How To Grow The Fruit Of The Spirit
Every now and then you’ll see that someone is preaching a series of sermons on the nine fruit of the Spirit and how we can grow them in our lives.
These sermons are based on Galatians 5:22-23 NLT: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
The temptation in preaching a separate sermon or Bible study on each one mentioned here is that we may get the idea that we should make an effort ourselves to develop these nine qualities in our lives in order to be Christ-like. For instance, work to develop love in your life; be sure you let joy bubble up in your heart; try hard to be patient. Notice, however, that Paul doesn’t say the fruit of the Spirit is the result of your own efforts. The truth is that only the Holy Spirit can enable us to grow the fruit of the spirit. Verse 22 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives.”
Also, what I notice in these verses is that perhaps the nine characteristics mentioned are not meant to be an exclusive list. Note that the Scripture says “this kind of fruit… There is no law against “these things.” These nine attributes are representative of what should be seen as the result of giving the Holy Spirit full sway. Perhaps there are even more than the ones listed in Galatians 5.
So, the important thing to remember is to let God work through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to produce Christ-like qualities that help us to reflect His image and accomplish what God wants us to accomplish. “I surrender all to you” should be our attitude. “Have your own way, Lord” should be our prayer.