June 22, 2014

The Fruit of the Spirit – Jacob Stringer

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

By Jacob Stringer

Matthew 7:15-20—“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Jesus is speaking here about false teachers, but His words here apply to everyone. Our actions reflect the character of our hearts. Just like the fact that good trees bear good fruit and bad trees bear bad fruit, those truly living a life for Jesus Christ will reflect that lifestyle through the way they act, the way they talk, their interpersonal relationships, and their attitudes. In the same way, those who do not know Christ will have patterns of sin in their lives.

Galatians 5:19-25—“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Since we profess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and claim to be His followers, why then do we so often fall into sin? We cannot say that we are good trees when we bear bad fruit. Not one of us is perfect. On the contrary, according to Romans 3:10, there is not even one person who is righteous! How then can we be saved from being cut down and thrown into the fire?

1 Peter 3:21-22—“There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”

Jesus’ death and resurrection conquered sin and death once and for all. His willing sacrifice has the power to save us from our sins and gives us the hope of a glorious and eternal life with Him in Heaven. We respond to His invitation through baptism, which is not a work of man, but is the commandment of God. Thanks to this avenue of salvation, we who are unworthy have a choice to make: what kinds of fruits will we bear? Let us strive to produce good fruit for the Lord, knowing that in so doing we are living according to the pattern established by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

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