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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Fruit of the Spirit in the Church

Believers are to be led by the Spirit. When we give our lives to Christ, we need to crucify the desires of the flesh and replace them with the desires of the Spirit. As we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we become more like Christ, which should be evident by the fruit of the Spirit, the things that show to the world that we are different. In his letter to the Galatian church, Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-24)

It is also important that the church, the body of Christ, displays the fruit of the Spirit. It is only when the fruit is evident in the church that those in the world will feel drawn to it. Love must be evident. Jesus said that the world will know we are His followers if we love one another. That love for our family in Christ should also extend to those around us who are unsaved. Joy should fill our hearts, reflecting an exuberance about life that is contagious.

We should have the peace of Christ in our lives as we trust in Him for all that we need. And that peace should be seen in how we face the trials and tribulations of life. We should demonstrate patience in a willingness to stick with things and not give up, even if they are difficult. And kindness should be seen as compassion for the world around us as we seek to be the light of Christ to a world that needs Him. Jesus demonstrated compassion to those with whom He came in contact. As the body of Christ, we must demonstrate that same compassion.

Goodness should be reflected in the way in which we live our lives. When we follow Jesus, we are set apart from the world, we are in the world but not of it. That should be evident in the way that we live. God has demonstrated His faithfulness in so many ways, most especially by giving Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. The mark of the church should be loyalty to our God, faithfulness to Him and to each other.

Gentleness should be seen in the way we deal with those around us. We must not look to have our way, pushing our own agendas, but rather place the needs of others before ours. And finally, self-control should be seen in our lives as we work toward curbing the desires of the flesh, directing our energy wisely as we strive to live by the Spirit.

These are the things that the world needs and wants to see in the church. These are the things that will make the world desire what we have. The harvest is there, waiting for us to reap it. When we, as the body, demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, that harvest will be reaped and lives will be changed.

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