“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.” — Galatians 5:22-23
A man stopped at a display of fancy fruit. He was fascinated by the golden delicious apples. “How much are they?” he asked. “Seventy-five cents each,” the farmer replied. “What? Seventy-five cents for an apple?” “Yes sir. But they’re the finest. How much do you pay for an aspirin when you have a headache?” “Fifty cents.” said the man. “But what does an aspirin have to do with an apple?” “Well,” said the farmer, “You pay fifty cents when you have a headache, why not pay seventy-five cents for something you enjoy?”
Fruit is something the Lord enjoys. One morning He left Bethany, and He felt hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf and He hurried to it for fruit. He found only leaves. What does He find when He comes to you–fruit or leaves?
The Bible speaks of different kinds of fruit:
There is the fruit of caring. The Christians of Philippi loved the Lord, His Word and His work. The apostle Paul went everywhere telling everyone the Good News about Christ, and the Philippian Christians sent him gifts. Acknowledging their support, he wrote in Philippians 4:17, “Not because I desire a gift; but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”
There is the fruit of conduct. Paul wrote in Romans 6:22, “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves to God. Now you have fruit leading to holiness and resulting in eternal life.”
There is the fruit of confession. It’s written in Hebrews 13:15, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess His name.”
There is the fruit of converts. Paul wanted to go to Rome that he might woo and win many converts. He confessed in Romans 1:13, “I want you to know, dear brothers, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles.”
Finally, there is the fruit of character. It’s written in Galatians 5:22-23. The “fruit of the Spirit” constitutes the graces of the Spirit, and there’s a difference between the graces of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. Many today seem to be excited about demonstrating the gifts of the Spirit, but they’re not eager to display the graces of the Spirit. There’s a lot of function, but little fruit; and it’s the fruit that glorifies God.
For this the seed was sown. For this, the planting and pruning was done. For this the rains have fallen and the sun has shone. If there’s no fruit, then there’s failure. And that makes the cross of Christ of no effect! The Lord Jesus came seeking fruit. If He finds none, His sufferings and His sayings are all in vain! Are we living a failed or fruitful life?