The Holy Spirit #3 – His Fruit (To Be Like Jesus):
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
For the past couple of days, we’ve been taking a closer look at the Third Person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit. We have discovered that He is a Person, and as God, He is worthy of our worship and praise. We also learned that He is our Comforter, our Teacher, our Guide, and that He helps us to pray, and draws us to Jesus. Today we’re going to look at another aspect of the ministry of the Holy Spirit – to make us more like Jesus.
In his letter to the church in Galatia, the Apostle Paul says, “So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.” (Gal. 5:16-17). There’s a war going on inside of us. The Holy Spirit in us wants to make us more like Jesus, but the old sinful nature wants to do just the opposite. Here’s a description of some of the things our sinful nature wants to do instead of being like Jesus: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21).
Sometimes it seems like it’s easier to give in to the desires of the sinful nature than it is to try to be like Jesus. So what’s a Christian to do? How do we become more like Jesus? It’s hard to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. I can’t do it on my own. Bingo. That’s absolutely right – we can’t do it on our own. That’s why God gave us the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us.” So how do we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives? The answer can be found in the Bible, of course…
Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5). Do you want to bear the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Do you want to be more like Jesus? Well, you can’t do it in your own strength. Jesus said apart from Him, you can do nothing. However, if we abide in Him – spend time with Him in prayer, and feeding on His Word (the Bible), the fruit of the Spirit will come naturally to us. Jesus said He is like a vine, and we are like branches, and when we remain in Him, we will produce much fruit. When we spend time with Jesus in prayer, His nature – His character – will rub off on us. We won’t have to struggle and say, “Ohhhh. I MUST be more loving and joyful and peaceful!” It will happen naturally. For example, did you ever see an orange tree standing out in the orchard groaning, “Ohhhh. I MUST produce oranges. Come on, oranges. Please, let there be oranges.” Of course not. The orange tree naturally produces oranges. In the same way, the Christian who is abiding in Jesus – spending time with Him in prayer and in His Word – will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus said, “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.” (John 15:8).
Pastor Chris Jordan