THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
This Bible Study Outline has been developed for all leaders of the cell ministry. It serves as a guide for our Bible study meetings on the subject, ‘The Fruits of the spirit’, as taught by our Man of God, during the Bible study preparatory class on Saturday August 11, 2012.
This outline is in 4 parts. Part 1 explains what the fruits of the spirit are and where they originate. Part 2 sheds light on who bears the fruits of the spirit, and teaches on how to manifest them. Part 3 concludes the teaching on how to manifest the fruits of the spirit; and Part 4 teaches us the benefits of bearing good fruits; the consequences of not producing fruit, and the consequences of producing bad fruit.
All Bible study class teachers and cell leaders are to ensure that the members have their Bibles; all the Scriptures in the outline are read during the meeting; and the members look into their Bibles while the Scriptures are read. In addition, as clearly stated by our Man of God, emphasize the importance of having a personal Bible and using it. Also encourage your members to have Bibles in their mobile devices; let them know that no phone is worth carrying, if it cannot take a Bible. Having your Bible in your phone means you can take your Bible with you, everywhere you go.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- The Fruit of the Spirit Part 1………………………… 3
- The Fruit of the Spirit Part 2………………………… 7
- The Fruit of the Spirit Part 3………………………… 10
- The Fruit of the Spirit Part 4………………………… 13
- Conclusion……………………………………………. 16
– THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT (PART 1) –
Introduction: Explaining the Terms
In Scriptures, you’ll observe that the word fruit and fruits are used interchangeably in referring to the fruits of the spirit. They can both infer a plurality, so we can say: the fruits of the spirit or the fruit of the spirit. Fruit can be used in singular term, as in ‘water’, irrespective of the quantity.
Now there are several expressions used in describing the fruits of the spirit, and they are:
- Fruits (Matthew 3:8; Matthew 7:16)
- Good fruits (James 3:17)
- Fruits of righteousness (Philippians 1:11)
- Works or deeds (Ephesians 5:11; Titus 3:14)
Works or deeds sometimes apply to different things, so we must be careful to study the context in which the words are used to note the differences.
In Matthew 7: 15 – 20 (Read full text in class), Jesus explained that false prophets can be identified by their fruits. Verse 20 says: ‘Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them’
Mathew 12:33: ‘Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit’
Luke 6: 43 – 45: ‘ For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh’
From the scriptures, we can see that you can’t have a good tree producing corrupt fruit, neither can you have a corrupt tree producing good fruit. Every man has a treasure in him; you either have a treasure of good or a treasure of evil. You should not accommodate any evil treasure but rather, you should multiply your good treasure. Multiplying your good treasure is done through the Word of God, as the Word makes deposits into your spirit.
What are the fruits of the spirit?
Galatians 5: 22 – 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Ephesians 5: 8 – 10: ‘For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
The nine (9) listed fruits in Galatians 5: 22, are fruits of the spirit; however, there are other fruits. From the scripture in Ephesians 5: 8 – 9, we are taught that the fruits of the spirit are encapsulated in goodness, righteousness and truth. Goodness, righteousness and truth are therefore fruits of the spirit.
Philippians 1: 11: ‘Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God’
James 3: 17 – 18: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. God’s wisdom is full of good fruits. Therefore, if God has made you wise, His wisdom will come with good fruits.
Where do the fruits of the spirit originate?
John 15: 1 – 5: ‘I am the true vine, and my father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The fruits of the spirit originate from Jesus Christ; that is, we get them from Jesus. Though the branches bear the fruits, they actually originate from the vine.
Philippians 1: 11: Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
In Colossians 1: 4-6, we are taught that the gospel brings forth fruit and the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ; the Word of Christ.
The fruits of the spirit therefore originate from the Master, our Lord Jesus Christ, through His Word. Therefore, if you want to bring forth fruit, you need to follow the Words of Jesus in John 15: 4, where He instructs that we abide in the vine:
John 15: 4-5: ‘…Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Jesus abides in us through His Word and the fruits originate from Him.
– THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT (PART 2) –
In this section, we’ll examine the following:
- Who bears the fruits of the spirit; and,
- How to manifest the fruits of the spirit
Who bears the fruits of the spirit?
The word spirit in Galatians 5:22 “…But the fruit of the Spirit is…” has a capital “S”, thus many Christians assume it refers to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy spirit does not bear fruit.
It is erroneously thought to be so because the word ‘Spirit’, and also ‘spirit’ with a small letter “s”, came from the same Greek word “pneuma”. However in this context it refers to the fruit of your recreated human spirit, the fruit of the Christian.
Jesus said “I am the vine. Ye are the branches…” (John 15:5). And we know that the fruits of a tree are seen on the branches; therefore the Christian is the one that bears the fruits.
The capacity to produce the fruits of the spirit has been given to those who are born again. Isaiah 61:3 says, ‘To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified’ We are tress of righteousness, so we produce fruits of righteousness, and all of these are in our spirits.
Don’t let the devil deceive you into wondering if you have the capacity to produce the fruits of the spirit. Don’t find yourself wondering if you can ever be gentle, meek or patient. The question to answer is: Have you received Christ? If you have, it means that you already have the fruit of the spirit and what is important is to keep sowing the seed of God’s Word into your heart. You are a tree of righteousness and you can multiply the good treasure in your heart through the Word of God. Keep sowing the Word seed into your heart and it would produce the desired result.
You may not see the result of fruit bearing immediately. You will have to be patient because you’ll be tried and tempted, so that you bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8: 11,15).
How to manifest the fruits of the spirit
Ephesians 5: 9-11:
(For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
In Ephesians 5:11, we see a negation of the fruit of the spirit; the unfruitful works of darkness. Unfruitful works of darkness are works that do not produce good fruits / fruits of righteousness. By saying ‘…have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, the scriptures admonish us not to participate in works that don’t produce fruits of the spirit, but to reprove them.
In our lives and relationship with others, we shouldn’t manifest the fruits of darkness because we are trees of righteousness. For example, a brother should not go to another brother to deceive him and steal money from him. The Bible says if you love, you will not steal; you can’t love your brother and steal from him. Doing that will mean that you’re manifesting works of darkness.
1 John 3: 14: ”We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” Here, John is not referring to someone who isn’t saved; this scripture refers to someone that remains /abides in darkness; one who hasn’t come out of darkness though life has been given to him. Such a person remains under the control of spiritual death. An illustration is having the prison doors opened to someone who is in prison, yet he still abides there, inspite of the fact that the doors have been opened. He remains/ settles in the prison.
In listing the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, we notice that the list starts with love as the number one product of the human spirit. The first fruit that is manifested in the recreated human spirit is love; it controls our conduct, our life and lifestyle, our thoughts and speech.
The scripture doesn’t say that if you don’t love your brother, it means you hate him. It says if you don’t love your brother you remain in death; you are walking in the domain of death and are under the control and jurisdiction of death. This means that the spirit of death controls your life and the devil is running your life.
1 John 3: 15 addresses the issue of hate: ‘Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.’
Hate is a verb, which means that it is something a person does. Unlike the man who doesn’t love, the man who hates is not just abiding in death, he has spiritual death in him. Any Christian who finds himself walking in hatred must quickly repent because hatred is one of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20). If a Christian walks in the flesh, he can find himself hating without realizing that he is manifesting the works of darkness. As you grow in your Christian life, understand that you are not supposed to hate anybody.
- THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (PART 3) –
This is the second part of the discussion: How to manifest the fruits of the spirit.
How to manifest the fruits of the spirit
The fruits of the spirit are manifested through corresponding actions:
“My little Children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). This shows clearly that we manifest these fruits through our actions.
James also tells us that faith without corresponding actions is dead (James 2: 14-17.
Matthew 3: 8: ’Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance…’
Luke 3: 8: ‘Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance,…’
Other scriptural references are: James 2: 26, Titus 3: 8, Titus 3: 14, Acts 26: 19 – 20.
From the scriptures, we can see clearly that God demands fruit from us; He doesn’t want us walking around doing nothing. If you don’t have a job, then make one because God condemns unfruitful lives.
John 15: 8: ‘Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’
John 15:16: ‘‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.‘
God is not suggesting that we bear fruit, He is asking for it. He wants us to produce results (fruits). If you live the life that God gave you to live, you’ll have all the results that the Word of God says.
As explained in part 1, the fruit of the spirit means the fruit of righteousness. They are the fruits of love, which are the works of love; deposits that we have from God in our spirits. We express the fruit of the spirit based on the workings of the Spirit of God in us. For example, we carry out acts of kindness, not because we’re trying to be kind, but because the kindness of Christ is in us; it is the love of Christ functioning in us. In soul winning for example, there’s the need and motivation of love that causes us to share the Word; that’s also the fruit of the spirit working.
Some people bring forth fruit unto death:
Romans 7: 5 – 6: ‘For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.’
Hebrews 6: 1: ‘Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God’.
Hebrews 9: 14: ‘ How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’
In Romans 7: 5, the Apostle Paul said they brought forth fruit unto death and in Hebrews 6: 1, he talks about ‘dead works’, which means works that lead to spiritual death.
The blood of Christ can purge your conscience from works of death so that you can serve the living God; this means, so you can bring forth fruit unto God. Now that we are in Christ Jesus, God demands that we bring forth fruit unto him. Romans 7: 4: ‘ Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
- THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (PART 4) –
God demands fruits from every Christian as seen in Mathew 3:8. He expects us to do works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20). As a child of God you are to maintain good works (Titus 3:14); that is, your life should be in accordance to the gospel; and this is revealed through producing good fruits.
The benefits of bearing good fruits are:
- – The Father purgeth you to produce even more fruits (John 15:2).
- – The Father is glorified when you bear much fruit (John 15:8).
- – Whatsoever you ask the father will be granted unto you (John 15:16).
- – You will consistently walk in the blessing and in the anointing of the Spirit (Hebrews 1:9).
Consequences of not producing fruit:
John 15: 2: ‘Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.‘
The scripture says, ‘…every branch that beareth not fruit, he taketh away…’ Don’t stay idle, producing no fruit. You cannot be neutral; you must produce fruit unto God.
Ephesians 5:9-10: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord’. This means doing things that are consistent with goodness, righteousness and truth. You therefore cannot be idle, doing nothing. There must be good works coming out of your spirit because God has put that deposit in you.
Philippians 1: 11: ‘Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God’.
God takes away every branch that does not bear fruit.
Consequences of producing bad fruit:
Matthew 7: 19: ‘Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire’
Matthew 3: 10: ‘And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire’
Luke 3: 9: ‘ And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire’
Hebrews 6: 8: ‘But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.‘
Revelation 21: 10,11,27: ‘10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a jasper stone, clear as crystal;… 27 And there shall no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’
You can see that the consequences of producing bad fruits are very severe. From the parable in Luke 13: 6 – 9, we can see that God comes looking for fruit in our lives. When the Master comes looking at your life, what will He find? From the parable, the Master gave them an opportunity to straighten up and produce fruit.
For example, there are some Christians who have never won a soul to Christ. You must not be like that. You must bring others to the Lord; it’s part of what we produce from our spirits, as we’re motivated by the love of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5: 14 – 15: ‘For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again’
Every one of us must be passionate and be soul winners. We must produce fruit unto God; it’s compulsory, required and desirable.
At different times, God reviews our lives and looks at the fruits we’ve been producing. As the life of Christ is awesomely revealed through us, God’s Word goes forth and we find that there are more blessings in our lives because the Lord prunes fruitful branches to make them more fruitful. He takes away the wrong things in our lives, and cuts out those things that aren’t necessary to make sure we can produce more fruits. He wants us to bear more fruits and keep producing fruits until it’s much fruit. He says ‘Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples’ (John 15: 8).
Our goal therefore, should not just be to produce fruit, but to produce much fruit.
The fruits of the spirit are not mere attitudes to guide human behavior; they are God’s design for the formation of spiritual character; the whole personality of our being and who we are. The Bible says ‘by their fruits you shall know them’; so you cannot separate one’s attitude from his character. All that God has put in us is to produce a character. He wants to produce the character of Christ in us. For example, you shouldn’t just be humble in a certain situation; God wants humility to become your character, just like being bold and walking in righteousness should become part of your character.
Our dream for evangelism, soul winning, our partnership in the gospel, helping others, making sure that the work of the ministry goes forward, and interceding for others, is all part of our Christian character; the formation of the spiritual man.
Jesus was a soul winner, Jesus was humble and good; He was a healer, an intercessor and He walked in power, and in glory. Jesus Christ was and still is an awesome and extraordinary character, and as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4: 17).
Lessons learned from “the fruits of the Spirit”
- Every tree is known by its fruits.
- The fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22 refer to the fruit of the recreated human spirit.
- The fruit of the Spirit is also the fruit of Righteousness.
- We are trees of Righteousness; hence we are to produce good fruits.
- Every Christian should bear good fruits.
- Love is the number one product of your spirit.
- We manifest the fruits of the Spirit by “corresponding actions”.
- Anyone that does not bear fruit will be taken away from the vine.
- One of the consequences of a Christian producing bad fruit is that he will be cast into the fire.
- He that does not love his brother abides in death: In the jurisdiction, dominion and control of death.
- Who bears the fruits of the spirit?
Answer: The Christian
- The Father is glorified when we bear good fruits, True or False?
- How does a Christian manifest the fruit of the Spirit?
Answer: Through corresponding actions
- To bear much fruit you must abide in the Vine? True or False?
- The Christian that hates his brother is ______________?
Answer: A murderer