Summary: Explains how to develop the fruit of the Spirit and shows the necessity of demonstrating the Fruit in conjuction with the Gifts.
The Spirit Filled Life (Part 1): The Fruit of the Spirit
GAL 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 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 sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Intro: I want to emphasize not on the individual fruits, but on the practical aspects of how to bear these fruits and for what purpose.
I. The benefit of bearing these fruits is for the whole body:
A. Even though they are internal disciplines, these characteristics are those which would affect other people.
B. Paul clues us into this emphasis in vs. 26. He is instructed the people that the fruit of the Spirit leads to not being conceited, provoking, and envying each other. i.e. It solves relational problems within the body.
II. The fruit of the Spirit is necessary for the effectiveness of the Gifts of the Spirit. The gifts pertain to service. The fruits pertain to character, but they are related.
A. In 1 Cor. Paul talks of the Gifts in ch. 12 and 14, but in between is the chapter on â€œlove,â€ on the fruits of the Spirit. In it, Paul makes clear that if we have the Spirit power but not the Spirit life and character, we are useless.
1 Cor. 13:1-2, â€œIf I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but I have not love, I am nothing.â€
B. The Fruit of the Spirit is foundational to the effectiveness of the Gifts of the Spirit.
C. We cannot give in to the temptation to dismiss the what is true, e.g. the Gifts, because someone else has used them incorrectly, e.g. by not displaying the fruit.
D. If we experience the gifts, we should seek to develop the Fruit.
III. The Fruit of the Spirit is not a new law, but a changed heart!
A. Often when we hear about the fruit of the Spirit, someone is trying to convince us to exhibit themâ€”but this is not a new law.
1. Manâ€™s nature is wicked. Thus vv. 19-21
GAL 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 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.
2. Therefore there had to be a Law to restrain what was naturally flowing from the nature of mankindâ€”wickedness.
B. This is a change of heart.
1. The New Covenant is not one of a new law but a New Heart.
JER 31:33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,"
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2. Since the Law was to restrain the heart, and from the changed heart issues forth the Fruit of the Spirit, Paul was able to say in v. 23. â€œAgainst such things there is no law.â€ In other words, if what your heart tells you to do is good, then you donâ€™t need a Law to tell you not to do it.
IV. The Fruit of the Spirit is from the inside out.
A. We canâ€™t muster up the Fruit of the Spirit on our own.
Example: Donald Gee tells the story of when he was young and tried to plant tomatoes. That particular summer was not very good for growing plants. His tomatoes never developed on the plantsâ€”not even little green tomatoes. He was thrilled when he came outside one day to find big red ripe tomatoes on his vines. When he got closer he realized they were tied on by his mother. Sometimes, we also try to fake the fruit of the Spirit. We try to tie it onto an unchanged life.