this:
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Cor 12:1-4)
So why is that important?
Because we are expected to GROW in all aspects of the Fruit.
Compare this to the Gifts of the Spirit.
No one believer is expected to have all the Gifts.
Because the Gifts are given for Christian service not for forming Christian character
See what St Paul says in 1 Cor 12:1-11 about the Gifts of the Spirit
1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.