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Do You Show the Fruit?

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

You may hear people talk about "the fruit of the Spirit" and wonder what that entails. Nope, it's not about actual fruit. It's a metaphor that connects to other imagery Jesus used throughout His life.

First, let's look at what this "fruit" is according to Scripture. Galatians 5:22-23 states, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such, there is no law." Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we should consistently be living out this lifestyle as believers. Notice it's the collective term "fruit," not the plural form "fruits." This indicates that these practices all stem from the same fruit. We don't get to pick and choose which fruits we want to model; they are multiple parts that comprise one whole. Without one of these qualities, something is missing. The Holy Spirit is perfect in all these behaviors, and He is the one who enables us to bear good fruit in our lives.

"Bearing fruit" is a popular metaphor throughout the New Testament, and it relates to Jesus. In John 15:5 Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." Jesus is the vine our fruit grows from. If we try to bear fruit apart from our Vine, we will be unsuccessful, produce bad fruit, or produce fruit that quickly dies. His Holy Spirit allows us to remain in Him throughout the day. As we fit our lives into Christ, we will bear His fruit as He gently guides us along the way.

Our "fruit" sanctifies us. We are known by our fruit. If someone claims to be Christian but shows no evidence of having the fruit of the Spirit, his testimony is questionable. As genuine believers, Christ is constantly working inside us to help us in our walk with Him. The lives we live proclaim what we truly believe and who we actually follow. Consider Matthew 7:15-20:

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but are inwardly ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn't produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So, you'll recognize them by their fruit."

We can recognize genuine believers by the fruit they bear. Do they consistently model love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, etc., or do their lives not reflect Christ at all? These verses don't mean that our faith is based on our works. However, James tells us that faith without works is dead (2:17). This is because genuine faith relies on God for righteousness and good works. If our faith isn't producing good fruit, who are we putting our faith in? The Holy Spirit helps us walk in God's will and produce good fruit and works. If we have no good works or good fruit in our lives, it's an indication that the root is unhealthy. We either need pruned, or we need genuine salvation. We still fall into sin as believers, so you won't always walk in this fruit, but look at your life consistently. Are you feeling convicted over your sin, confessing it, and re-devoting yourself to the Lord? If not, your branch may not be producing good fruit, and you may need to return to the Source, the Vine, and the Root of our faith--Jesus Christ.

The fruit of the Spirit is essential evidence of our faith in Christ. It is not something we can achieve on our own, which is why it's such a powerful testimony! I encourage you to ponder what the fruit you're bearing today reveals about your faith.

~Allyson B.

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