Has anyone heard about the fruit of the Spirit and wondered what it meant? Being a Christian means being a student of Christ, a follower of christ. Believing that Christ is the Son of God and part of the Trinity, along with the Holy Spirit who is God’s spirit given to us as a helper after Jesus ascended from the earth. The Holy Spirit is God and is God’s power here on earth and within our bodies that interacts with our own spirit. Living a spirit filled life as a Christian means allowing who Christ is, who the Holy Spirit is to be evident in our lives. This is not performance based living, or about deeds. Our deeds are like filthy rags to God. Bearing fruit as a Christian means welcoming the Holy Spirit for inspiration and transformation allowing our character to go through the process of sanctification, being refined, healed, ever growing through God’s love in our lives.
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” These are attributes of God’s Spirit, what comes to fruition in God’s person. We know we share in this fruit when we live in God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit is available to us anytime and can accept him during any moment of our lives.
Philippians 2:1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, is any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. This is letting our light shine, by allowing the fruit of the Spirit that we have experienced to be active and alive in our lives for others. This is about what was offered to us by Jesus and what we offer others. If love has impacted our life, let love be evident. If we have fulfillment and joy, share this fruit with others and offer support and encouragement.
John 15:1-14 These verses explain that believers do bear fruit if they remain in the vine which is Jesus. If they remain in a Spirit filled life will show forth the same attributes and fruit of Jesus, the fruit of the Spirit. Matthew 7:16 says you shall know them by their fruit. This was how Jesus advised people to discern a true follower of Christ and only one that proclaims his name.
We are able to bare the fruit of the Spirit when we seek Jesus. Matthew 6:33 instructs us to see the kingdom of God, see his righteousness and everything else will be added to you. A lot can be prayed about, a lot worried about, but God says just seek him, his character, his spirit, his face, seek to know him,to share in the Holy Spirit, to accept love and love in return.
In practical terms, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in an argument with my spouse or a family member and for me to offer anything kind or good at all I first need to step back, set my mind on the Spirit of God, accept his love and persona, and share a few moments. In these moments, I encounter a transformation of heart. Instead of being bitter, angry and trying to prove a point, I feel compassion for the other person, not just from my own understanding, but from understanding God’s love. I have a wave of empathy, I want to do what is best for them because I love them. My pride, my fight is redirected. It is a personal choice to set our minds on Christ, we take one step, and then the Spirit of God takes two. He helps renew our minds by transforming them, so that we may also bear fruit.
Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” Another translation reads, “It is not what goes into your body that defiles you, you are defiled by what comes out of your heart.” It is up to each individual to choose what fruit to bear, what action to take, what to say, no matter what has been done to us. We have no to blame but ourselves for the things we do and say. We are our own creators in this sense. We have a choice every moment to live by fleeting emotions and desires, or to apply grace.