Fruits of the Spirit

Holiness must begin in the Heart and produce the Fruits of the Spirit

The majority of the topics discussed thus far are mostly concerning outward manifestations of an inner problem.

The fruit produced by a plant provides an excellent representation of the type of plant it came from. The same is true with the works or spiritual fruits of people. When a person is born again, they become a new creature in Christ and begin bearing fruit of righteousness.

Jesus explains in Matthew 7 that there will be false prophets that look like Holy people on the outside but inwardly they are far from righteous. In the days that we live in, there are opportunities for people to follow the teachings of the Holiness Churches by maintaining the outward appearance standards but never experience the “born again” conversion that produces the fruit of the spirit. It’s a relatively easy task to mimic the dress codes and outward appearance of others because you can physically see the difference. But the actions that are used to evaluate the fruits of the spirit are much easier to hide (at least for a while).

I’m all for maintaining the Holiness standards that we preach and teach, but I’m afraid that sometimes we forget about the importance of the inner man by instead substituting measurements that we can physically see.  In reality Holiness is displayed in both the inward and the outward attributes that we manifest.

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.    Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them

 What effect will loving God make in the actions of our life? It will cause us to produce fruit of Holiness in our life.

Rom 6:20  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  Rom 6:21  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.   Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.   Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 When we were in sin, we produced the fruit of unrighteousness but after being saved we are expected to be free from the bondage of sin and start producing fruits of Holiness. If we claim salvation but do not bear the fruit of righteousness, we are deceived just as James 1:22 explains.

James 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Eph 5:7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.   Eph 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:   Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)   Eph 5:10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.   Eph 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.   Eph 5:12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.  

Ephesians 5:9 tells us that the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. This selection of scripture continues to instruct us to be filled with the spirit and to keep hymns and spiritual songs in our heart.

 

Examples of works of the Flesh

 

Galatians 5 also commands us to walk in the spirit so we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Verses 5:19 through 5:21 provide examples of the fruits of unrighteousness.

 

Galatians 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  Galatians 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  Galatians 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Galatians 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,     Galatians 5:20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,         Galatians 5:21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Examples of Fruits of righteousness

 In Galatians 5:22 and 5:23 provide examples of the fruits of righteousness.

 Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Galatians 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Galatians 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

A review of the fruit of the spirit is provided below. Since we are known by our fruits, how are you viewed by others (Matthew 7:20)? Do you pass the good fruit test of the Lord? These characteristics will be just as important to God as our visible Holiness attributes when we stand in judgment.

 

Define: Love -  An affection of the mind excited by beauty and worth of any kind, or by the qualities of an object which communicate pleasure. It is opposed to hatred.

 

Define: Joy  The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune, the gratification of desire or some good possessed, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exultation; exhilaration of spirits. Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.

 

Define: Peace  In a general sense, a state of quiet or tranquility; freedom from disturbance or agitation; applicable to society, to individuals, or to the temper of the mind.

 

Define: Longsuffering – Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked.

 

Define: Gentleness – Genteel behavior. Softness of manners; mildness of temper; sweetness of disposition; meekness. Kindness; benevolence. Tenderness; mild treatment.

 

Define: Goodness – The moral qualities which constitute Christian excellence; moral virtue; religion.

 

Define: Faith – Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.

 

Define: Meekness – Softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations.

In an evangelical sense, humility; resignation; submission to the divine will, without murmuring or peevishness; opposed to pride or arrogance.

 

Define: temperance – Moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; as temperance in eating and drinking; Temperance in eating and drinking is opposed to gluttony and drunkenness, and in other indulgences, to excess.  Patience; calmness; sedateness; moderation of passion.

 

Can we be accounted as Holy without demonstrating the fruits of the spirit? Jesus said that every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast in the fire. If we do not possess these spiritual fruits, then we also will be cast into the fire of hell.

 

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

 

Can a person professing Christianity go to heaven with a hateful, provoking, envying attitude toward others? Those are definitely 180 degrees away from the fruits that the Word instructs us to have, and indicate a serious spiritual deficiency. Based on what I read, a person lacking in the attributes of the fruits of the spirit are in as much jeopardy of hell as a person professing Christianity and wearing clothing of the opposite sex.

 

You might think of a person very active in your church (maybe even a minister) that has a downright hateful attitude toward other people (I’m not talking about preaching the truth and getting on someone’s toes). Can they get by God’s fruit test because of their position in the church? I’m afraid that they will hear the words “I never knew you, depart from me ye workers of iniquity” (Matthew 7:24).

 

I hate to admit it, but some of the most racist people that I know are church going people. I’ve overheard people in church services talk disgracefully about another person singing because they have a different color skin. Can they get by with an external Pharisean Holiness shield? Since racism represents variance, emulations, and hatred, what kind of tree is being represented? There definitely aren’t any fruits of love, gentleness, goodness, or meekness being represented in these actions.

 

Can you truly be sanctified and still possess the fruits of unrighteousness (Gal 5:19-21)?   Not in a million years!

  

What does the term “Charity” mean when used in 1 Corinthians chapter 13?

 

Webster’s definition: Charity -  In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.

 

If we speak in tongues; have the gifts of prophecy, understanding, and knowledge; have all faith; give our life for the poor but still lack love (charity) we are nothing before God. If you compare this to the fruits of the spirit discussed above we see the same importance placed on these attributes. If we come up short in charity or love then everything else is in vain.

 

1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.    1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.   1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.   1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,   1Co 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;   1Co 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;   1Co 13:7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.   1Co 13:8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.   1Co 13:9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.   1Co 13:10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.   1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.   1Co 13:12  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.   1Co 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

Good advice from the Apostle Paul

 

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.   Php 4:9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

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