I was recently studying through Galatians 5:16-26 as I was preparing lessons for One Life Kids. These verse are about the Holy Spirit living in us . Growing up in church the Fruits of the Spirit were talked about often, I memorized them and I can still rattle them all off. But it has been a while since I spent some time studying and praying over these fruits.
So what are the Fruits of the Spirit? How many are there? Can you eat them? Well, there are nine Fruits of the Spirit that include: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. The Fruit of the Spirit is not a banana and no you can’t eat them!
So, you may be wondering, why are these characteristics of the Holy Spirit called fruit? That’s a valid question. You see, before we have given our lives to Christ we are living in sin and are like a tree that produces bad fruit (sin).
“19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”Galatians 5:19-21
But once we give our lives to Christ, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit fills us with good fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:24-25 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful natures to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
Will it be easy?
Just because we are filled with the Spirit, our lives won’t magically become easy. We won’t be perfect. The Fruits of the Spirit will not just flow out of us at the snap of a finger. We have to work at it.
Just like a tree needs water, sunlight, and good soil to grow, we need some things to grow as well. When we spend time in God’s Word, when we pray, when we surround ourselves with other believers, we will begin to grow. The closer we stay to God the easier it is for the Fruits of the Spirit to overflow in our lives.
But, if we begin to spend less time with God, less time in prayer, and we surround ourselves with people who do not encourage us in our faith, it will be harder to produce that good fruit.
In John 15 Jesus compares our relationship with Him like a vine and branches. He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
Once we have committed our lives to Christ and we have turned from our old way of living we need to remain close to God. When we spend time with him, we can produce the good fruit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. But when we start to do life on our own and we are apart from God, we can’t produce that good fruit.
If you are like me, maybe you have known what the Fruits of the Spirit are since childhood but it’s been a while since you dug in and really studied them. Or maybe all of this talk about fruit is new to you and making you a little hungry. I encourage you to read Galatians 5:16-26. Pray over these fruits and ask God to reveal to you which areas of your life you are producing good fruit and where you need some work.
If you haven’t given your life to Christ and haven’t received the gift of the Holy Spirit, check out this message from Pastor Guy.
Here is a fun song that we use in One Life Kids to help them remember what these 9 Fruits of the Spirit are. Enjoy!