The Spirit applies in us and nurtures the fruits of the Spirit in our lives—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. As you read this list and ask your self “What exactly are the “fruits of the Spirit? You will arrive at the answer: These all make up the character of God. And since the character of the Father is the same as the Son, these “fruits” also make up the character of Jesus Christ. We see these personified in all the narratives of the life of Jesus in the Gospels.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to imitate Jesus not only in words, and deeds, but more importantly, in character. We could be right and say the right words but if we say them without love and gentleness we are wrong. We could do the right deeds but if we do them without joy and kindness they build up nothing. Stepping up as the spiritual leader of your family without patience, goodness and self-control is destructive.
These gifts of the fruits of the Spirit that the Holy Spirit wants to give us is nothing less than the character of God. Jesus breathes in us and tells us to receive the Holy Spirit so by the Spirit’s indwelling in us, we can be conformed with his actual character and that of God. That is the only way we can possibly live into God’s command to be Holy as I am Holy, by the indwelling of the Spirit in us and the fruits, the actual character of God in the Spirit.
People listen to people of the character of God. People follow people of the character of God. Your character will either open or close doors to sharing the Gospel and/or discipling other people.
Read Romans 15:13; Galatians 6:16-25, Matthew 3:8-9; James 5:7-12. Then spend time with the Holy Spirit looking at your character. What “Fruits of the Spirit” are you strong in? What fruits are a challenge to you? Pray over you character. Ask the Holy Spirit to assist you in obtaining the character of God.
Practical application of this message; Are you in an accountability relationship with another person or two? I am absolutely convinced that nothing helps an individual to maintain the character of God more than deep, open, vulnerable, loving, real accountability. It helps prevent someone from being the person in James 1:23-24, who looks in the mirror at home and says, “What a good Christian am I!” then goes out and lives like those of the world. If you are not in deep accountability with one or two people, (not a small group or Bible study. True accountability happens in 2-3 people) then I challenge you to enter into one by the end of this week. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you to the one or two persons to invite into accountability with you.
Please share any thoughts, comments, stories you have on the Fruits of the Spirit, Character or accountability with us below.