Identity Crisis: Fruit
We’ve been talking about ‘identity crisis’ over the past few weeks. We started with our foundation that needs to be built on Jesus and then talked about how Jesus makes us perfect.
Just like a pyramid we are going to build on these ideas and look at Galatians 5:22-25 (NLT).
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
So if your foundation is built on Jesus and you are being made perfect then certain things will start to happen to you. These fruits of the spirit that are described above will come out and be reflected in your lives.
It says here that “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives”. It DOES NOT say that these fruits are given to some Christians and not others. It DOES NOT say that we only get certain fruits and not others. Instead, it says that by having our foundation in Jesus, the Holy Spirit produces in us all of these traits. That these are given to all Christians, even you.
Let’s look at these fruits that will be in your lives and what each of these really means:
1. Love is more than romantic love, it has to do with the mind. It’s not just an emotion you feel in your hearts, but it is a decision you live by all the time. You love, it who you are. Love is a decision you’ve made ahead of time that results in your emotions being in check. You love others in all situations. This means that you even love people you don’t like.
2. Joy is more than just a cheap thrill or excitement. It’s not describing a feeling you get from riding a roller coaster or the excitement of a first kiss. It’s nothing that comes from this world. It doesn’t come from your circumstances, but rather it comes from what you are. That we are children of God. God Chose you and loves you.
3. Peace. When you think of peace, you think about the things that are going on around you and that is where your peace comes from. And if I were to ask you if you have peace or not, you would probably say that you don’t. But this type of peace here comes from knowing that God is watching over you. It comes from knowing that God controls your lives. It comes from knowing that God is with you through everything.
4. Patience is something you think of as not letting things get on your nerves. When a sibling is getting on our nerves we don’t snap. When someone pulls out in front of you, you remain calm. It’s sort of this, but it’s more. Patience means that you can have love, joy, and peace over a long period of time. That even though your present situation doesn’t always look good, you know that God is at work through everything. That God can work through everything you go through.
5. Kindness and Goodness are two ideas are closely linked. These are your demeanor. These are the external way you act. Whereas the first three are more internal, the way we feel, kindness and goodness are the way that you act out the first three. These are an external outflow of our internal emotions.
6. Faithfulness is kind of like patience, but it is an ability to serve God over a lifetime. This means you serve God year in and year out. Patience is not giving into temptations of life, but being loyal to God all the time. It’s like a marriage, not just a dating. Patience is a lifelong commitment to follow after God and to do His will for your life.
7. Gentleness means not having a superior attitude. It means not demanding your own rights. Gentleness is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. Gentleness is being mild-mannered. This means that when things go wrong, you don’t go into a rage and yell and throw a fit, but instead, you are mild about it. It’s not that you don’t get mad or angry, it’s that you know the right time to get angry.
8. Self-Control is denying yourself something usually for something else. But this type of self-control isn’t just for yourself, but also for others as well. It looks out for when we can sacrifice to make someone else’s life better.
These different fruits are as a result of your foundation in Jesus. That He is the one that causes these in you. Jesus is your foundation. He makes you perfect and you bear fruit.
Is your foundation built on Jesus?
Are you being made perfect?
Are you bearing these fruits?
What Do You Think?
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Pastor Levi's thoughts on Christianity and Christians. I will try to update this every Monday.