Thursday, July 28, 2016

Reflection - What Is the Fruit of the Spirit?



The indwelling Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in us.
PHOTO: The indwelling Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit in us.
The actual phrase "fruit of the Spirit" occurs only one place in the Scriptures. Here it is:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
We can't "try harder" in our attempts to be more spiritual. We can't say, "I'm going to be especially loving today so that I can demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit." That doesn't work. Instead, when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and transform our hearts, we naturally display the fruit of the Spirit in the same way that apples naturally grow on apple trees when they are healthy and mature.
The more we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the more we produce those characteristics that define a follower of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. We offer all of these as evidence that we are truly being transformed by God's Spirit within us.
Posted by Sam O'Neal
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http://f.tqn.com/y/bible/1/S/x/0/-/-/09.22.14Fruit-of-the-Spirit.jpg
http://bible.about.com/od/Famouspassages/fl/What-Is-the-Fruit-of-the-Spirit.htm
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/07/reflection-christian-response-to.html



If you hear a few sermons or read through a couple Bible studies, you're likely to run across the term "fruit of the Spirit." It's one of the most common phrases used by those who want to follow Jesus and practice what the Bible says.

Unfortunately, it's also one of the most misunderstood concepts in the New Testament epistles. Let's take a few moments to explore why.

The Source
The actual phrase "fruit of the Spirit" occurs only one place in the Scriptures. Here it is:
"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)



The 'fruit of the Spirit' occurs only one place in the Scriptures.
PHOTO: The "fruit of the Spirit" occurs only one place in the Scriptures. "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
The fruit of the spirit is Love! The fruit is one and the same thing. Call it love, call it discipleship. It’s a ring, a loop that keeps turning. Love me, obey my commandments, what are my commandments, love!
Posted by Deolu Akinyemi
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http://www.deoluakinyemi.com/fruit-or-fruit/



As with all passages of Scripture, it's important to note the context that surrounds specific verses. In this case, Paul has spent most of Galatians 5 proclaiming the freedom and blessing that come when our lives are connected to God's Spirit, and contrasting that freedom with the consequences of living under our own power and desires - which Paul calls "the flesh."

Interestingly, the fruit of the Spirit are a direct contrast to these verses, where Paul identifies the "works of the flesh":
"19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance - as I told you before - that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)


Paul has spent most of Galatians 5 proclaiming the freedom and blessing that come when our lives are connected to God's Spirit, and contrasting that freedom with the consequences of living under our own power and desires - which Paul calls 'the flesh.'
PHOTO: Paul has spent most of Galatians 5 proclaiming the freedom and blessing that come when our lives are connected to God's Spirit, and contrasting that freedom with the consequences of living under our own power and desires - which Paul calls "the flesh."
"19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance - as I told you before - that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21)
"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." (Galatians 5:18)
Picture posted by Chiang Mai-Wandering on 22 January 2016
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http://www.chiangmai-wandering.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Seed-Of-Chucky-seed-of-chucky-29035508-1024-768.gif
http://www.chiangmai-wandering.com/small-things-and-thep-doll-craze/
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/03/reflection-misplaced-love.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/07/reflection-christian-response-to.html



So, we have the "works of the flesh," which encompasses all the evil that occurs when we attempt to live based on our own desires and our own ability to choose what's right. And we have the "fruit of the Spirit," which is what Christians experience when we embrace the freedom of allowing ourselves to be nurtured and empowered by God's Spirit.

The Misconception
The reason so many people are confused about the fruit of the Spirit is because so many Christians and church leaders often approach this passage as if there are multiple "fruits." It's common to hear people say things like, "I have the fruit of love, but I really need to gain more of the fruit of patience."

In other words, a number of Christians have been taught that the "fruit of the Spirit" are nine separate blessings that we are given in varying degrees once we follow Christ.

Such teaching confuses the fruit of the Spirit with the concept of "spiritual gifts." And it's easy to see how those two concepts could become confused. The spiritual gifts are unique blessings that God gives to individual Christians through their own personalities, talents, and abilities.



Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit
PHOTO: Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The spiritual gifts are unique blessings that God gives to individual Christians through their own personalities, talents, and abilities.
Picture posted by talentshare.org
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http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/THEOLOGY%20OF%20PAUL_files/image269.jpg
http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm



Example of Spiritual Gifts from the New Testament:
PHOTO: Example of Spiritual Gifts from the New Testament:
And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry;  or he that teacheth, to his teaching; or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8)
And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers. [2]
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http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm



For example, here is a list of several gifts from the New Testament:
"4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:

If prophecy,
use it according to the standard of one’s faith;
7 if service, in service;
if teaching, in teaching;
8 if exhorting, in exhortation;
giving, with generosity;
leading, with diligence;
showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
"
(Romans 12:4-8)

In this case, it would be both true and appropriate for someone to say, "I have the spiritual gift of teaching, but I am not gifted as a leader." The idea behind the spiritual gifts is that different people receive different gifts as a blessing from God, and the church becomes effective in its mission when everyone uses their gifts to work together.



The idea behind the spiritual gifts is that different people receive different gifts as a blessing from God, and the church becomes effective in its mission when everyone uses their gifts to work together.
PHOTO: The idea behind the spiritual gifts is that different people receive different gifts as a blessing from God, and the church becomes effective in its mission when everyone uses their gifts to work together.
Picture posted by talentshare.org
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http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/THEOLOGY%20OF%20PAUL_files/image266.jpg
http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm



Each part of the body is given gifts (coded within the organ) so that the body may work perfectly in accordance with the will of the head.
PHOTO: Each part of the body is given gifts (coded within the organ) so that the body may work perfectly in accordance with the will of the head. [2]
Posted by talentshare.org
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http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/THEOLOGY%20OF%20PAUL_files/image273.gif
http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm



The fruit of the Spirit, however, is a different matter.

The Truth About the Fruit
Going back to Galatians 5, the best way to clarify the common misconception surrounding the fruit of the Spirit is to remember that Paul was writing about one "fruit" - singular. His language does not suggest many "fruits," plural.

So, when disciples of Jesus attempt to retain control of their lives and make decisions based on their own wisdom and strength, the result is "works of the flesh" such as sexual immorality, hatred, jealousy, bursts of anger, and so on. However, when Christians let go of that control and surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they see the "fruit of the Spirit" develop in their lives.

Meaning, disciples who are nurtured and empowered by the Holy Spirit demonstrate all of the characteristics Paul described in these verses: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.



The fruit of the Spirit, however, is different from Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
PHOTO: The fruit of the Spirit, however, is different from Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The spiritual gifts are unique blessings that God gives to individual Christians through their own personalities, talents, and abilities.

The Truth About the Fruit
Going back to
Galatians 5, the best way to clarify the common misconception surrounding the fruit of the Spirit is to remember that Paul was writing about one "fruit" - singular. His language does not suggest many "fruits," plural.
Meaning, disciples who are nurtured and empowered by the Holy Spirit demonstrate all of the characteristics Paul described in these verses: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.
Picture posted by Inspirational (Pinterest)

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https://www.pinterest.com/dede0011/inspirational/



This is a vital distinction on two levels. First, we can't "try harder" in our attempts to be more spiritual. We can't say, "I'm going to be especially loving today so that I can demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit." That doesn't work. Instead, when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and transform our hearts, we naturally display the fruit of the Spirit in the same way that apples naturally grow on apple trees when they are healthy and mature.



We can't 'try harder' in our attempts to be more spiritual.
PHOTO: We can't "try harder" in our attempts to be more spiritual. We can't say, "I'm going to be especially loving today so that I can demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit." That doesn't work. Instead, when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and transform our hearts, we naturally display the fruit of the Spirit in the same way that apples naturally grow on apple trees when they are healthy and mature.
Picture posted by talentshare.org
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Qvqi4IZR13Q/V5oN2HZGQFI/AAAAAAAAkeQ/BZmJ5-Rqzk4dHzCd0zAds1UNB3xXfPLTgCLcB/s1600/image263.gif
http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/THEOLOGY%20OF%20PAUL_files/image263.gif
http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm



Second, we don't manifest individual "fruits" of the Spirit, as I mentioned above. Instead, the more we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the more we produce those characteristics that define a follower of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. We offer all of these as evidence that we are truly being transformed by God's Spirit within us.

That's vital. As Jesus said, that same fruit is the evidence that shows whether we are truly following Him: "15 Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit." (Matthew 7:15-20)



We don't manifest individual 'fruits' of the Spirit.
PHOTO: We don't manifest individual "fruits" of the Spirit.  Instead, the more we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit, the more we produce those characteristics that define a follower of Christ: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. We offer all of these as evidence that we are truly being transformed by God's Spirit within us - into a "good tree".
Picture posted by talentshare.org
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http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm


Posted by Sam O'Neal (About.com)



Reference

[1] What Is the Fruit of the Spirit?, Posted by Sam O'Neal About.com),
http://bible.about.com/od/Famouspassages/fl/What-Is-the-Fruit-of-the-Spirit.htm

[2]  THEOLOGY OF PAUL, CHAPTER TEN: PNEUMATOLOGY OF PAUL (the branch of Christian theology concerned with the Holy Ghost and other spiritual concepts),  Posted by talentshare.org, http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/Paultheo/10.htm

NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Galatians 5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5&version=NIV

Galatians 5:18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A18&version=NIV

Galatians 5:19-21 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A19-21&version=NIV

Galatians 5:22-23 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A22-23&version=NIV

Matthew 7:15-20 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A15-20&version=NIV

Romans 12:4-8 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A4-8&version=NIV