Fruit That is Ever Fresh
American consumerism drives product design, delivery, cost, appearance, and availability. The present “food” demand is for that is which is fresh. Because of the passion to be physically fit, the diet demands are for farm-to-market produce, vegetables, and fruit. The customer does not want anything that was sprayed with pesticides, contains additives for any reason, and is irrigated with fresh water that has no chemicals.
God desires for us to have the same in our spiritual life. We are to be pure. What we consume should be without the infusion of sin’s infections. The fruit that we bear is to be straight from the Hand of God and evident in great clusters in the Christian’s life. We are the “produce” from the garden of God’s handiwork and we should be filled with the power of the Spirit. In that way, we give to all the joy of knowing what it is to meet a representative of Jesus Christ that is filled with the Fruit of the Spirit.
The word “fruit” of the Spirit is singular, not plural. The most common teaching is that there are nine fruits of the Spirit. But that’s not the case. It’s one “fruit,” and that fruit has those characteristics. For instance, take an apple. It’s one apple, but it has many characteristics: red, tasty, juicy, crunchy, nutritious, thin-skinned (which could actually describe a lot of Christians…), etc. In the same way, the fruit of the Spirit is one fruit with these nine characteristics.
So what? What’s so big about the fruit being singular and not plural? Everyone is expected to display all of the fruit in their lives!
The Bible is very clear that the gifts of the Spirit are parceled out as He sees fit, and that not every person will get every gift. The fruit, on the other hand, is for EVERYONE. Everyone is supposed to be loving, everyone is supposed to be kind, everyone is supposed to be patient, and everyone is supposed to have self-control. There’s none of this: “Well, sorry I snapped at you. I guess patience isn’t one of the fruits that the Spirit has given me.” Or, “Oops – I guess I shouldn’t have committed adultery, but faithfulness isn’t one of my spiritual fruits…” Can you imagine standing before God and saying that?
Go back to the apple example for a minute. Let’s say that the apple is juicy and red, but the taste is horrible and all its nutritional value was gone. Do you go the apple and say, “Well, I guess you got part of the ‘apple’s quality”, so I’ll eat you and hope for the best?” I don’t think so. But we’re willing to give ourselves a pass by saying, “I’ve got the faithfulness and self-control things down. I don’t need to be kind, patient, or loving, or any of that other nonsense.” We all need to show all the characteristics of the fruit.
Admittedly, they will show at different levels – some will be more loving and more patient or kind than others. But each part of the fruit should be growing in each of us so we can grow in all of those areas, especially those in which we’re a bit weak. Brian La Croix.
Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins. Donald Grey Barnhouse.