Fruits of the Holy Spirit
At the Sudan Interior Mission Kijabe Medical Center, SIM medical missionaries Bob and Marion Bowers recently treated a young man with a paralyzing snake bite and saw him live long enough to accept Christ as his Savior. In many Third World countries, snake bites are common--and fatal. For four days, the young man remained unconscious. Under normal circumstances he would have died the day of the snake bite. But on the fifth day he miraculously woke up. That afternoon a group of students from Moffat Bible College came to the hospital to share the gospel with the patients. After hearing the words of truth, the man accepted Christ as his savior. At midnight, he had cardiac arrest and died. ── Harvest, Summer, 1991, Vol 1, #1.
Every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation. Having said that, some caveats are in order.
ONE, this does not mean that a believer will always be fruitful. Certainly we can admit that if there can be hours and days when a believer can be unfruitful, then why may there not also be months and even years when he can be in that same condition? Paul exhorted believers to engage in good works so they would not be unfruitful (Titus 3:14). Peter also exhorted believers to add the qualities of Christian character to their faith lest they be unfruitful (2 Peter 1:8). Obviously, both of those passages indicate that a true believer might be unfruitful. And the simple fact that both Paul and Peter exhort believers to be fruitful shows that believers are not always fruitful.
TWO, this does not mean that a certain person's fruit will necessarily be outwardly evident. Even if I know the person and have some regular contact with him, I still may not see his fruit. Indeed, I might even have legitimate grounds for wondering if he is a believer because I have not seen fruit. His fruit may be very private or erratic, but the fact that I do not see it does not mean it is not there.
THREE, my understanding of what fruit is and therefore what I expect others to bear may be faulty and/or incomplete. It is all too easy to have a mental list of spiritual fruits and to conclude if someone does not produce what is on my list that he or she is not a believer. But the reality is that most lists that we humans devise are too short, too selective, too prejudiced, and often extra-biblical. God likely has a much more accurate and longer list than most of us do. Nevertheless, every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise he or she is not a true believer. In speaking about the Judgment Seat of Christ, Paul says unequivocally that every believer will have praise come to him from God (1 Corinthians 4:5).── Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Victor Books, 1989, pp. 45-46.
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.
Ⅰ. Love is the source of obedience. “ If a man love Me, he will keep My words” (John 14:23).
Ⅱ. Joy is the flower of holiness. “ Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom.14:17).
Ⅲ. Peace is the outcome of trustfulness. “ Be careful for nothing……and the peace of God” (Phil.4:6,7).
Ⅳ. Long-Suffering is the wife of patience. “ With long-suffering, forbearing one another in love” (Eph.4:2).
Ⅴ. Gentleness is the daughter of love. “ Gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus. 3:2).
Ⅵ. Goodness is the activity of grace. “ To do good and to communicate forget not” (Heb. 13:16).
Ⅶ. Faith is the faithfulness of courage. “ This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1. John 5:4).
Ⅷ. Meekness is the lesson learned from Christ. “ Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly” (Matt.11:29).
Ⅸ. Temperance is the mastery of faith. “ Add to faith……temperance” (1. Peter 1:5,6).
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
《The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit》
1. During His ministry, Jesus promised the Spirit to those who believe
on Him - Jn 7:37-39
a. For the believer, "out of his heart will flow rivers of living
b. Fulfilling Scripture, perhaps the one in Isa 58:11
-- In what way does receiving the Spirit produce "rivers of living
2. I believe the answer lies in the "fruit" of the Spirit, that which is
born by one...
a. Who has received the "gift" of the Spirit
b. Who benefits from the "indwelling" of the Spirit
c. Who is "led" by the Spirit
-- Which when produced, blesses himself and those around him
[What is the "fruit" of the Spirit? What should we expect to see in one
who has received the Spirit as promised by Jesus? In Ga 5:22-23 the
apostle Paul provides the answer...]
I. DEFINING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
A. A MANIFOLD EXPRESSION OF GRACES...
1. Love - active good will, expressed toward God and man
2. Joy - gladness, delight, especially in response to God's grace
3. Peace - tranquility, harmony, both with God and our fellow man
4. Longsuffering - patience, forbearance, self-restraint in the
face of provocation (Vine)
5. Kindness - sweetness of temper that puts others at ease
6. Goodness - generosity that reaches beyond just giving what is
7. Faithfulness - the virtue of reliability (Barclay)
8. Gentleness - a humble and kind demeanor that helps to calm
9. Self-control - the virtue of one who masters his desires and
B. REGARDING THE EXPRESSION OF THESE GRACES...
1. Paul defines this as the "fruit" (singular) of the Spirit
a. These graces produce one "fruit"
b. The human spirit may develop some of these graces
c. The Holy Spirit produces them all!
2. Paul's list of graces is likely not exclusive
a. Other graces produced by the Spirit include righteousness,
hope - Ro 14:17; 15:13
b. Other graces likely include faith, virtue, knowledge,
perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness - cf. 2 Pe 1:5-8
[Where the Spirit indwells, strengthening the Christian (cf. Ep 3:16),
the "fruit" of the Spirit will be evident. The graces that make up this
"fruit" are spiritually refreshing, like "rivers of water" that nourish
both one's soul and those around him.
How can we ensure that the Spirit produces this "fruit" in our lives?
Again, Paul provides the answer...]
II. DEVELOPING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
A. WE MUST WALK IN THE SPIRIT...
1. Otherwise we will fulfill the lust of the flesh - Ga 5:16-17,
a. Unable to do the things we want, such as produce the fruit
of the Spirit
b. Producing instead the works of the flesh, which prevent true
love, joy, peace, etc.
2. This we do by minding the things of the Spirit - cf. Ro 8:4-6
a. Those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on
the things of the Spirit, such as the Word which the Spirit
b. Spiritually minded, they experience true life and peace
-- With minds focused on the Word of God, living in harmony with
what the Spirit teaches through the Word, we will walk in the
B. WE MUST BE LED BY THE SPIRIT...
1. Only then are we truly the sons of God - cf. Ro 8:14
a. No longer enslaved to the flesh - Ro 8:12
b. But able to put to death the deeds of the flesh - Ro 8:13
2. Led by the Spirit as described in our previous study
a. Externally through the Word, as He instructs and convicts
- Jn 16:7-8; Ep 6:17
b. Internally through the indwelling, as He empowers and
blesses - Ep 3:16; Ro 15:13
3. Lest we overlook the obvious, two tools are essential to being
led by the Spirit:
a. The Word of God - the Spirit instructs and teaches in no
b. Prayer - through which we can ask for strength from the
Spirit - Ep 3:16,20
-- Through obedience to the Word of God and faithful prayer, we
will be led by the Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives
1. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus offered what He called "living water"
- cf. Jn 4:10-14
a. What He referred to also as "the gift of God"
b. Producing in those who drink, "a fountain of water springing up
into everlasting life"
2. Could Jesus be referring to the gift of the Spirit? Perhaps, for...
a. The Spirit is given to those who obey God - Ac 2:38; 5:32
b. Those who receive the Spirit, "out of his heart will flow rivers
of living water" - Jn 7:37-39
3. Certainly the figure of "living water" is a fitting depiction of the
fruit produced by the Spirit in the life of the Christian...
a. Producing graces that spiritually refresh the Christian and those
b. Producing graces that certainly prepare the Christian for life
May we be diligent to so walk in the Spirit, and be led by the Spirit,
that the fruit of the Spirit is produced in our lives...!