The Fruit of The Spirit
By Joe Keim
March 1, 2013
The Fruit of the Spirit
Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
Wouldn't it be great to live a life with all of these wonderful characteristics coming from within you on a daily basis?
What would a life filled with constant and overflowing joy look like?
Do you know someone who walks in complete peace, regardless of the turmoil that is going around them? How about that gentle person in your life?
I have been studying the fruit of the Spirit for some time and am excited to share some thoughts with you that I believe the Lord has shown me.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
We learn from scripture that these are not individual "fruits" from which we pick and choose. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is one (nine-fold) "fruit". If you have one, you have them all. They come as a package deal.
This "fruit list" is a reflection of God's character and flows through men and women who have been born again (John 3:1-7) and are truly walking in the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-4).
You cannot produce this fruit on your own (John 15:5). God is the One that produces the fruit in and through you. Even under the Old Testament Law a believer produced good fruit only by God's power. At times, a person may imitate or produce a product that is similar to God's fruit; however, the truth is: people are not capable of producing real "God" love, joy, and peace on their own. These valuable characteristics are a gift from God alone!
In John 15, Jesus says: if you want the fruit of the Spirit to show up in your daily walk, you must be grafted into Him - just like a branch is grafted into the main vine coming out of the ground. Then you must walk in Him, meaning:
- You must have the mind of God continually.
- You must let go of every situation in your life and hand it all over to God.
- You must also spend time with God through personal prayer and reading His eternal and life- changing Word.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch (you and I) cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
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 (John 15:4-5).
Just like a tree branch cannot bear fruit on its own, without being attached to the vine, so a man and woman cannot bear fruit without being grafted into Jesus who is the vine in this passage.
- Man-made religion cannot make you produce fruit!
- Church ordinances cannot make you produce fruit!
- Preachers cannot make you produce fruit!
- Baptism can't!
- Church membership can't!
Only Jesus can produce fruit, but you must be grafted into Him. When you are in Him, then the fruit of the Spirit will automatically appear.
So often we are more concerned about fruit production then we are on abiding in Christ. It should be the other way around. We should focus more on abiding in Jesus and then the fruit crop will automatically appear.
The next time someone in your family losses their temper or struggles with peace and longsuffering, you should not say: "Hey, why don't you get your act together and start being more loving instead of yelling and getting angry all the time?" Rather, you should say: "Hey, you need to start abiding in Jesus and then everything else in your life will fall into place."
Someone has an alcohol problem? Rebellious problem? Marriage problem? Sexual problem? Whatever the problem may be, stop putting all your energy into fixing the problem.
- You can't fix it!
- The counselor can't fix it!
- The preacher can't fix it!
The answer is: abide in Jesus and start walking in Him. When you do, all your fleshly desires and habits will disappear, and in their place you will see fruit of the Spirit:
Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
In conclusion, you have probably heard people say, "You are not allowed to judge other people." That is true, because the Bible says so.
This is why it's wrong to judge someone. First, it puts the one doing the judging in God's seat (Romans 14). Second, those who judge will condemn themselves (Romans 2:1-2). Having said that, the Bible does say we are allowed to be fruit inspectors. Consider the words spoken by Jesus Christ:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:16-18).
Fruit of the Spirit is an outward sign that a person has been born again. You shall know [men and women] by the type of fruit that grows on their branches. However, be careful what you call fruit. For example, using electric lights verses kerosene lanterns does not have anything to do with whether one has bad fruit or good fruit. That is a man-made church rule, not fruit of the Spirit.
-- Joe Keim
« Back to Articles