Fruit of the Spirit
We continue in our series learning about the Holy Spirit.
Two weeks ago we talked about how to be filled with the Spirit - Open & Empty.
Last week we shared about how the writer of 1 Corinthians, apostle Paul, spoke about spiritual gifts - how there are different gifts & different kinds of service, but the same Spirit.
In fact, we are offering a spiritual gifts class June 20th @ 9am via zoom. Cost is $10 per family. Sign up via website or email.
Well, this week… our conversation is about the FRUIT of the Spirit, we find that when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, it should not be different amongst believers. In fact, all believers should be marked by all the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is God’s expectation for our lives.
The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the His presence & work in the believer.
The fruit of the Spirit is a confirmation of “God with us”
They are the marks of God’s power made manifest for the world to see.
Galatians 5:22–23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
But before we dig into each of these virtues over the next few weeks, let’s talk about the first part of passage - “The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives.” I think we’d all agree that the HS can do whatever He chooses to do, but HOW are these things produced in the life of the believer? If in fact the HS produces the fruit, and we cannot control HOW He works, HOW does He produce fruit in our lives?
Some of you may remember me sharing a conversation I had years ago with a young couple. They asked me what I did to become a new person. What did I do to change from the person I was to the person I was becoming. My answer was “Nothing!” I didn’t do it…God did (the Holy Spirit did).
This is confirmed in the Galatians passage.
So we have to ask, then what’s the point? Why isn’t this world a better place if it’s all the HS’s work? Why are we experiencing riots? Why are there so many things wrong with this world?
The HS only produces these virtues in the life of the believer. If you don’t know Jesus as Savior, you don’t have the HS working in your life. No Jesus; No Spirit. You have Jesus; you have the Spirit.
We are told at the beginning of Galatians 5 that because Jesus came on the scene, what’s important now is faith in him. Not simply a one time expression of faith to get “saved”, but in verse 6 it says, “What is important is faith expressing itself in love.”
Later in the same chapter, we are reminded that “the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” - Because of all this we should have a new found freedom - freedom in Jesus! It’s not about showing up at church - it’s about being the church.
But here’s the catch that the writer of Galatians knew - with freedom comes responsibility. He says, “But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Now, we are going to talk about love next week.
But it’s not always that easy to love one another because there’s a battle that rages in every Jesus follower. It’s the battle between the Spirit & our flesh. And this is one of the main reasons the world is not a better place.
We’re told to let the Spirit guide our lives. We’re to be led by the Spirit; to be guided by the Spirit; to live by the Spirit. Then, we won’t be doing what we shouldn’t be doing. More importantly, we will be doing what we should be doing - what the Spirit wants us to do.
But we have this nature within us that we inherited from our ancestor Adam that is the flesh. Our carnal nature, right. We have a natural tendency to look inward, to self preserve, to do what’s right for me, to focus on getting what I want, to make things about me.
And so “These two forces are constantly fighting against each other,” crippling us from being who God designed us to be.
So what’s our part? What do we do? If the Spirit produces the fruit, what are we to do?
John 15:4–5 (NLT)
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
Let me put it another way...
I was drawn to a book this week that helps me put some pieces together. ~Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
Will - Our capacity to choose; our intentions
Mind - Thoughts and feelings, values
Body - It’s our body; facial expressions; body language, actions
Soul - The soul is the whole person. It integrates all of these together. The soul seeks harmony between all of these and harmony with God’s intent for all creation.
Here’s what we can do - “tend to our soul” | Flesh << Soul >> Spirit
John Chrysostom - Archbishop of Constantinople in the 4th century said it like this… “For the ordering of the passions is the work of the soul and concerns the soul. The soul is situated in the middle of the struggle between virtue and vice. If the soul uses the body as it should, it makes itself more spiritual. But if it departs from the Spirit and yields itself to evil desires, it renders it more earthly.”
~ Soul Keeping by Ortberg
There once was a town high in the Alps that straddled the banks of a beautiful stream. The stream was fed by springs that were old as the earth and deep as the sea.
The water was clear like Crystal. Children laughed and played beside it; swans and geese swam on it. You could see the rocks in the sand and the rainbow trout that swarmed at the bottom of the stream.
High in the hills, far beyond anyone's sight, lived an old man who served as Keeper of the springs. He had been hired so long ago that now no one could remember a time when he wasn't there. He would travel from one Spring to the other in the hills, removing branches or falling leaves or debris that might pollute the water. But his work was unseen.
One year the town council decided they had better things to do with their money. No one supervised the old man anyway. They had roads to repair and taxes to collect and services to offer, and giving money to an unseen stream-cleaner had become a luxury they could no longer afford.
So the old man left his post. High in the mountains, the springs went untended; twigs and branches and worse muddied the liquid flow. Mud and silt compacted the creek bed; farm waste turned parts of the stream in the stagnant bogs.
For a time no one in the village noticed. But after a while, the water was not the same. It began to look brackish. The swans flew away to live elsewhere. The water no longer had a crisp sense that drew children to play by it. Some people in the town began to grow ill. All noticed the loss of sparkling beauty that used to flow between the banks of the streams that fed the town. The life of the village depended on the stream, and the life of the stream depended on the keeper.
The city council reconvened, the money was found, the old man was rehired. After yet another time, the springs were cleaned, the stream was pure, children played again on its banks, illness was replaced by health, the swans came home, and the village came back to life.
The life of a village depended on the health of the stream. The stream is your soul. And you are the keeper. ~Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg
The Spirit does what only the Spirit can do. The Spirit can produce the fruit in our lives that will please the heart of God, but we must tend to our soul so the flesh does not win the day.
How serious are we at soul keeping? How serious are we at desiring the Spirit to produce in us - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?
Pray; Offering; Don’t forget about Spiritual Gift Class; Dismiss