But the moment you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit began a divine work to produce Christ's character in you. Regardless of who you are, the Spirit works from the same model, Jesus Christ. The Spirit looks to Christ in order to find the blueprint for your character. Just like your children and your grandchildren look and act like you, so spiritually God expects His children to act like Him. We have the same God, the same Jesus, and the same Holy Spirit.
The same Holy Spirit of God that was active in Christ, will enable you to have:
- The same love that Jesus had when He laid down His life for His friends.
- The same joy that Christ prayed might remain in you.
- The identical peace that guarded the heart of Jesus, even as He was being beaten and mocked.
- The same long-suffering & patience Jesus had for His most unreachable disciple.
- The same gentleness Jesus showed toward little children and sinners.
- The same goodness that Jesus demonstrated as He went about doing good.
- The same faith that led Jesus to be entirely obedient to His Father.
- The same meekness that made Christ great as He said, “For I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
- The same temperance & self-control so that you will have strength to do what is right and to resist temptation.
Jesus promised the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit that would live in the believer and help them to live the Christian life in John 14:16-18,
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
At the very moment that we accept and trust Christ as our personal Saviour, we receive the Holy Spirit of God.
II Corinthians 1:21 & 22,
“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest (down payment) of the Spirit in our hearts.”
Ephesians 1:13 & 14,
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
As believers whose desire it should be to bring Glory to God through our lives, these nine fruits ought to be as natural as the growth of fruit on a tree. You should not have to work it up or orchestrate it on your own. It should automatically begin working in you the moment you become a believer and have the Holy Spirit work in your hearts. How quickly it happens depends upon how completely you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit's activity. After all doesn’t II Corinthians 5:17 say,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Well this begs the question. Why aren’t all Christians and why aren’t you and I exhibiting all of these nine fruits of the Spirit in our everyday lives? We will examine the answer to this question and see what the Bible says we can do about this dilemma that so many Christians seem to face.
Let’s look at Mark 11:12-14,
“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.”
Now go down to verses 20 & 21,
“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.”
Jesus had just entered triumphantly into
Sometimes we as believers are that way. We say we are believers, but there is no fruit to back it up. We profess Christ in word, but show no evidence of a life that is indeed changed and yielded to God’s Holy Spirit so that His fruits (all 9 of them) can be clearly seen in our lives.
One of the biggest problems I feel is that we are spending too much time on trying to not do the works of the flesh (those 17 sins) and not enough time on how to have God’s Spirit help us to exhibit His nine fruits of the Spirit. Do you understand what I just said?
I believe we need to see is that our biggest sin is possibly, that we keep focusing only on the sins, instead of the cure. We are trying not to sin, as well we should, but we are not focusing on God’s remedy for the Christian life, which is being filled with His Holy Spirit, so that the fruits of the Spirit are manifest in and through our lives.
In other words, we are living almost in bondage by trying in our own strength to avoid partaking in those seventeen works of the flesh. Once again they are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, and revellings. Not only should we avoid sin and even the appearance of wrong, but we need to draw our strength not from within ourselves but from God through His Spirit which lives in us.
Look what Paul says in Romans 8:1-5,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
And so once again we see that we need to walk in the Spirit. But how can we walk in the Spirit? The answer is that we must be filled with the Spirit and emptied of self!!!!
Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody (the great
Moody also said this, “I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness, ambition and everything else that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled."
Paul gives another illustration of how we can walk in the Spirit in Ephesians 5:1-21,
therefore followers of God, as dear children; (Children take after their
parents and look and act like their parents)
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a
sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness,
let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor
foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of
thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous
man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the
And be not drunk with wine (under it’s influence), wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (and under His influence); Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (mutual submission as believers)
What a powerful portion of Scripture!
We are commanded by God to “be filled” and under the influence of His Holy Spirit. And that is how we can live the Christian life and demonstrate the nine fruits of His Spirit. And that is the only way we can do it!
As we look at these nine fruits of God’s Holy Spirit in the days ahead, may we be sensitive to what His Spirit is trying to do in and through us. If you are not seeing love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in your life, than something is wrong, very wrong.
It’s either you are like a fig tree which bears no fruit. You are saying that you are a believer but you’ve never trusted Christ as your Saviour and the only good fruit that you possess is that which you can work up in your own strength. That may do for this life, but God requires a heart that has been changed by being Spiritually born from above. Jesus told a very religious man, “You must be born again.”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.”
You need to come this morning and have someone take God’s Word and show you why you need to be saved and then you can begin to see the working of God’s Holy Spirit in your heart and than you can begin to demonstrate the nine fruits of God’s Spirit that we talked about today.
Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Then and only then can we obey the command to “Walk in the Spirit.”
Maybe you’re a Christian, but you haven’t died to self and allowed the God’s Holy Spirit to fill you and direct you and influence and control you. Than you need to come this morning and pray and ask God to fill you as you empty yourself of yourself. We need so desperately to be Spirit filled and Spirit controlled and walking in the Spirit as Christians! God is waiting for us so He can use us.
Ask the Lord to help you today. Let’s Pray.