Faithlife Sermons

The Fruit of the Spirit

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Galatians 5:22-23
In one of his meetings, D.L. Moody was explaining to his audience the truth that we cannot bring about spiritual changes in our lives by our own strength. He demonstrated the principal like this: “Tell me,” he said to his audience, “how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?” One man said, “Suck it out with a pump.” But Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter it.” Finally after many suggestions, he picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing Christ to take full possession.
Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of a Christian. The Bible makes it clear that everyone receives the Holy Spirit the moment he or she believes in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14). One of the primary purposes of the Holy Spirit coming into a Christian's life is to change that life. It is the Holy Spirit's job to conform us to the image of Christ, making us more like Him. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is in direct contrast with the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
The Christian life is a battle of the sinful flesh against the new nature given by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As fallen human beings, we are still trapped in a body that desires sinful things (Romans 7:14-25). As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit producing His fruit in us and we have the Holy Spirit's power available to conquer the acts of the sinful nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13). It is one of the main purposes of the Christian life, to progressively allow the Holy Spirit to produce more and more of His fruit in our lives—and to allow the Holy Spirit to conquer the opposing sinful desires. The fruit of the Spirit is what God desires our lives to exhibit and, with the Holy Spirit's help, it is possible!
So let look briefly at each fruit given to us by the HS and ask the question of each what is each fruit?

What is Love?

The English word love has very broad meaning, but the Greek language was very precise.

The love which the Holy Spirit manifests in believers is agape. Phil. 2:3; John 15:13; 1 John 3:11; Luke 6:35; 1 John 5:3

This love is not a feeling, but a choice. It is the choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another's needs greater than one's own (Philippians 2:3).
Agape is used in all of the “hard” love verses in the New Testament: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another" (1 John 3:11). “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” (Luke 6:35). "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3).

It is because of love that God carried out His plan to save the world. John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

It is only by love that we can keep the greatest commandments. Mark 12:30-31

“Love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

Love is the greatest gift God can give. 1 Cor. 13

First Corinthians 13 says that agape is patient. Agape is kind. Agape never fails. God desires to show His perfect, selfless love to a world that is routinely confused about what true love is.
God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

What is Joy?

Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God.

Whether promised or fulfilled. The Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways:

The joy of deliverance: When God sets someone free, rejoicing is in order. 1 Sam. 2:1

1 Samuel 2:1: Hannah was filled with joy at her deliverance from her enemies.

The joy of salvation: Our greatest reason to be joyful is that God wants to save us and spend eternity with us. Nothing is better than this. Luke 15:7

Luke 15:7: All heaven is joyful when a person accepts God's provision of salvation.

The joy of spiritual maturity: As the Holy Spirit works in us to bear more fruit, we become confident in God's promises and rejoice in our walk with Him and with other believers. John 15:11

John 15:11: The fullness of joy comes to those who continue in the love of Christ and obey Him.

The joy of God's presence: The Holy Spirit draws us to God, in whose presence we can know true joy. Without the Holy Spirit, no one would seek God. Psalm 16:11

Psalm 16:11: “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”.
When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God's grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).

What is peace?

Only God can create peace through the work of the Holy Spirit. Especially the peace mentioned in Galatians 5—the peace of a harmonious relationship with God.
We are born at war. At birth, our sinful nature has already declared war on God and His truth. Our heart's desire is to be separated from Him, and if we persist in this desire until death, He will give us what we want.
But God’s methods of warfare are not what we expected. Instead of a battle, He sent us the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus’ goal in coming to earth was more than simply to cease hostilities; He came to bring about a full and abiding relationship of restoration and love. The cost of this peace was His life (Isaiah 53:5).
However, the fruit of the Spirit includes a peace that goes beyond that of salvation.

It is a sweet relationship. Isaiah 26:3

As Isaiah 26:3 says, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You." Do you know where trust comes from. Its an equation. Transparency plus Truth over Time

God’s peace transcends earthly matters. Philippians 4:4-7

As Philippians 4:4-7 illustrates. Believers are to be "anxious for nothing," for God promises to "guard your hearts and minds." It is a peace “which transcends all understanding”; that is, to the worldly mind, such peace is incomprehensible. Its source is the Holy Spirit of God, whom the world neither sees nor knows (John 14:17).

What is Patience?

“Patience” in Galatians 5:22 literally means “long temper,” in the sense of ...

The ability to hold one’s temper for a long time.

The KJV translates it “longsuffering.” A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without complaining. A patient person is slow to anger as he waits for God to provide comfort and punish wrongdoing. Since it is a fruit of the Spirit, we can only possess this kind of patience through the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

What is Kindness?

The famous preacher, Charles Swindoll once said, "Kindness is a language that deaf people can hear and that blind people can see."
The Greek word for “kindness” can literally mean “tender concern, uprightness.”

It is kindness of heart and kindness of act. 2 Cor. 6:4-6

Of course God showed us kindness through giving of His Son. And through the Life of Christ we see the kindness of God lived out, in His ministry, His Life and Death.
When we exhibit the kindness of God, we are tender, benevolent, and useful to others. Every action, every word will have the flavor of grace in it.
To maintain this attitude toward those we love is hard enough. To express kindness toward those who are against us requires the work of God (2 Corinthians 6:4-6). That is why kindness is a fruit of the Spirit.

What is Goodness?

Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. James 1:17; Matthew 5:16

It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It's a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person.
The fruit of goodness will selflessly act on behalf of others.
Goodness is not a quality we can manufacture on our own. James 1:17 says, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights."
In letting the Holy Spirit control us, we are blessed with the fruit of goodness. As others see our good works, they will praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

What is Faithfulness?

Faithfulness is steadfastness, constancy, or allegiance; it is carefulness in keeping what we are entrusted with; it is the conviction that the Scriptures accurately reflect reality.

Biblical faithfulness requires belief in what the Bible says about God

—His existence, His works, and His character.

Faithfulness is believing that God is Who He says He is

and continuing in that belief despite the whims of life. What that means is that we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us.
We trust He will work out everything for good.
We trust He will work His will in us.
The only way we can have such faith is by the Holy Spirit's influence. The Spirit makes us faithful.

What is gentleness?

Gentleness, also translated “meekness,” does not mean weakness. Rather, it involves humility and thankfulness toward God, and polite, restrained behavior toward others.

The opposites of gentleness are anger, a desire for revenge, and self-ambition.

God wants us to give Him control of our lives. Relying on our own logic, we have no motivation to submit to God's leadership. With the wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit, however, we begin to see why we should completely submit to God as Lord of our lives.
When we are filled with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness, we will forgive readily, because any offense toward us is nothing compared to our offenses against God—offenses He's already forgiven (Matthew 18:23-35). Competition will disappear, as the goal becomes less about ourselves and more about preaching the gospel (Philippians 1:15-18). John the Baptist was a fiery preacher, yet he showed true gentleness when he said, “[Jesus] must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness: “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), and now He offers us His gentleness as a fruit. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness.

What is self-control?

The last characteristic listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as a fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
Self-control (“temperance” in the KJV) is, of course,

The ability to control oneself.

It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our desires and fleshly lusts.

One of the proofs of God’s working in our lives is the ability to control our own thoughts, words, and actions. Galatians 5:1; Romans 6:6

When we are saved by Christ's sacrifice, we are free (Galatians 5:1). That liberty includes, among other things, freedom from sin.
“Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).

Now, as the Spirit gives us self-control, we can refuse sin. Romans 7:21-25

Believers need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans 7:21-25). We don’t exhibit self-control if we continually dally with that which would enslave us.
So in summary of the fruit of the Spirit:
Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.
Is your life producing fruit, the fruit that only can come from the Lord? If not, you need to abide in Him...
Remember the Words of Christ in John 15:5
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
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