Archive for September 14th, 2009

What is fruit?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness (gentleness), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV/NKJV)

There is so much to be drawn out of these verses and the surrounding passage that we could probably spend months of daily posts discussing it.  However, I will attempt to condense it for now, and perhaps we may come back to it at a later time.

So what is “fruit” anyway? And why and how should we be seeking God’s help to develop it in our lives? 

As I understand this, our lives are like plants, and we’re going to produce fruit of some sort.  We must be living in the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit in order to produce this fruit of the Spirit.  To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the Word of God.   (Joshua 1:8)  Say we’re looking for an apple tree.  How am I going to know when I find one?  I’ll know when I find a tree with apples on it.  You see, “…the tree is known by its fruit.” (Matt. 12:33 ESV)  What does the world see when they look at you?  Do they see the fruit of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit?  Because, as SweetTart was talking about, if the world doesn’t see anything different about us, why would they want to come to Christ?

But what is this fruit really?  When my pastor was doing a series on the fruit of the Spirit he said this, “Fruit here is the visible expression of God’s power working in us.”  To be more specific, I believe this fruit is a change in character, progressively becoming more like our Savior.  This fruit does not just appear all of a sudden.  You can’t just go to the store and buy it.  It only develops through weeks, months, and years of walking in the Spirit and allowing Him to change your life.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”  (John 15:4 ESV) The imperative in bearing fruit is abiding in Him and He in us.  To abide means “to stay, rest, remain contentedly.”  If you cut off a branch from a tree, do you think it’s going to produce fruit?  No!  In order to bear fruit, we must be filled with the Spirit.  Imagine the Holy Spirit like the sap of the tree – it brings nutrients to all the branches.  The fruit of the Spirit cannot be brought forth in and of ourselves, but rather from the Holy Spirit Himself.  Only through His power can we even begin to develop this fruit in our lives.

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