Fruit of the Spirit

   Galatians 5:22-23 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."  My English teachers would be horrified by Paul's grammar because he uses the term "fruit," a singular subject, and pairs it with a plural list of nine characteristics.  Paul deliberately refers to the fruit of the Spirit in this way because the fruit is singular.  A person who has the Holy Spirit inside of them exhibits all the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit because the Spirit is the seed producing the fruit in the person's life. If you have the Spirit of God in you, there will be change  - it is inevitable. You will become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, and self-controlled.

   J Campbell Morgan, a British minister, told a story that is one of my favorite on gradual growth.  He was in a graveyard in Italy and saw a huge marble slab over someone's grave, but he saw that an acorn had gotten into the grave.  Out of that acorn, a huge tree had grown so big that it had split the marble slab in half.  Common sense would tell you that if you have an acorn and a slab, the slab wins.  But no, the acorn wins because of the power produced in the slow inevitable growth.  If botanical growth has that kind of power in its gradualness, what kind of power will the Spirit of God have in our lives?

   We are saved by real faith, not fruitless faith, that brings the Spirit of God into our lives and inevitably produces growth.  Some of you have been Christians a long time.  If you can't keep secrets entrusted to you, if  you are abrasive, if you have secret sin that you can't overcome, if you aren't a loving person, if you are always getting your feelings hurt, if you have a lack of peace, patience, kindness, self-control, and joy, you need to look at your life and see if you are changing - gradually and inevitably.   You can be a under the slab a long time, but if the Spirit is there, you will definitely grow.

Pastor Boyd

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