The Fruit of the Spirit, photo from here
“The Christian life, the fruit of the Spirit, is a constant reckoning of the flesh as dead and a constant relying on the present Spirit of Christ to produce love, joy, and peace within.” – John Piper
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” –Galatians 5:22-25
The fruit of the Spirit is fruit a believer bears as a direct result of the Spirit of God at work within them. God’s Spirit works in us, through us, and despite of us. If we bear any of the fruit of the Spirit, it is God who is at work bearing that fruit.
If we are to bear the fruit of the Spirit, we must not live according to our sinful or fleshly desires. We must die to our self-centered passions and desires if we are to live in the Spirit and keep in step with God’s Spirit. Those who crucify the sinful nature and keep in step with the Spirit bear the fruit of the Spirit. We cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit on our own; it is the Spirit’s fruit.
A tree can be known by its fruit
“Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” –Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus
Jesus stated this plainly, “Every good tree bears good fruit.” If we are walking with Christ, and keeping in step with His Spirit, we will bear good fruit. If we are walking according to our sinful or fleshly nature, we will bear bad fruit. As Jesus clearly said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” We can clearly see where we stand with Christ and how we are relating to God by the fruit we bear in our lives.
We cannot bear fruit on our own
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15:5, Jesus
“The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” –Galatians 2:20
We cannot bear fruit on our own. Scripture is clear on this. If we are to bear the fruit of the Spirit, we must abide in Christ and live by faith in Him. If we abide in Christ, we will bear much fruit, but if we do not abide in Him, we can do nothing.
Paul also stated in Galatians 2:20 that the lives we now live, we live by faith in the Son of God. We cannot live to our sinful selves and keep in step with God’s Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit. We must walk in faith and keep in step with the Spirit of God to bear the fruit of His Spirit.
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit and perfectly lived out the fruit of the spirit for us to observe. It is only in Christ, and through the Spirit of Christ in us, that we can bear the fruit of the Spirit.
The word embodiment can mean personification, picture, example, or expression. Jesus certainly embodied or personified the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus is also the perfect expression of God’s Holiness and the fruit of God’s Spirit. In Jesus we see the perfect picture of the fruit of the Spirit, through the perfect work of the Holy Spirit.
We cannot look to Jesus as merely a picture or example, which we must follow, however. No. We must be taken over and Jesus must control us. We must allow God to be God and submit to His Lordship over our lives. We must allow God’s Spirit to indwell us and to produce the fruit of His Sprit in us. It is in Jesus Christ alone that we are able to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus embodies these fruits in us by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
The following is the fruit of the Spirit God produces in us by His Holy Spirit:
Love: We have love in Christ alone we
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” –1 John 4:8, John
- Jesus is the embodiment of love
- We love because God is love
- We love because He loved us first
Joy: Our joy is in Christ alone
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” –John 15:11, Jesus
- Our joy is complete in Christ alone
- Jesus is the embodiment of Joy
Peace: Our peace is in Christ alone
“And through [Jesus] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” –Colossians 1:19-20, Paul
- Jesus has made peace through the cross
- Jesus is the embodiment of peace
Patience: In Christ we have patience
“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.” –Colossians 1:11, Paul
- Jesus empowers us to have patience
- Jesus is the embodiment of patience
Kindness: Is found in Christ alone
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:32, Paul
- We can show kindness because Jesus has shown us kindness
- Jesus is the embodiment of kindness
Goodness: Christ alone is good
“’Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good--except God alone.’” –Mark 10:18, Jesus
- We are only good in Christ Jesus
- Jesus is the embodiment of goodness
Faithfulness: Christ alone is faithful
“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God's house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” –Hebrews 3:6
- Jesus is faithful when we are not
- Jesus is the embodiment faithfulness
Gentleness: True Gentleness is in Christ alone
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” –Colossians 3:12, Paul
- Christ is the embodiment of true gentleness
- We should be gentle in Christ’s gentleness
Self-control: True self-control comes through Christ alone
“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” –Romans 7:21-25, Paul
- Jesus is the embodiment of perfect self-control
- We can control ourselves through Jesus Christ alone