When someone accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior they are reborn and receive the Holy Spirit. He comes to live in the heart of all those who have been born again. He takes up residence in the saint and begins the process of sanctification. The Holy Spirit actively works in our lives to transform us into the likeness of Christ. As we surrender to the presence and leadership of the Holy Spirit we begin to take on His characteristics. These characteristics are what God’s Word calls fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 reads “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.” Here we have a large assortment of fruit that should be on display more and more as we grow in Christ.
At this point I’m sure there are some folks saying I’m pretty patient, or I’m kind, etc. The fruit of the Spirit isn’t on display for us to pick out a couple of our favorites and try really hard to master those. As we are transformed into the image of our Savior Jesus Christ we will display all of the fruit of the Spirit. For sure; some of these fruits are easier to display in our lives because of our natural personalities. It’s for this reason that the Holy Spirit helps us. Without Him some fruit would ripen and be edible while other fruit would never grow at all or worse some would rot on the vine and be repulsive! There is nothing worse than rotten fruit. The Holy Spirit helps us stretch and grow in areas that we may never embark if left to our own devices. He is not satisfied with a couple pieces of good fruit; no no, He wants a basket filled and running over with the best fruit!
Let’s take a quick look at what these fruits; Love– love is listed first because it is the foundation of the other fruits. This is a self-sacrificing love. This is the same love that sent Jesus to die for sinners and it is this love that is manifested in believers who are Spirit-controlled. Joy– This is a deep abiding inner rejoicing which is promised to those who abide in Christ. It does not depend upon circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things. Peace– An inner quietness, even in the face of adversity. It defies human understanding. Patience– the quality of having no thought of retaliation even when wrongfully treated. Kindness– benevolence towards others. God is kind toward sinners therefore we should display the same towards others. Goodness– This is an uprightness of the soul that does good to others even when it is not deserved. Faithfulness– This the quality of being trustworthy or reliable; a faithful servant. Gentleness– this make a person submissive to God’s Word and considerate to others when discipline is needed. Self-control– this primarily relates to control over fleshly impulses. This quality is impossible to attain apart from the power of God’s Holy Spirit!
The word fruit is singular because these qualities constitute a unity. All of these should be found in a believer who lives under the control of the Spirit. In an ultimate sense this “fruit” is simply the life Christ live out in a Christian. When we surrender full control of our lives to the Holy Spirit this is the life we have the promise of living. We can only attain this life by the Power of God living in us and through us.
So I challenge you today to take a spiritual evaluation of your life. Are you living by the power of the Holy Spirit? If you are a believer in Christ; surrender your life entirely to the Holy Spirit now and let Him work in your life to produce His fruit. Are you trying to do better, make better choices, or be a better person by yourself? If this is you right now and you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior. Ask Him for salvation and you will receive the Holy Spirit and you will be able to live the Spirit filled life that leads to producing the best fruit possible.
Until He comes again, let’s grow fruit worthy our Savior Jesus Christ