Anyone who likes fruit generally likes it to be fresh fruit. For example, wouldn’t you much rather have some fresh pineapple that was cut fresh and served to you than to have it out of a can? I know I would! The fact of the matter is that there is good fruit and there is bad fruit. Fruit that has been left out in the sun too long will spoil and stink. It has been exposed to that thing that continues to make it to turn rotten and undesirable.
“But 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
In today’s Bible verse Paul talks about fruit. This is that familiar passage in Scripture that reminds us that the Holy Spirit’s influence in our life produces “good” fruit. This fruit is the outward sign that He is in control and we are not afraid to let Him have control. He continually produces this good fruit and as long as we are listening to and following Him, we can have a life that is abundant even here on this planet.
Just prior to this passage in the Bible Paul was talking about the things that are a product of a life spent ignoring good and choosing to follow after fleshly desires. These are the works of the flesh:
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (Gal 5:19-20)
Paul was admonishing the Christians that were at Galatia because they were “biting and devouring one another” (Gal 5:15). They were fighting amongst themselves because some still believed that they needed to be circumcised (live under the law). He told them that because of Jesus, circumcision was no longer of any effect. Paul ends this chapter of Galatians with the exhortation:
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:24-25)
Paul also wrote:
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal 5:17)
That means that when we are spending lots of time with the bad fruit (people and activities that do not please God), we cannot enjoy the good fruit (those things like true love, joy, peace and the like that come from the Holy Spirit). It is true that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Mixing the bad fruit with the good fruit will only produce bad fruit. When you spend too much time with the bad fruit you will also become tarnished.
- your attitude will change,
- you will begin to dress differently,
- even your language will change
- you will say things that are ungodly and
- you will do things that are ungodly.
Not one of those things (the works of the flesh) mentioned in Gal 5:19-20 can produce a good thing. They are all rotten.
My question for you today is: What are you eating, the good fruit or the bad fruit? To answer that question consider where you spend most of your time. Do your actions line up best with Gal 5:19-20 or Gal 5:22-23?
You can choose the good fruit.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sea-turtle/3265524308/