Friday, October 17, 2014

We are known by our fruit!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law…  Galatians 5:22-23

This week we have been studying the Fruit of the Spirit.  When we are living in the Spirit, the fruit that comes out of our lives will reflect the Holy Spirit, but when we are living in our sinful nature, the fruit in our lives will reflect our sinful nature. 

When we become Christians, God has a desire for us to bear good fruit and bear a lot of it, to be highly productive: Jesus said, This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8   Another time, Jesus says that we did not choose Him, but He chose us and appointed us to go and bear fruit that will last – eternal fruit! 

Jesus gave us everything we need to produce good fruit and to produce a lot of it, and that is to abide in Him.  We cannot produce spiritual fruit on our own.  It only comes through a relationship with Jesus.  Just like the verse at the bottom of the page says, a branch cannot bear fruit without the vine and we cannot bear fruit without Jesus. 

We also have to be careful that we don’t produce bad fruit.  The Bible says Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” Matthew 7:17–18. In other words, bad fruit is not the problem, but only a symptom of the problem. We need to dig until we find the root of the problem, and then heal that.  We can have a bad attitude, or let bitterness or anger take root and then we produce rotten fruit instead of good fruit.  We have to treat the root to save the whole tree. 

We are known by our fruit!
A tree cannot always be distinguished by its bark or leaves, but you can always tell a tree by its fruit.  You cannot pick an orange from an apple tree, or grapes from a tomato vine.  It is the same with us.  Our actions prove what kind of person we are.  We can say we are a Christian, but if there is no fruit in our life to prove it, people will see that and know we are not truly living in the Spirit.   Likewise if we say we are a Christian but then produce bad fruit, people will notice.  We cannot disguise our Christianity by pretending to be one thing and yet produce something totally different in our daily lives.    

When we are living in the Holy Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to control our whole beings, these fruits will be evident to others around us. Without God’s spirit, we are all flesh and raw human nature.  But the Holy Spirit in us produces wonderful virtues of godly character that is all the result of Him acting from within us.  Obedience to the Holy Spirit is what produces fruit in our lives and when we are producing fruit that shows growth.  Spiritual maturity and growth does not happen automatically.  It takes purposeful effort on our part to yield to the Holy Spirit.  His desire for our lives is to produce good fruit and a lot of it by abiding in Him. 

Scripture to Claim:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:4-5

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