The fruit of the Spirit is the physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a Christian life. It is an evidence of a transformed life.It is an offshoot of a crucified life.
Just like fruit gives an idea of the type of tree it comes from,the fruit of the Spirit(traits,attitudes, behaviors of a Christian) help us to know if he/she is truly is of the Spirit:”You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”-Matt 7:16(NLT).
Jesus didn’t say ‘by their gift’ you shall recognise them.In fact the early believers were not called Christians in Jerusalem despite what happened at Pentecost(speaking in diverse tongues etc),they were called Christians in Antioch(a non-Jewish city) after people saw their transformed lives:”…So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”-Act 11:26
They were called Christians.They didn’t call themselves Christians!People saw them exhibiting the traits and behaviour of Christ.Jesus never went to Antioch to preach they only heard about Him,however they could see His replica in the disciples,hence ”Christians’.
Being a Christian therefore is primarily a ‘fruit’ thing.The ‘gifts’ are adjuncts and they will end here on earth:“ Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”-1Cor 13:8
Action point:Thank God I teach on this blog,but can my wife say I am a christian? Can my child look at me and say “Daddy is a Christian”. Can my co-worker call me a christian? I may claim, boast and confess that I am a Christian but that does not make me one!When people around me come under my fig tree what do they find? A blossomed fruitless tree or a blossomed fruitful tree?
You are not a Christian because you go to church on Sundays.You are not one because you speak in tongues.Do you know if you have the gift of tongues and you backslide,if you enter a gathering of believers speaking in tongue,your backsliding does not wipe off your ability to speak in tongues?
King Saul even prophesied in his backsliden state! “He tore off his clothes and lay naked on the ground all day and all night, prophesying in the presence of Samuel. The people who were watching exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet?”-1Sam19:24
That would have been called ‘being slain in the Spirit’ today.Hahahaha.Don’t be carried away by the spiritual gymnastics flying around.Does this person exhibit the fruit of the Spirit?
I welcome you to the series on fruit of the Spirit.Don’t miss any of them!
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
CATEGORIES OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
1)The vertical leg of the right angle triangle is about our relationship with God.There are virtues that rub off on us supernaturally as a result of our regular fellowship with God.We don’t have these virtues in us by default.They are inputed:”So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image”.-2Cor 3:18
2)The horizontal leg of the triangle is about the spontaneous manifestation of the life/Zoe of God in a Christian life to people as a result of his/her relationship with God.These are proofs to men/ women that you have been in contact with the Holy Spirit:”In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”-Matt 5:16
3)The hypotenuse/diagonal of the triangle is about the conscious cooperation with the Holy Spirit to practicalise all the aforementioned (1&2) in an unfriendly world! The world is going to resist and threaten you for daring to be different.You will have to stand firm and show them the stuff you are made of:”…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
Let me pause here.I shall be teaching specifically on the fruit in the next post.
Stay blessed and rapturable.