Monday, February 28, 2011

The Fruit of the Spirit

Have you ever wondered why God used the fruit to illustrate this particular topic? He could have used the Leaf of the Spirit or the Flower of the Spirit. Let me tell you what I know about the fruit from a horticultural point of view. I hope that it will lead us to understand the reason for the Fruit of the Spirit.

The Fruit is the ultimate outcome of growth and development. A plant that is well-rooted and properly nourished plant grows and eventually bears fruit. A plant that is unhealthy and nutritionally deficient does not bear fruit.  In like manner, only the healthy and growing Christian bears fruit. The apostle Paul described the concept of growing in his letter to the church in Colossae - “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” (Col. 1:9-12)

The Fruit is meant for others. The fruit is not for the one that bears it. A tree does not benefit from its fruit. The animals and the birds and humans are the ones that are attracted and fed by the fruits. Love, joy, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, peace, etc. are all meant to benefit others. They are not for us but those around us. The fruit of the spirit attracts others to us so that they would catch the seed - the same seed that we received through God's grace. Remember what God said to Adam and Eve before they were kicked out of Eden – “Go and multiply”. They were commanded to reproduce their kind. Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew (28:18-20) “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…” We are commanded to let others know what makes us the way we are. The fruit of the spirit is the appetizing color, fragrance, and sweetness that attract those who are hungry. The fruit of the spirit is the standing invitation for others to come and take shelter around us so that they too may receive the grace that we already received from Christ.

The Fruit bears the seed. The fruit is a seed carrier. We all enjoy the seedless fruits that we buy from the grocery stores because they are so easy to eat. But let me tell you – Seedless fruits are abnormal fruits. Seedless fruits are not performing what they are supposed to do in the natural sense of life. Their services end where the fruits are eaten or when they rot. God intended for the fruit to carry the possibility of a new life. Our life as Christians should bear the fruit that carries the seed of the knowledge of Christ.   In the eyes of God, the seeded fruit is more valuable than its seedless counterpart.

We live and the world watches us.  Our behavior and actions reveal that which controls us - the flesh or the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
 ~ Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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