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Posts Tagged ‘fruit of the spirit’

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Take notice that this passage begins ‘The fruit of the Spirit’ and NOT the fruit ffof the Christian, the reason being that the fruit belongs to God and is for bringing Him glory. The fruit of the Christian is a myth. When the Bible declares in Matthew 7:16 that people will know us (identify us as Christians) by our fruit and that good trees bear good fruit, the reality is that they will know we are followers of Jesus when they see the Holy Spirit and His attributes in operation.

Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” (John 16:14)

When we receive the Holy Spirit, it’s a package deal – where He goes His fruit goes and it’s consumer-ready from day one WITHOUT law or regulation. The Christian on the other hand is the shipping crate and it’s his duty is to pop the lid off and display this Spiritual produce to God’s glory.

Let us abandon the notion that we’re babes in Christ and that our fruit needs to mature or other such nonsense. The reality is that in ourselves we will never master these qualities, but we have something better in the Holy Spirit. We just get need to get out of His way (die to our selfishness) and allow Him to do what He desires to do. As a result folks will occasionally notice how loving or how patient we are, at which point we will say, “Dude, that’s not me. To God be the glory.”

It’s not the power of the fruit, it’s the Power behind the fruit.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

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Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

Love is that fruit of the Spirit that allows God’s power to flow through us by way of the gifts that He has provided. Loveless-ness causes friction. Removing love from this blueprint would be akin to removing the oil from your engine’s crankcase. A car without oil will run for a while, making a whole lot of noise, and then stop entirely.

A Better Illustration From God

And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates on the hem of the robe all around between the pomegranates: a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe to minister in, as the Lord had commanded Moses. Exodus 39:25-26

bellWhat’s the significance?

We might notice how the bells are symbolic of the Lord’s gifts and the pomegranates are representative of His love; a fruit of the Spirit (and friction-fighter). In other words, God has painted a ‘bell-fruit-bell’ picture for the church, with the pomegranate (love) as the cushion. Without this buffer of love between each gifting, would we not be left with a cacophony of metal clanging against metal, but with love in-between, each jingle is a clear tone, distinguishable one from another and harmonious one with another! This is how our spiritual gifts should flow.

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Its all about Bells and PomegranatesYou shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. There shall be an opening for his head in the middle of it; it shall have a woven binding all around its opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it does not tear. “And upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around: a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe all around. And it shall be upon Aaron when he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he goes into the holy place before the Lord and when he comes out, that he may not die. Exodus 28:31-35

Everything in the Tabernacle–from massive tapestry to curious thread, prophetically picture and point towards Jesus and our life in Christ. The skeptic may say that as we draw our Messianic parallels that we are merely grasping at sanctimonious straws in an attempt to somehow qualify our Jesus as Lord. “Coincidence!” they screech. Frankly, I might agree with them if not for the enormous rate-of-occurrence on each and every page of the Bible. Jesus Himself verifies our claim when He in effect declares that the entire Old Testament is a testimony to Him.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. John 5:39

Bells

Envision the High Priest and his bell-hemmed robe. Only he could enter the Holy Place and Holy of Holies, that tent within a tent inside the Tabernacle. Those in the Tabernacle’s courtyard could hear him as the bells on his garment jingled-away as he serviced the fixtures inside the tent–a witness that he was engaged in ministry. Lots can be said about active ministry, but one thing is for certain—active ministry has a sound.

Pomegranates

We need not be theologians to grasp that the pomegranate depicts the fruit of the Spirit which the book of Galatians reminds us is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Since all those latter things are essentially attributes of love, we could simply say the pomegranate is a depiction of love. So why then the repetitive bell-pomegranate-bell-pomegranate pattern on the robe’s hem? The Apostle Paul gives us that answer.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

Paul asserts that as we go about our continual pattern of Christian service—making noise for the Lord as it were, if not seasoned with love throughout, appealing chimes become appalling cymbals. Love must be sandwiched between every word and deed, lest the sounds of loveless ministry frighten everyone away.

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35


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