Monday, April 26, 2010

The fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. I tried to write them all from memory, but I didn't make it. So, it is probably a good time to refresh my study of them. To start off with, let's look at the word fruit. Jesus, while teaching His disciples, asked them a funny question, "Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?" Obviously, grapes are gathered from grape vines and figs from fig trees. What Jesus is speaking about is men, and their ability to present themselves as something that they are not. Then He goes on to say, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Webster's defines fruit as a product of plant growth. Men can frankly say anything about themselves, but the evidence is not found in their words. The evidence is found in the product of their lives. That is why Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." So if someone tells you that they are an grape vine, yet all the while you see all thorns and no grapes, you know by their fruit what you are dealing with.

So then, we see that these particular fruits are associated with the Spirit. In other words, the product of a life that is indwelt by the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. What we are talking about are the things we should see in the life of a believer. In our dealing with others, it is quite simple: when you see these afore mentioned fruits you know that you are dealing with a Christian. This is important because there are many unbelievers who are completely versed in church speak. So while they know enough to keep their speech pleasing to those at church; the evidence in their life is very clear that they don't know God at all. Sad to say, but many unrealized opportunities for evangelism are sitting in the pews next to us. And just as important, we all have to, from time to time, examine the fruit that we are producing. We need to ask is the Spirit working in us to produce good fruit, or is the flesh reigning in us and producing bad fruit?

More tomorrow, God bless you all.

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