Fruit of the Spirit not an option
We have now discussed the fruit of the Spirit step-by-step. We shone a spotlight on or own lives and saw that a lot of work needs to be done. At times, you, like me, hung your head in shame, realising that you are not getting there. Maybe you wanted to throw in the towel, because you did not feel up to it. Unfortunately, that is not an option for us who are children of God. It’s an instruction: 24 Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
The fruit of the Spirit is not an option that some Christians choose to implement in their lives. No, it must be the result, the consequence of the Holy Spirit living inside us.
25Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. 26That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Sometimes, when there is nothing to watch on TV, my son and I watch those American programmes of petrol heads completely rebuilding old wrecks. You cannot believe that they can make such a beautiful vehicle from that old, broken wreck. Everything that is crooked, twisted, rusted and broken is removed and replaced with new souped-up parts. Big, shiny new mags with thick tyres are fitted. Last comes the spray-painting so shiny you have to wear sunglasses. Naturally, the owner is highly surprised when he sees the new car. He cannot believe his eyes. When he turns the key the horses under the bonnet start running and there is no stopping them – and the owner drives off proudly through the streets with the new car and everybody enjoys the metamorphosis of his car with him.
In a way that is what happens to us Christians: 25 Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit … 24 … everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. Jesus died on the cross for everything that is crooked, twisted, rusted and broken. He removed the sin that made us so dirty and together with the Holy Spirit He is revamping us. They are rebuilding us to give us new life.
But as we saw in the previous pieces, there are many places where the fruit is not growing so well. Hopefully, we have realised by now that is where we take control of the car that is our life. That is when the own self stands up. Paul warns us about this: 25 Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
25… work out its implications in every detail of our lives. 26That means we will not compare ourselves to each other as if one of us were better and another worse.
Sometimes the answers for our lives are right in front of us. Sometimes it is much more obvious than we think. No, not always easy to do, but let’s be honest with one another. Together with the Holy Spirit, God is busy rebuilding our jalopies into impressive new creations. The impact that this will have in the world will certainly be amazing.
The new creations will bear fruit that people will enjoy. It will change so many people.
What does people look like who bear good fruit and who allow the Holy Spirit to control them?
· Such people care a lot for others.
· Their lives are full of joy.
· They know and experience the peace that comes from God.
· They tolerate others without ever being nasty to them.
· They radiate friendliness and warmth, and that is why others want to be with them.
· They do good to other people.
· Others can rely on them because they trust in God through thick and thin.
· They are filled with compassion.
· The spirit enables them to have good self-control so that sin never takes over in their lives.
May it be true in all of our lives ….
How much space does the Holy Spirit occupy in your life?
Who is in control?
What must you do to give the Spirit more control?
O, Holy Spirit, I surrender. I give full control of my life to you. What I take on myself ends in failure. On my own it doesn’t work out and the fruit I bear are simply not up to standard. Please come and take full control of my life! Amen