The Fruit of the Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit that we are looking at today and that fruit which we will discuss tomorrow, Lord willing, might well be considered as preliminary to some of the most important fruit that we are to bear. At the very least, it will make bearing that kind of fruit much more likely to take place. A Scriptural and vital Christianity is much more apt to produce enticing fruit than that which is merely intellectual and/or only theoretical. This fruit of the Spirit is the inevitable produce of one who is “abiding.” (See yesterday’s article). As we are emptied of self, the Holy Spirit takes over the territory that “self” has occupied. The more He has His way in us, the more of His wonderful nine-fold fruit is seen and desired. Interestingly, bearing this kind of fruit blesses us. Paul identifies this fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. The Apostle was inspired to write, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness temperance.” The first third of this nine-fold fruit is mostly inward! Who wouldn’t want to enjoy love, joy and peace? The second third is outward. Longsuffering (patience), gentleness (a sweet reasonableness; courtesy) are mostly outward; toward others. Being granted these qualities often prompts gratitude and respect and can motivate people to be willing to listen. The third cluster is largely Godward. Faith is how we enter a relationship with God; faith in His Word brings Spiritual maturity. Meekness is, as someone suggested, “strength under control.” It is the humility to which God responds. Temperance is self control, but not as we usually think of self control. It is the control of the “self” by the Holy Spirit which involves “crucifying the “flesh.” The constant produce of this kind of fruit is the way people see the character of Jesus. This is what Albert W. T. Orsborn prayed in his gospel song, “Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen in Me.” He wrote, “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me-all His wonderful passion and purity! O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, ’til the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” Selah! When the Holy Spirit is yielded to, as He applies Scripture in our lives, Jesus is seen in us and He uses us to draw people to Himself. This unusual fruit is appealing!   Ron

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