Fruit of the Holy Spirit – Signs of Spiritual Maturity

The fruit of the  Holy Spirit is something that every Christian believer is challenged to develop.  What is the fruit of the spirit? The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence that the character of Jesus Christ is manifested in your life.  According to I Corinthians 14:1, the gifts of the spirit and the fruit of the spirit should work in cooperation with each other.

I Corinthians 13, talks about the importance of love, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  It does not tell us that the gifts are not important, but rather if we fail to operate in God’s love,  He will not recognize us.  Love is the very nature of God, and it has been shed abroad in the heart of every believer. (Romans 5:5)  If we fail to walk in God’s love, it is not that we are not able, but that we are not willing to.

The Fruit of the Spirit is a Choice

We can grieve the Holy if we refuse to walk in the spirit of love because God is love.  Have you ever know someone who God is using in the gifts of the spirit, but have a terrible attitude?  That is why it is important to judge not the gifts, but the character of the one operating in the gifts.  1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

God uses us in spiritual gifts because we are open to him, not because we have arrived.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit reveals our true character and maturity. So while seeking after spiritual gifts, which is scriptural it is more important to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit. Every day it is a challenge to deny the flesh and yield to the Spirit of God. It is not always easy to walk in the fruit, but if we are willing to take on the character of Christ, God will help us.

Paul spoke of this challenge in, Romans 7.  In 7:18-20 Paul states: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

How to We Develop the Fruit of the Spirit

If you want to grow in the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, embrace the opportunities given to us to deny the flesh and yield to will of God. That’s when we begin to develop the fruit such as love peace, joy, long-suffering, etc. When someone hurts your feeling, do you lash out?   If someone lies about you, do you go on Facebook and launch a smear campaign, or leave it in God’s hands?  When your spouse forgets your birthday, do you berate him, for being a bad husband, or forgive him for being human?  These everyday occurrences, are tested as well as opportunities to do our best and be better.

Of course, you will mess up.  That is OK, this Christian walk is a marathon, not a sprint!  Accept the grace and forgiveness of God and move forward.  These tests help build our Christian character to develop muscles.    When the gifts of the spirit and the fruit of the Spirit begin to come together, that we are in harmony with God’s character, nature, and purpose.  There is a popular wrist brand that came out years ago, WWJD (what would Jesus do)  This should be a constant reminder to measure everything we do by the character for Jesus Christ.  When in doubt that you are walking in the fruit of the Holy Spirit, ask yourself, “what would Jesus do?”

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