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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#937. The fruit of the Spirit (14/11/23)

This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we are reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:43-45 where we learn that our lives are to bear good fruit. Today, we want to consider what the fruit of the Spirit is and how we grow more of it.

‘“[for] No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”’ (Luke 6:43-45)

Lesson: The fruit of the Spirit is, in essence, to love like Christ loved The Father and the world; the Holy Spirit bears this fruit in us by leading us into situations where we have to actively love in difficult circumstances.


You can listen to this devotional at:

Jesus promises that a good tree will bear good fruit and vice-versa. What is the good fruit that He’s referring to? In answer to this, it's helpful to notice that in the Greek, this section begins “[for] No good tree bears bad fruit…” The use of ‘For..’ connects it to the previous section and means that the good fruit is, in part, what He’s been saying in the previous section; the Christ-like love and generosity outlined in Luke 6:27-42 is certainly a big aspect of the fruit that the Spirit bears in us.


The most famous verse on this subject of the fruit of the Spirit is Galatians 5:22-25:

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…’ (Galatians 5:22-23)

As you can see, the list in Galatians 5 very much overlaps with the kinds of things included in Luke and are beautifully summarised in The Golden Rule:

‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ (Luke 6:31)

This all sounds wonderful until we realise that this fruit increasingly grows in us as the Father ‘prunes’ us, and He does this, often, through challenging relationships:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)

We can read about this fruit in God’s Word. We can read about it in the lives of inspirational Christians. We can listen to sermons on and discuss it. However, it only becomes a fruit in our lives if we actually love those who are difficult to love as the Father leads us into such situations on a daily basis. J. I. Packer writes of God’s discipline of us:

‘We must be clear in our minds that whatever further reasons there may be why God exposes us to the joys and sorrows, fulfilment and frustrations, delights and disappointments, happiness and hurts, that make up the emotional reality of our lives, all these experiences are a part of his curriculum for us in the school of holiness, which is his spiritual gymnasium for our reshaping and rebuilding in the moral likeness of Jesus Christ.’ (J I Packer, A Passion For Holiness)

Response

The fruit of the Spirit is, in essence, to love like Christ loved The Father and the world; the Holy Spirit bears this fruit in us by leading us into situations where we have to actively love in difficult circumstances.

Are you being pruned through difficult relationships at the moment? If not, you soon will be. May we see in these situations an opportunity to grow in fruitfulness and bear the Fruit of the Spirit.

Let’s pray:

“Father, you have promised to prune me so that I will be even more fruitful. As I pray for more of the fruit of the Spirit in my life I know that this will be answered as you take me through the pain of difficult circumstances and relationships. I thank you that you work all things for my good so that I will become more like Christ. Amen.”
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:43-45 where, in essence, Jesus is teaching that the loving life we’re called to (as we saw last week from 6:27-42) is made possible by the work of the Spirit in us - it’s the fruit of the Spirit.


Please read Luke 6:43-45

  1. On Sunday we saw that ‘a true Christian bears fruity by nature and on purpose’; Why is it natural and inevitable that a ‘good tree’ - analogous of a Christian - bears good fruit?

  2. What is the good fruit that the Spirit yields in our lives?

  3. What are the destructive things that one can ‘store in the heart’ and what will the result be?

  4. On Sunday we saw that ‘a true Christian bears fruit by nature and on purpose’; What are the ways that we can ‘store good things in our hearts’ so as to bear more fruit?

  5. SIV - How will the good fruit in our lives help those who are outside of faith to come to Jesus?

  6. SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?

  7. SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.

  8. Does anyone want prayer out of what we have reflected on together or for anything else?

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