You will recognize them by their fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit (worthy of admiration); (Matt. 7:16a, 18 Amp.).
What exactly did Jesus mean when He said, “You will know them by their fruit?”
Jesus is clearly teaching his disciples that spiritual fruit can be fully recognized. The spiritual condition of a person can easily be identified as either good (healthy fruit) or bad (worthless fruit) depending on the individuals’ course of action.
Jesus is referencing His true followers, those who have with honesty and sincerity committed themselves to Him. Those who have made the choice to follow His example and to live fruitful lives that are pleasing unto Him. He did not say that you will know them by their gifts or anointing. He encourages us to look for the fruit.
The fruit of the Spirit is a nine cluster of fruit that is produced by the Holy Spirit. This fruit is not ordinary fruit that you can handpick off a tree or purchase at a local produce market. Spiritual fruit is developed on the inside of every willing and obedient follower of Jesus Christ.
This cluster of fruit consist of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; (Galatians 5:22-23). One of the main purposes of the Christian life is to progressively allow the Holy Spirit to produce an abundance of fruit in our lives. His job is to transform the believer into the very image of Christ. Christ-likeness should be the goal of every Christian.
Let’s take a closer look at each piece of this delectable cluster of fruit.
The Gift of Love
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life; (John 3:16).
Agape love is the God kind of love. It’s unconditional, forgiving and sacrificial. John 3:16 is a picture of God’s perfect love. This kind of love cannot be produced except by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Love is a spiritual gift and the other eight pieces of fruit operate from the foundation of love. True love is selfless, does not wrong others, and it does not keep a record of wrongdoing. Love covers over a multitude of sins; (1st Pet. 4:8).
The Gift of Joy
For the joy of the Lord is your strength; (Neh. 8:10c).
Having joy in the Lord is the natural result of the Christian faith. Having faith in Christ naturally works gladness because it takes away fear and replaces it with a calm settled temperament. It takes away sorrow and provides a sense of quiet peace that lies in the heart of the person that is trusting in the Lord.
The Lord’s joy causes renewing spiritual strength, so that we may run and not be weary, walk, and not faint; (Isa. 40:31). With His strength, we’re able to soar like an eagle high above our circumstances.
The Gift of Peace
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give it as the world gives; (John 14:27a).
Before going to the cross Jesus gave the precious gift of peace to His disciples. This peace transcends all understanding and will guard your heart and mind; (Phil. 4:7). This is the peace of God in Christ. Nothing in the entire world compares to having ownership of the spiritual fruit of peace. It’s a peace that takes you from the conundrums of everyday life. This peace is incomprehensible! The world did not give you this peace, Therefore, it cannot take it away. However, it is possible for you to give it away. So, hold on to your peace at all costs! Peace Be Still!
The Gift of Kindness
The LORD’S loving-kindness indeed never cease. For his compassions never fail; (Lam. 3:22).
Have you ever wondered why some people are naturally kind while others aren’t? All of us have encountered someone during our lifetime who just didn’t seem to have a kind bone within their entire body. The ability to be kind stems from the Holy Spirit. Kindness is an action of love. When we exhibit the kindness of God we are tender, benevolent, and we are compassionate toward others. Serve God every day with the fruit of kindness because kindness goes a long way. Pay it forward! (Cont’d pg. 2)