“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)
We continue our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “His Ministry Concerning the Fruit of the Spirit.” We have studied so far, His personality, names and emblems, His ministries; His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts; and the eleven permanent gifts.
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THE HOLY SPIRIT MINISTRY CONCERNING THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
We now come to the eleventh and final recorded ministry performed by the Holy Spirit of God. In a very real sense it best demonstrates His ultimate goal here on earth, namely, to bear fruit for Christ through believers. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Rom. 6:22. “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, Col. 1:10.
- THE COMMANDS TO BEAR FRUIT
- God desires His new creation to do the same as He ordered His old creation to do.
“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth
and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every
living creature that moves on the ground.” Gen. 1:28.
- God desires the believer to fulfil the prophecy concerning Joseph. “Joseph is a
fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.” – Gen.
- God desires His children to experience the blessings of Psalm 1. “That person is like
a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does
not wither— whatever they do prospers.” – Psalm 1:3
- God desires His children of light to function today as His tree of life will function
in eternity. “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as
crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great
street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops
of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of
the nations.” Rev. 22:1-2
- THE PREREQUISITE FOR BEARING FRUIT
- One Must Die to This World
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains
only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” – John 12:24
- One Must Abide in the Saviour – John 15:1-5; 16
In the Old Testament the nation Israel was God’s chosen vine vessel. “You
transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.” – Psalm 80:8. “Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.” – Hosea 10:1
Thus, the nation was eventually set aside by Jesus. ““Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” – Matt. 21:43. In the Gospel, Christ was God’s chosen vine vessel while He was on this earth. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” – John 15:1. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” – Isa. 11:1.
Jesus told His disciples they were to be branches. The only useful function of a
branch is to bear fruit. A branch does not produce fruit, it simply bears it.
- THE TWO KINDS OF FRUIT
- Outer Fruit: Soul-Winning
“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” – John 4:35 – 36 (See also Rom. 1:13; Prov. 11:30)
- Inner Fruit: Christlikeness
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Gal. 5:22-23
It should be noted that the word fruit in both of these passages is in the singular. Paul does not say “the fruits of the Spirit are,” but rather, “the fruit of the Spirit is.” The reason is this: all the fruit of the Spirit, unlike all the gifts of the Spirit, are to be possessed by every believer.
- THE ELEVEN FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
- LOVE: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect
unity.” – Col. 3:14
- JOY: “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness,” – Gal. 5:22. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and
drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” – Rom. 14:17
- PEACE: There are two kinds of peace:
(1) The Peace with God: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:1 This peace is
positional peace and includes all believers at the moment of their salvation.
(2) The Peace of God: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 4:7. This peace is
experienced, and includes only those believers who are filled with God’s Spirit. It
can be defined as reassurance in tribulation.
- PATIENCE: The ability to cheerfully bear an unbearable situation and to
patiently endure the unendurable. “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his
kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to
lead you to repentance?” – Rom. 2:4
- GENTLENESS: A quiet and respectful kindness. “to slander no one, to be peaceable and
considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” – Titus 3:2. “And the Lord’s
servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not
resentful.” – 2 Timothy 2:24
- FAITH: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –
To be continued!
Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible
All Scriptures are from the New International Version.