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Fruit of the Spirit
June 23, 2017
Relevance: Chapter 7, Restored by Grace

Fruit of the Spirit

The spiritual new birth comes immediately after the decision prayer, but the renewal takes time.

"The fact that this takes a long time is not due to any limitation in God's power; rather, it's because of his respect of the slow pace of change in our will. We progress as fast as we learn to know and submit to him, and as far as we yield to him the control of our lives." (RG, 144)

Jesus mentioned eight qualities of those who belong to the kingdom of heaven. One of them is the "hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6). A true disciple is therefore one who intensely craves for a godly life. Such a life is an image of God that reflects his character. Jesus promised that these people "will be filled," stressing that they cannot satisfy themselves. It's a work of God. We crave, and God satisfies. It takes a supernatural regeneration to live a godly life.

Paul reveals the secret of how this is done. We crave for godly living and yield the full control of our lives to the Holy Spirit. He describes this as seeking to "be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).

The universal sign of spiritual renewal is that the person bears the visible fruit of the Spirit, which comprises “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Jesus said, "A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad" (Matthew 12:33). He reminded his disciples, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5).

The fruit of the Spirit is not induced or affected by circumstances. The nine qualities seem to overflow from an unknown inexhaustible inner source. The person being regenerated feels them, and the world sees them.

What the world sees are children of God completely soaked in love, joy, and peace regardless of circumstances. They are patient to wait upon God for vindication and provision. Their focus is on expressing kindness towards people, and goodness in moral principles. They are faithful to their promises, and to insist on truths that benefit others. Their gentleness is demonstrated in their sensitivity to others' needs and feelings. They also exercise appropriate self-control in their decisions and interpersonal interactions. (See RG, 150-1)


From Darkness to Light
170504, Ch.1, What is Heaven?
170512, Ch.5, Good and Evil
170519, Ch.5, Image of God
170526, Ch.6, All Have Sinned
170602, Ch.6, Isaiah Prophecies
170609, Ch.6, Lamb of God
170616, Ch.6, Decision Prayer

New Life in Christ
170623, Ch.7, Fruit of the Spirit
170630, Ch.7, Time with God
170707, Ch.7, Life Together
170714, Ch.7, Messiah's Return
170728, Ch.7, Audacious Faith
171006, Ch.7, Mark of the Christian
171027, Ch.7, Christian Identities

Growing in Christ
171110, Know the Bible
171210, Christ is Central
180302, Satan Exposed

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