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Bible Study: The Holy Spirit – Lesson 4: The Fruit of the Spirit as the Natural Product of a Truly Changed Life

Calvary Bible Church Bible Study

The Person and Ministry of The Holy Spirit

Lesson 4: The Fruit of the Spirit as the Natural Product of a Truly Changed Life    

The Holy Spirit is seemingly the least understood of the members of the Trinity.  Although many churches in the modern era TALK about the Spirit, the vast majority of them focus on the “power” and the “gifts”, rather than the Person and Ministry of the Spirit.  And even then, they produce a lot of unbiblical information on the “power” and “gifts” that leads to a very unbalanced understanding of what Christianity is really all about.

Hopefully, this study will help us gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Holy Spirit.

 

Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

Ephesians 5:8-21

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. 

 

The product of having the Holy Spirit in our life as a born-again Christian is described as FRUIT.  As such, we understand that these characteristics are supposed to be the NATURAL PRODUCT of being a Christian, just as apples are the natural product of an apple tree.  These are not supposed to be “virtues” that we can “put on” for ourselves, as we try to change the inner man by changing the outer behavior; rather, it is the reverse, that we see our behavior changed as a natural result of our nature being changed from worldliness to Godliness.  The discipline that we “do” is to “give-in” to what God is doing in us by placing His Spirit in us; living in the change that He is making in who and what we are.  By no longer insisting on living according to “the world”, we are free to live out God’s life in us.

The complete list that we are given of the fruit of the Spirit from both Scriptures combined is:  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness, and truth.

Each one of these is a characteristic of God’s nature and character.  By placing His Own Spirit in us at conversion, He begins a process of transforming us from the nature and character that WE WERE, to the nature and character the HE IS.  In order for us (as Christians) to be a Bride suitable for His Son, we must be changed from an unholy nature to a holy one.  This is done by a “spirit transplant” that (over time) “re-writes” our nature from the inside to be more and more like His.

We see His nature in these characteristics in the Scriptures:

1 John 4:16         John 17:13            Colossians 3:15              Exodus 34:6

1 Corinthians 1:9           Matthew 11:29                Ezekiel 20:15-17

Psalm 11:7

 

As these characteristics become more and more a natural part of our nature, we become more and more like Him in character.  This is what is intended, in order for us to truly be His children, and a suitable (comparable) Bride for Jesus.

 

Since this “re-writing” of our nature takes time, we should not expect to see immediate perfection in a Christian.  However, if a professing Christian is not showing growth in these areas over time, it IS appropriate to look for a problem, just as we would do with a fruit tree that has been planted long enough to bear at least SOME fruit, but isn’t.