The Fruit of the Spirit

You will know a tree by the fruit it produces. A fig tree will produce figs; apple trees apples; peach trees peaches; and so on, each bearing fruit of their own kind. People are likewise similar. They produce fruit that comes from their hearts through their minds. If you are filled with the Spirit that is of God your fruit will bear acts and deeds associated with God. But if you are filled with the spirit of evil your acts and deeds will bear the like associated with evil. The fruit that you produce reveals who you are.

This in not a complicated subject to understand, a corrupt tree can only produce corrupt fruit. It is incapable of producing anything else. Likewise a good tree can only produce good fruit because there is nothing else in it. Sure an evil person can occasionally do something that you might call good but that was not the intent of their heart. Likewise a good person could occasionally do something that is sinful but that is usually not the intent that came from their heart. No one is perfect… all fall short of the holiness of God but it is the desires of the heart that God reads. He is faithful to forgive all who call upon Him seeking to produce His good godly fruit, of which He dispenses generously. But if evil is in the heart it becomes offensive to God and there is where things get lethal.

As I was starting this essay this morning breaking news came over the TV regarding a mass shooting. Just a week ago there was another mass shooting. Before I could post this essay that I just started this morning yet another mass shooting occurred. It seems that such are becoming so regular that we are no longer shocked by the news. Until such a horrific catastrophe hits us personally it would seem unimaginable. Where is all of this evil coming from? Obviously there are more corrupt vessels on this planet than you might imagine. But where are God’s trees? Are they not producing good fruit!

So let us be clear from the offset. What are the attributes of God? What are the fruit that comes from a good godly people? What are the attributes that should come from those who claim to serve God? Scripture has a good list for us to consider.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23 NKJV

This means that if you claim to serve God in any capacity these attributes should come out of you at any given situation or circumstance. There are no restrictions against using these attributes. Just start with the attribute of love because it is the very essence of God. All the rest would fall in line because that is what love compels. Therefore if you claim to serve God… love should ooze out of your heart. It should likewise be recognizable because you wouldn’t want to confuse anyone causing them to think you were godly if you were not…God forbid!

Now let’s take the other side. What are the attributes that are not of God? What are the fruit produced from an ungodly person? What are the self-incrimination attributes that would come from those who are ungodly? Scripture also has a good list to consider for the ungodly.

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” Galatians 5; 19-21 NIV

As you can see it references the acts of the flesh… hint, hint, the things that satisfies the desires of the flesh are not attributes of God. They are carnal, unholy, unrighteous, impure and simply against everything that God IS. From the list you might not understand all the terms, but none are even associated with the substance of love.

To be clear, there is a very clear line between the two: one is of God and the other is not. As for you, which orchard could we find your tree? God is constantly tending His orchards and He knows every tree that belongs to Him. The ones belonging to Him can only produce fruit that are beneficial to others. The ones that do not belong to him will produce fruit that are harmful to others.

So why are so many acts of evil happening so frequently all around the world? Perhaps too many of the branches are becoming corrupted. Every branch that no longer bears fruit needs to be pruned, cut off and thrown into the fire so the tree can become healthy again producing even more good fruit.

Those who belong to God, who see evil and say nothing, are like corrupted branches that no longer produce fruit worthy of the Gardener. Their fruit have become tainted. Fear not! The Gardener never sleeps and is always working His orchards. Pruning is not pretty but always necessary. Many branches will be cut off and thrown into the fire. Let those who have ears to hear take caution to the true Gardener proclamation.

‘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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.’ John 15: 5-6

You cannot belong to God and not produce good fruit. Nor can you belong to God and produce evil fruit. You will know the person by the fruit they bear. Selah!