The fruit of the Spirit Part 2
Jesus says ‘by their fruit shall ye know them’ referring to the character of the false prophets. We need to know what good fruit is like to be able to spot the false prophet. This is important in these last days of increasing deception. Or how about a marriage, business, or ministry partner or even a leader in the church, it is all about character.
We need to be able to compare the lusts of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit to recognise whether we are walking in the flesh or in the Spirit. This provides a measure of our growth and maturity as we mortify the deeds of the flesh and walk in the Spirit. If any of the lusts of the flesh are still present in our lives, we need to repent and forsake them. The fruit of the Spirit being manifest in a believer’s life is a much more accurate way of assessing maturity than to consider their operation in the gifts of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit in your life will draw those who are open to salvation to you and will cause those who hate God to hate you. Fruit in the natural sense contains seeds for reproduction. When an unbeliever tastes or sees the fruit in your life, a seed of love is sown in their hearts which God can bring to life or you might say, love reproducing love.
The battle between the spirit and the flesh
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. that are Christ's
v.16. To walk in the Spirit means to live your life constantly in the truth of the word of God, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and being led and guided by them working together. This involves being constantly aware of the reality of all the promises of God to you and of the reality of all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus. It also involves constant refusal to yield to selfishness, unforgiveness and all other forms of sin. Love must always be our motive to please God. See also below 'How to walk in the Spirit'
v.17 From the moment that we are saved there begins a lifelong battle between the flesh and the spirit. Our flesh has the old sin nature in it and is selfish, sinful, and indulgent and always insists on getting its own way. The regenerated human spirit has been made in the image of God and its nature is the selfless love of God. The flesh seeks to dominate and rule over the spirit whilst the regenerate human spirit seeks to crucify the flesh. The victory in any given situation is decided in the mind of the believer when we decide to obey God or yield to the flesh
v.18 Jesus Christ completely fulfilled the Law and when we are led by His spirit, we are not under the Law but are at liberty by the grace of God. We are free to choose to obey His royal law of love which is written in our hearts. We are free to choose life, that zoe abundant life!
For full text for printout and access to Part 1 of 'The fruit of the Spirit' please click below
For a specific teaching on how to walk in the Spirit please click below