The Scriptures tell us in Acts 2:38 that at our conversion, at our baptism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I Cor. 6:19 expands on this by saying we are a temple and that the Holy Spirit lives in us. Often times I’m asked the question “How do I know that the Holy Spirit lives in me?” We can know because of Gal. 5:22-23
We started a sermon series at the church a couple of weeks ago on the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus tells us that as His followers we are to produce fruit. If we don’t we will be cut down and cast into the fire. We can look at a fruit tree and know what kind of tree it is by the fruit that is hanging on it. The same is true with Christians. People ought to be able to look at us, see our fruit (Or our character) and know who we are.
Let’s look at some of the “Fruit of the Spirit”
There are several Greek and Hebrew words that are translated in the Bible as “Love”. The most used however is the word “Agape” which means to have a strong affection for.
Jesus asked Peter three times “Do you love me?” That would be a good question for us. How much do you love Jesus? Are you willing to put Jesus first in your life? Jesus tells us “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Love is the first characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit and I don’t think that is a coincidence. If we don’t have love, we won’t have the others.
The second characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is joy. We often get the words “Joy” and “Happy” mixed together, but they are very different. Happiness is when something good happens to us. We have joy because we have God in our life and the Holy Spirit lives in our lives. We can still have joy in our life and not necessarily be happy. Life sometimes will throw us a curveball. Our health decays, we lose a loved one, we get laid off of our job, etc. it can just go on and on. But we can still have joy in our life, because we know that these things and this life is temporary. Jesus is the ultimate example of this. The day before He was going to be arrested and ultimately crucified on the cross, He met with His apostles. John 15:11 Jesus says this. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him, yet He had joy in His life. He knew that He had to die to allow us to live.
The third characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is peace. Again, we have peace because the Spirit dwells within us. We are to be a peaceable people because our God is a God of peace. I Cor. 14:33 says that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace! The world today needs the God of peace. The world is in turmoil, people killing in the name of religion, wars, etc. The world also needs Jesus. Eph. 2:14 says that Jesus is our peace. Do you have Jesus in your life? If so, you will have a peace that surpasses all understanding .
These characteristics are only the first three of many that we should poses in our life. Are you producing fruit?
The writer is an evangelist with the North Broadway Church of Christ in Sidney.