Title: His Desired Fruit
Theme: Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Introduction: Jesus said, "This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples." (John 15:8) Considering how these are the very words spoken by Jesus Christ. Christians, longing to please the Lord will seek the council of God's Word. In their diligent search they will find Galatians 5: 22 - 25, "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 sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
Studdert Kennedy's poem expresses mankind's nature and the tension that arises as we must choose to give into the flesh or walk instep with the Holy Spirit. He writes, "I'm a man and a man's mixture, Right down from his very birth; For part of him comes from heaven, And part of him comes from earth."
The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Galatians. (Galatians 1:1) Through him we see that Christian freedom is not the means to indulge the lower side of human nature, which is described in Galatians 5:19-21. Christian freedom is the empowerment to walk in the life of the Spirit. (Daily Bible Studies) Our key text exhorts us to serious practical godliness (The Bible Knowledge Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary) which is manifested through a transformed likeness of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Proposition: I would like to propose to you that walking in step with the Holy Spirit produces the lovely things of God, which everyone can choose to enjoy. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take time to gain a Biblical understanding of the nine fruit offered to every born again Christian.
Interrogative Sentence: Just how can the fruit of the Holy Spirit be a blessing to us and to everyone we come in contact with? I can't speak for you, but I need an fuller understanding of the fruit that comes from a close walk with Christ, the fruit that shows all of mankind that Jesus is truly our Lord and Savior.
Transitional Sentence: The first fruit is love. John 13:34-35 records the very words of Christ, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The Greek Word for love in Galatians 5:22 and John 15:35 is agape (ἀγάπη agápē). "In Greek there are four words for love. (a) Eros means the love of a man for a maid; it is the love which has passion in it. It is never used in the New Testament at all. (b) Philia is the warm love which we feel for our nearest and our dearest; it is a thing of the heart. (c) Storge rather means affection and is specially used of the love of parents and children. (d) Agape, the Christian word, means unconquerable benevolence. It means that no matter what a man may do to us by way of insult or injury or humiliation we will never seek anything else but his highest good. It is therefore a feeling of the mind as much as of the heart; it concerns the will as much as the emotions. It describes the deliberate effort—which we can make only with the help of God—never to seek anything but the best even for those who seek the worst for us." (Daily Bible Studies)
First and utmost, this agape love enables us to love God, His Son, and have fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Agape love seeks opportunities to do good to all men.
To help you grasp this truth, there are two stories that illustrate to us of how God intends for us to express His love.
1.) Walter B. Night writes about a young soldier who had been condemned to death for treason. "Just before the army court pronounced the day of execution, an older brother stepped forward. This older brother had lost both arms, while fighting in a battle for his country. All who sat in that court room knew of this soldier heroic act which involved the sacrifice of both his arms. This armless soldier gave earnest pleas for his younger brother’s life. Basing his plea not on anything of value of what his criminal brother had done, but on what he, as a soldier had suffered for their country.
The older sacrificing brother said; 'My brother is guilty and is worthy of death. But I plea for his life.'
The sight of his body being without arms spoke powerfully and convincingly of the sacrifice he had made for his country. For his sake, the army courts gave the guilty brother a pardon.
2.) Dale Caloway wrote about a little boy who expressed a love that only showed concern for others.
"Little Shad was a shy, quiet, mentally handicap boy. One day he came home after school and told his mother, 'I want to make a valentine for everyone in my class.' His mother’s heart sank, she thought; 'I wish he wouldn’t do that!' Because she had watched the children when they walked from school. Her little Chad was always behind the other kids. They laughed, talked and hung on to each other. But Chad was never included.
Nevertheless, she decided to go along with Chad’s wishes. So she purchased the paper and glue and crayons. Remember, Chad wanted to make the valentines. For three whole weeks, night after night, Chad painstakingly made thirty-five valentines.
Valentines Day dawned and Chad was beside himself with excitement. He carefully stacked them up, put them in a bag and bolted out the door.
His mom decided to bake him his favorite cookies, she would make sure to serve them up warm and with a cool class of milk, she be sure to have them waiting for him when he got home from school. She was afraid in her heart that Chad would be disappointed. Maybe the cookies and milk would ease the pain a little. It hurt her to think that he wouldn’t get many valentines, maybe none at all.
That afternoon she had the cookies and milk out on the table. When she herd the children outside she looked out the window. Sure enough, here they came, laughing and having the best of time. And, as always, there was Chad in the rear. He walked a little faster than usual and she could see that his arms were empty. She fully expected him to burst into tears as she greeted him saying; 'Mommy has made some cookies and there is cool milk for you.' But Chad hardly heard her words. He just marched right on by, his face was a glow and all he could say was 'Not a one, Not a one.' Her heart sank, Chad looked at His mother and added, 'Mom, I did not forget a one, not one single person did I forget!' All thirty-five of his fellow students got a valentine.
Chad had no concern over the fact he didn’t get any valentine cards. He knew only the joy of unselfish, sacrificial giving."
Transitional Sentence: The fruit of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a Christian is love. The living water we get from Jesus produces the fruit of joy. "But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." (Psalm 5:11-12) 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, "Be Joyful Always."
I read that a "pineapple is a fruit of many flowers." Therefore, the church that attracts, has Christians that express all the fruit, joy being one of them. Prophecy Monthly ran the story of a little elderly lady who survived an earthquake, she showed no anxiety, no fear and said, "I rejoice in knowing that I have a God who can sake the earth." Matthew Henry wrote; “The joy and peace of believers arise chiefly from their hope. What is laid out upon them is but little, compared with what is laid up for them; therefore, the more hope in God they have, the more joy... they have.”
Joy (χαρά chará) most often describes that joy which has a basis in religion (cp. Psalm 30:11; Romans 14:17; 15:13; Philippians 1:4, 25). It is not the joy that comes from earthly things, even less from triumphing over someone else in competition. It is a joy whose foundation is God. (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament)
"One Sunday morning a Christian layman from Louisville Kentucky walked down the streets in St. Louis, MO. Trying to find a place to worship the Lord with other believers. He came across a police officer and asked for a recommendation. The officer gave him the name of a church and followed up with directions on how to get there. As the layman began to leave he turned around and asked the police officer another question, 'Why did you select that church?'
The officer replied; 'I not a religious man, but I have met many a Christian. I have noticed that their faces glow with a inner joy. I have many churches on my beat and that church has people coming out of their services expressing joy.'"
Transitional Sentence: Joy is the fruit that attracts and peace is expressed in the life of Christians who are feeding on the vine of Christ. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." After Jesus death, the disciples were behind locked doors because of fear of the Jewish leaders. (John 20:19) Jesus stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Peace, (εἰρήνη eirḗnē) "usually in the New Testament stands for the Hebrew shalom and means not just freedom from trouble but everything that makes for a man’s highest good. Here it means that tranquility of heart which derives from the all-pervading consciousness that our times are in the hands of God." (Daily Bible Studies)
In regard to living in this world, Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." The great commentary writers, Jamison, Fausset, and Brown wrote, "Not only before you, but for you, that you may not only be encouraged, but enabled to do the same as He."
In the North Atlantic Ocean icebergs are often seen. The large ships that sail the Atlantic are sometimes caught in violent storm which toss them about like toy boats in the bathtub during child's play. It much different for the icebergs, like majestic white castles, they glide placidly through the heavy sea, defiant of the mighty waves which are hurled against there towering walls and glistening heads.
Just as Jesus faced the pounding waves of life down here, Christians can have the same peace He had as He surrender to the will of God. The Bible says, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, Himself is the Rock eternal." (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Transitional Sentence: Peace lays in the heart of Christians who trust in the Lord, they are also longsuffering. "Longsuffering" (μακροθυμία makrothumía) means self-restraint before proceeding to action. Practical application is the quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so. It is someone who is patience toward people. (The Complete Word Study of the Bible) The most illuminating thing about it is that this longsuffering is commonly used in the New Testament of the attitude of God towards men. (Romans 2:4; 9:22; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Peter 3:20) If God thought like mankind, He would have wiped out this world long ago; but He has the patience which bears with all our sinning and will not cast us off. In our dealings with our fellow men we must reproduce this loving, forgiving, patient attitude of God towards others.
"Charles Spurgeon told this story about a young man who wanted to go to India to be a missionary with the London Missionary Society. With the great theological training he had and all the recommendations that accompanied his application he was an acceptable prospect.
However, missionary life is at best difficult, he must be examined more closely. Dr. Wilks was given the task. Dr. Wilks contacted the young man and told him to be at his house at 6:00 a.m. sharp. The young man to be examined lived quit a distance from Dr. Wilks home, therefore he got up in the middle of the night and was at Dr. Wilks door at 6:00 a.m. He was admitted into the drawing room, were he waited and waited and waited. Finally, Dr. Wilks came into the drawing room about mid morning.
Without apology, Dr. Wilks began his questioning. 'So you want to be a missionary?' 'Yes sir,' the young man said. 'Do you love Jesus?' 'Yes, I do,' exclaimed the young man. Dr. Wilks replied to the young man, 'Your school records look good, but, Can you spell cat?' The polite patient young man looked confused and he hardly knew how to answer. But in submission the young man replied, 'c. a. t. - cat. Too which Dr. Wilks said, 'Very good,' Dr. Wilks then ask the young man, 'Can you spell dog?' By this time, the young was stunned, but he politely replied with, 'd.o.g. - dog.' Dr. Wilks said, 'Excellent, how is your math? What is 2 2?' The young man answered, '4.' To which Dr. Wilks replied, 'Correct, you are dismissed.'
Without any more said about anything, the young man in obedience left.
Later that afternoon the committee met and Dr. Wilks told the committee that he had thoroughly examined the young man. Dr. Wilks told the committee that this young man loved the Lord. Dr. Wilks said, 'I tried his self-denial, the young man was up early in the middle of the night to be in my office on time. He denied himself sleep. I tried his patience by keeping him waiting. I tried his humility and temper by insulting his intelligence. The young man passed with flying colors.'
You see, the young man was being tested in his patience, his forbearance and he never even knew it.
After the meeting the young man was contacted immediately, and was informed that he was accepted to be a missionary with London Missionary Society." (Thru The Bible, Commentary)
The Lord often allows us to be tested in our long-suffering, so we can have patience, especially toward people. He never lets us know when the test is going to be or the type of trial that is to come our way. We can only be ready by walking continually in step with the Holy Spirit.
Transitional Sentence: Longsuffering lays a sure path to kindness and goodness.
"Kindness" (chrestotes), it is a lovely word. Plutarch says that it has a far wider place than justice. (Daily Bible Studies) Kindness means courtesy and this fruit enables us to be considerate and gracious through all situations, no matter the circumstances. Kindness cares for the feelings of others and causes us to feel their hurts and needs. It helps us show sympathy. It shows care and gets us right into the situation with the person needing sympathy.
Walter B. Knight wrote; “Kindness is a language the dumb can speak and the deaf can hear and fully understand." Mr. Knight also wrote about a deacon who was at a prayer meeting. As the deacon prayed with great passion, the Lord laid deep within his heart to go and do an act of kindness to a family who had recently lost a husband, the father of the home to a tragic accident. The deacon had testified that it seemed to him that God said; “you are my outstretch hands to that family.”
Kindness is that fruit that enables us to make sure yards gets mowed for people who need it. It is making sure windows get washed for an elderly person who cannot do it for themselves. It taking a meal over to a family who has suffered the lost of a family member. It enables you to act upon any need that arises.
"Goodness" (ἀγαθωσύνη agathōsúnē) is close to kindness, except it could give rebuke and apply discipline. A person may show the fruit of goodness as the result of his zeal for truth while correcting a wrong. (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament) Jesus produced this fruit when He drove out all who were buying and selling in the temple courts. (Matthew 21:12-13) While He cleaned His Father's temple our Lord spoke a truth, "It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers." (Matthew 21:13) .
Transitional Sentence: Producing the fruit of kindness and goodness enables us to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit, enabling us to be trustworthy. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, "Now it is required that those who have been given a thrust must prove faithful."
"Trustworthiness" (pistis) is the characteristic of the man who is reliable. Fidelity is the essential requirement in all human relationships. Men and Women are given the union of marriage are expected to be found faithful to each other in every part of their relationship. All those placed in public office had better be found trustworthy, faithful and honest in their service to mankind. (Word Pictures in the New Testament) We must remember that we will be giving an account to God. He knows the circumstances we face, the struggles we go through and the secrets of our hearts. God knows our motives, for man sees our deeds, He sees the intention. He knows the human heart. He alone can search it and bring everything out for all to know. (Daily Bible Studies)
L.C. Hester, a plumber from Whitehouse Texas took this truth seriously. He packed a Bible in his toolbox to remind himself to live a life surrendered to the Holy Spirit's control. We would do well to mentally placed this truth before us each and every day.
Transitional Sentence: With a heart focused on the truth about being found faithful in our callings opens our hearts to gentleness.
"Gentleness" (χρηστότης chrēstótēs) in the New Testament has three main meanings. (a) It means being submissive to the will of God. (Matthew 5:5; 11:29; 21:5) (b) It means being teachable, being not too proud to learn. (James 1:21) (c) Most often of all, it means being considerate. (1 Corinthians 4:21; 2 Corinthians 10:1; Ephesians 4:2). It is the grace which spreads throughout nature, mellowing all which would be been harsh, strict and abstinent. (Daily Bible Studies) An expression of this fruit is strength under control. The Christian living under the influence of this fruit will not attempt to push others around or arrogantly impose his will on others. The application is, this person presents God's truth and lives out this truth without demanding others to be forced to live it out. Their is always that option of choice.
Christians do not force others the read, study and obey the Bible, they only give opportunity for others to read, study and obey God's Word. Christian's do make other people become Christians. They intrigue others by setting an example, not by lording it over others.
Transitional Sentence: Manifesting the eight other fruits of the Holy Spirit enables Christians to live self-control lives. They have the heart of the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:27, "No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
"Self-control" (enkrateia) is the mastery over ones desires and passions. In order for anyone to become a true athlete, they must go into strict training, and most people need a trainer to school them, condition them and/or train them to do whatever it takes to be a competitor. It is long hours spread over a long period of time to achieve the goal and possibly win the trophy.
"A great illustration for this is the Liberty class found at a high quality horse show. It is a class were a horse is turned lose in an arena. The horse must spend a certain time at a walk, trot and gallop. When the class time is over, there is a certain amount of time of which to be caught. The really good trainers give the horse verbal commands, such as walk, trot, gallop, come here. The horse is free to chose to obey or disobey the trainer.
Each horse is called to perform a little differently, depending what the trainer feel needs to be done in order for the horse to present itself in its best professional, beautiful manor possible. At the end of the presentation, the horse, which has no halter, lead or long line attached, is commanded to whoa, stop, look and told 'come here,' of which the horse is to approach the trainer in a safe manageable manner.
The point is this - before the performance, the horse had been trained to do whatever it was commanded to do and conditioned to look its best. However, with the horse being turned loose, there is no way the horse can be forced, it is by the animals choice, or at the horses' liberty to choose obedience.
It is that way with us, as we prayerfully study the Word, we are conditioned and trained to be our best. However, as we live in the arena of life, it is our liberty or choice to be obedient to the Holy Spirit call. It takes self-control to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, he is not going to force us.
In closing: There are nine fruit that are produced in us by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches we are living epistles, know and read of all men. (2 Corinthians 3:2) What does your life say? What does my life say? I hope we are expressing "His Desired Fruit."
Let is pray!