Malus Pumila and the Fruit of the Spirit

Today I want to look at the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. If you grew up in church or if you have kids you have taken to church, you might know the song about how bananas, grapes, apples, and other produce are not the fruit of the Spirit. But before we get to the fruit of the Spirit I want to talk about an actual fruit. This ride might get a little bumpy so hold on…

A malus pumila produces a very specific kind of fruit. There is really no other fruit like it on earth. There are some other fruits that can look kind of like it. Some have similar shapes, and some have similar taste but there is really nothing like the fruit of a malus pumila. Let me try and describe it to you. The fruit of malus pumila is sweet but sometimes a little sour, round, usually red, juicy, firm, crisp, and most of all delicious. I honestly do not eat enough of the malus pumila fruit which is sad because it is readily available being an apple and all.

See I could have just said the fruit of an apple tree (malus pumila) is an apple but by describing it I gave you all its features. I told you what you are getting. When you have an apple you don’t have red, or sweet, or crisp. Instead, you have an apple that is those things. Now taste is somewhat subjective so you might not like apples and that’s OK but I think you get my point – the description is the thing. So, what is the fruit of the Spirit?

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. These are not fruits of the Spirit. There is not a fruit of love, or joy, or peace, and so on. I would argue that there is one fruit and it is Christlikeness. Why would I say this? Simply put because I think God says it.

Romans 8:29 says that we are being conformed to the image of the Son. God’s purpose is to make us more like Christ. That is one reason the Holy Spirit lives in us. We are to walk by the power of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now lives in us. We are to be more like Jesus. 1 John 2:6 says we are to walk as Jesus walked. Jesus walked in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. He walked according the Spirit (Luke 4:1) and so should we.

We should read Galatians 5:22-23 and see a list not of individual fruits to be cultivated but a singular fruit that is a wonderful thing. We should see a list of things that should describe us and things that we are to be. Peter says that we have all we need for a life of godliness in us and this is because the Holy Spirit is in us producing His fruit of Christlikeness which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. If we find that we are short peace for example, we don’t need to pray for the fruit of peace we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and to make us more like Christ in that area. We need to confess our need for Him to continue to produce His fruit. Thinking about the list differently changes it from a list of things I need to do to a list of gifts I can have to make me more like Jesus and that is the goal. Jesus is the prize the descriptions of that fruit are not. If we are just chasing the descriptions, we run the risk of missing the mark and we can quickly fall into legalism. We are empowered by the Spirit by Christ to be more like Christ.

Just a thought,

Mike

A Little Twisted (Caramel Onions)

So it is a little twisted but I have a great game to play with a group of people (I am sure the youth are willing). I call it bad apple trivia.

The rules are simple 6 Caramel Apples & 6 Caramel Onions. You get 5 questions and for everyone you get right an onion is removed. For everyone you get wrong an apple is removed. Once the 5 questions are completed the remaining Caramel “items” are placed on a spinning tray and spun and you choose. The game has begun and is over when you eat.

Twisted yes, however immensely enjoyable for those watching.

Why do I bring up this twisted little game? Simple because everyday in life we are presented with options and choices. It also does not matter how many times you get the answer right there is always the possibility of there being a negative outcome. We can make every right decision and and ever correct choice but it still happens. You didn’t earn it, you don’t deserve it but it happened.

We live in a fallen world and because of that sometimes you get handed a bad apple (or a good onion). That does not mean God has forgotten you, or He is punishing you. It just means it happened. We have to move forward we have to look to God and remember that He is our rock and strong tower. We can and should pray for things to be different but if it does not happen we have to move forward into what God has for us.

Six years ago this week was the last time I saw my grandfather and it still stings a little that I was not around more, but I have to remember to look to the memories we had not the nasty onion taste in my mouth about the absence.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. – Job 19:25

Just a thought,

Mike