The Expository Files

 

 The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)


When we become Christians we begin a life-long process of Christian growth. To use Paul’s language, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). In another place Paul said, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). It is extremely important for us to realize that God expects us to be radically transformed into the likeness of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. As we study the life of Jesus Christ, revealed to us upon the pages of the New Testament, we may conclude that achieving this task seems impossible. How can we possibly achieve such growth? Turning to the Gospel of John we find that Jesus reveals to us how this can be accomplished:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:1-8),
We can grow and become like our Father and Lord Jesus Christ because we have both of them abiding in us along with the Holy Spirit (I John 4:12; John 15:1-8; Acts 5:32; I Cor. 3:16; 6:19). Notice the argument John makes when he wrote, “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us” (I John 4:12). How is this accomplished? The Holy Spirit works in us, not miraculously, but in and through the Word of God as we seek to know that Word and apply its teaching to our lives. Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).

We must be reminded from time to time that spiritual growth is a process and does not happen overnight. This process occurs as we cooperate with God, much in the same way a patient and a doctor cooperate. Paul said, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13). Are we growing? Are we developing the “fruit of the Spirit?”


From Walking in Truth
“Daily Devotionals by Guy Roberson”

 

   By Guy Roberson
From Expository Files 21.12; December 2014

 

 

 

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