Article By: Darrell Greene
Pastoral Care & Counseling Committee
Cornerstone Conference IPHC
One of the great advantages that accompanies the spring of the year is the promise of fresh fruit in abundance from the early harvest. Strawberries lead the parade, soon to be followed by peaches, grapes, apples, and the list goes on. Fresh fruit! Nothing like it! It cannot be reproduced artificially by any means. Artificial flavorings and colors always come up short. There’s nothing like “fresh fruit.”
In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul speaks to us about the abundant harvest of fresh spiritual fruit which is available to the believer every day of the year. Think of that…. fresh fruit, 24/7, simply for the harvesting. I am referring, of course, to the fruit of the Spirit. It is worth noting that Paul contrasts and identifies this fruit in opposition to the fruit of the flesh in the preceding verses. He concludes by condemning the works of the flesh as destructive to the individual who practices them. He even states that such people shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The fruit of the Spirit, however, is available to every believer enabling them to live joyful and productive lives for the glory of God. If speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then the fruit of the Spirit is certainly the continuing evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 11:12-14, on Tuesday of Passion Week, Jesus came to the fig tree expecting to find fruit, but found none. He then pronounced judgment on that fruitless tree and it withered and died as a result. He did that as an object lesson to us all. Fruit is necessary to spiritual vitality. Without it we will die.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:20, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”. The fruit of the Spirit is “visible” that is, it is seen on the outside. It is produced on the inside by the Holy Spirit but it is seen in action on the outside. The fruit of the Spirit is also “viable” that is , it is always relevant. It is always necessary. It is always appropriate. The fruit of the Spirit is always in season. The fruit of the Spirit is also “valuable”. It is of great value inwardly providing spiritual and emotional wellness to our soul.. It is of great value outwardly as it provides spiritual and emotional wellness in our relationship to others. It is of great value upwardly as it provides spiritual and emotional wellness in our relationship to God.
Jesus spoke in John 15 about the productive activity of spiritual fruit in the life of every believer. He mentions the key to that productivity as being our continuous connection and dependence upon Christ who is the True Vine. His desire for us is not only to enjoy the fruit of the Spirit personally, but also to produce the fruitful works of the Spirit in serving others and winning them to Christ. Fresh fruit everyday…that’s what we need. In order to live healthy lives in right relationship with ourselves, others, and ultimately with God. We need His fruit produced in us, and transmitted through us every day. So, have you had your fruit today? Don’t leave home without it!