Summary: THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT "Love, Joy and Peace"
May I Introduce You to the Holy Spirit? #4
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
"Love, Joy and Peace"
One question often asked when discussing is the Holy Spirit is , “When does a person receive the Holy Spirit?” Is it at water baptism or does it come latter, after a person has been a Christian for many years? Is there a second baptism; a baptism of the Holy Spirit?
As Christians, we need to understand that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. As a child of God, we already have the gift of the Holy Spirit. The real issue for many of us is that we are not "FILLED" with the Spirit. What does this mean? To be filled with the Holy Spirit means we have yielded our entire life to the working of the Holy Spirit. The more we yield, the more the Holy Spirit controls our life.
Perhaps this illustration can help us understand a little bit better. We have an empty glass. This glass represents a person, perhaps one of us. Here comes the Holy Spirit represented by water. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. We recognize our need for a savior and we accept Jesus into our heart. As Christians we now have the Holy Spirit in our life but notice there is more of our life that can be filled. The Holy Spirit has many blessings he wants us to receive. The question becomes, how do we receive more of what the Holy Spirit wants us to have? This is done through prayer, through Bible Study, through fellowship with believers, by dwelling on the things of God.
Before we can be filled with some thing new, such as the Holy Spirit, we must be emptied of the old. We cannot fill this glass with orange juice if it already has prune juice in it. We must first get rid of the prune juice then we can put in the orange juice. The same is true for the Christian, we cannot be full of God; we cannot be full of the Holy Spirit if we have something else in our life. We must be emptied of sin, we must put "self" aside. Yes, the Holy Spirit that lead us to Christ is there but we must put him in control. As Christians, God continually calls us to give ourselves over to him. Paul expressed it by saying, "we must walk in the Spirit."
Can we know whether or not we are walking in the Spirit?
Jesus once said in Matthew 7:20: By their fruit you will recognize them.
In Luke 6:43-45 Jesus said:
A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thorn bushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
In Paul taught the same thing. He teaches us in Galatians 5, that the more we give ourselves over to God, certain fruit will be evident in our life.
We don’t particularly like to hear about bearing fruit do we? However, the truth of the matter is that Jesus expects us to bear fruit. In fact, bearing fruit is mentioned in 24 of the 27 New Testament books.
Perhaps a contrast between WORKS and FRUITS would be in order here. A machine in a factory WORKS and turns out a product. A machine could never manufacture FRUIT. Fruit is something that comes about naturally. Fruit must grow out of life and in the case of the believer, it grows out of a life lived in the Spirit. When we think of WORKS we sense effort; labor; strain; and toil. When we think of FRUIT we imagine beauty; quietness; it is the unfolding of the natural process of life. It would be ridiculous to think that a apple tree would somehow tell itself, "Hey, I guess I ought to bear some apples today." Neither does a Christian tell himself, "Well, I guess I better go out and bear some spiritual fruit." That’s silly. It is some thing natural. The fruit does not come about because of a conscience effort. It is a offspring of surrendering our life totally to God’s Spirit. It is a matter of what or who is controlling the inside.
If a man is filled with anger, than anger controls his life.
If a man is filled with greed, then greed dominates his life.
If a man is filled with lust, then lust governs his life.