Welcome to Day 1 of our 3M Fast. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians is talking to the churches in Galatia, who had been led astray from the Gospel of Christ and had converted back to the Law of Moses. Here in this letter, Paul explains that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ and then he brings to our attention, the “Fruit of the Spirit,” which is how we are to live as redeemed children of God. When you live by the Fruit of the Spirit, Paul tells us there is no need for the law. This is not referencing the laws of the land, which we are obligated to obey, but this is referencing the Law of Moses that was nailed to the cross when Jesus died for our sins. Jesus replaced that law. As followers of Christ, Paul challenges us and says,
“to live by the Spirit so that we will not seek to gratify the desires of our sinful nature.”
Then Paul contrasts the desires of the sinful nature with the life controlled by the Spirit. He tells us,
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
While there are nine qualities/ingredients, they actually blend together to create ONE FRUIT. It’s not the “Fruits” of the Spirit; they are called “Fruit” of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit produces one “Fruit” in our lives, but that “Fruit” is demonstrated in nine ingredients. And it is the Holy Spirit’s desire to work all of these ingredients into our lives, not just the ones that look most appealing. We cannot pick love but leave patience on the shelf. We cannot choose peace but ignore self-control. Every ingredient makes one fruit. In addition, we should note that these are the Fruit of the “Spirit.” Which means these are not traits that we work up in our lives. They are the natural by-product of the indwelling Holy Spirit. So if an ingredient is missing or not functioning very well, we need to do some self-checking to see what is blocking its production in our life. When we put ourselves in the right conditions, we will grow the right fruit.
Now that we know what the Fruit of the Spirits is; Now that we know who produces it, tell us what does it mean? We hear the phrase often, but what exactly does “Fruit of the Spirit” mean? It means that the Holy Spirit lives in you. It means that you are putting your life in the continual presence in the Spirit of God. It means that you are abiding with Jesus like a vine abides with a tree; in the same way we abide by the Holy Spirit. In John chapter 15:5, Jesus explains the relationship between the vine and its branches.
Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”
The Fruit of the Spirit are the holistic expression of the Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer the reality of life transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you would like to do some personal growth in the area of living out the Fruit of Love, make a decision to read 1 Corinthians 13 (Modern Translation). As you read, make a list of what Agape love is and what it is not. Take a few moments each day and review your list. Then prayerfully ask God to show you three characteristics of Agape love that you would like to start developing in your own life.