Fruit of the Spirit & Living out Your Faith
What does it look like to live the fruit of the Spirit? How can we have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our lives?
The Fruit of the Spirit in My Life
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” If you’ve grown up Christian, chances are, you have heard or even memorized these verses before. But what does it actually look like to live it? How can we have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our lives?
The answer is in the following verses, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” We see that in the surrounding verses that there are two primary aspects of living the Christian life that produce the fruit of the Spirit.
- Killing sin
- Living by the Spirit
Fighting Sin to Produce the Fruit of the Spirit
First, let’s define sin. In our passage above, sin is described as the passions and desires of our flesh. In Galatians 5:16-17 it says, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
The desires of the flesh and the desires of the spirit are against one another. Our desire to sin and our desire to please God are opposites. Therefore, you can define sin as the fulfilment of our fleshly desires over what God desires for us. This means that any thought or action that we have that is opposed to the Spirit if God is sin and will keep us from producing the fruit of the Spirit.
For example, God tells us to honor our father and mother, but when we purposefully think or do something that dishonors them, we have fallen to the passions and temptations of our flesh. How do we stop that? Here are three tips for how to fight sin and produce fruit in your life.
1. Make no Provision for the Flesh
I’m sure that you have been tempted by sin many times in your life. Whether it’s a tasty treat that you know you shouldn’t have, an opportunity to join your friend(s) in gossip, or an image/movie you know you shouldn’t be looking at, sin has many ways of creeping into our lives. Cut off these temptations immediately by not feeding into them and cutting off the pathways that Satan uses to tempt you.
If your desire to have that tasty treat stems from hunger, then eat something else and clear your mind. When your friends start to gossip, encourage them not to talk about others behind their back, or get new friends. If browsing on your phone too late at night leads you to looking at things you shouldn’t, then set a lock on it or give it to your parents before you lay down for bed. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
2. Stay Close to God
God is our ultimate shield against sin. When we are consistently in relationship with Him through reading his word, prayer, and worship, the openings for sin to attack become smaller and the temptation to sin grows weaker. James 4 puts it best when he says, “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Resisting the Devil was step 1, but step 2 is just as, if not more important to producing the fruit of the Spirit. This whole process can be summed up in one word, “repentance.” Repentance is the act of reviewing one’s past wrongs with regret and committing to change for the better. In this case, it is looking at our sin with regret and running to Christ. As you run from your sin, draw near to the Lord as your strength to overcome it.
Not only do we overcome our sin by the God’s grace, but we also produce fruit through Him! John 15 makes it very clear that if we abide in Christ, we will produce much fruit! Stay in relationship with God and you will produce the fruit of the Spirit.
3. Get Help From Others
Fighting sin and producing the fruit of the Spirit is something we can do together! You don’t have to run this race alone, in fact, the Bible tells Christians to help one another! 1 Peter 4 tells us to use our gifts to serve one another. Titus talks about how older men and women should help younger men and women in their Christian walk. Ephesians 2:11-22 reminds us to be united in Christ! It’s clear that Christians are not meant to live our faith alone, so link arms with your fellow believers and help one another run after God! If you find yourself wrestling with a specific sin for a long time, one of the best things you can do is reach out to your parents or a leader at church for help.
Continuing to Live the Fruit of the Spirit
The Fruit of the Spirit is the result of walking with God. As we grow in our relationship with God, our fight against sin and our Love for God and others grows stronger. This leads us to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Next time you hear about the fruit of the Spirit, look at your current relationship with God, your struggles with sin, and your fellowship with other believers. This will keep you in check to make sure you are a joyful fruit bearer for Christ!
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