Summary: Like a pilot needing a co-pilot, Believers need the Holy Spirit to lead them into "open skies".
The Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22-25: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Notice that it is “fruit of the Spirit”. It’s not “works of the Spirit’, neither is it “fruit of the flesh”.
The word “works” implies “labor, strain and effort” Fruit doesn’t come from the flesh because our old sin nature can only produce “works” (Heb. 9:14 says, “dead works”), but the Spirit produces living fruit. This is in line with God’s plan from the beginning of the world.
Let’s turn to Genesis 1:11. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its own kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
“. . . and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its own kind, whose seed is in itself”
This means apples will produce apples with apple seed, oranges will reproduce with orange seed, grapes with grape seed, etc., so each fruit will continue to reproduce their own kind.
In the spiritual sense this would mean that as we walk in the Spirit and shed our love to others, our love begets love, our joy begets joy, peace begets peace, and so on. It’s a sowing and reaping principal.
It’s living fruit because it keeps on living through the lives of Believers as they plant seeds in the world.
Back in verse 22 of Galatians 5, notice, too, that “fruit” is singular. It’s not “fruits of the Spirit are” but “fruit of the Spirit is”. What difference does that make? It makes a lot of difference because if you read “fruit” as singular it reads like this, “the fruit of the Spirit is love“
The word for Love in this verse is “agape” which is God’s kind of love. The highest form of love. It’s the kind of love that God the Father has for you, to love you so much that He sacrificed His only Son for you.
It’s the kind of Love Jesus has for you, that He was willing to die that you might live. It’s the kind of Love that the Holy Spirit has, that of all the dwelling places, in or out of this world, He chose to live inside you.
In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Jesus is the vine. Love flows inside the branches. Love provides the nourishment to produce joy, peace, longsuffering (or patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (or self control).
Just as it says in verse 5, we have to abide in (or stay with) Christ.
That may mean going through some tough times because it means we will have to deny the flesh to abide with Christ. We’ll have to offer our bodies up as living sacrifices.
Do you know the problem I have with offering up my body as living sacrifice? Every time I get on the altar, someone lights a fire under it, it gets hot and I jump back off. I can’t take the heat.
That’s not abiding in the vine. The branch has to stay linked up with the Vine.
Fruit of the Spirit doesn’t grow overnight. Every Born-Again Believer has the seed planted in their heart by the Holy Spirit . It has to be planted, weeded and cultivated.
It has to be watered, weeded and fertilized.
These are all accomplished as we read the Word of God, as we fellowship, and as we yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we begin to grow in the knowledge of the Lord, the fruit in us begins to grow.
Let’s turn to Psalm 1:1-3. It says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not .in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord: and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brinqeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Look at that again. It says, “and he shall be like a tree PLANTED by the rivers of water”
These are God’s trees and they’re planted. That means they’re not wild trees from seed that happened to fall out of a tree and have taken root.