Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fruit vs. Works

As I was considering the topics for my last two days of the 31 Basics for Believers, I had a small epiphany.  (I love it when inspirations strikes!) I have heard many a sermon on the fruits of the spirit and also on the works of the flesh but either no one said it, or perhaps it didn't register in my brain, why they are so opposite.


Galatians 5:22-23  English Standard Version (ESV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


Galatians 5:19-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

I always thought fruit occurred when you were a Christian and the works of the flesh happened when you didn't live for Christ.  And that is certainly true.

But, today, I saw for the first time that fruit is what happens when you abide in the Vine, and the works of the flesh happens when you try to take care of things on your own.

In John 15, Jesus tells us that unless we abide in Him, we won't have any fruit.  It takes hanging out with Jeus to learn patience and self-control.

If we are trying to take care of things on our own, finding our own happiness and doing what makes us FEEL good, we'll be in to all kinds of sensual things.  When things don't go our way, if we are relying on ourselves, we will have fits of anger and do things that cause strife and division.

"She hurt my feelings, so I WILL get my revenge"

"He thinks he is better than me, so I WILL show him!"

"I deserve to have some fun, so I WILL do what feels good."

I, I, I.

What's really sad is when believers fall into works of the flesh because they feel offended. Instead of going to Christ and laying their hurts at the cross, they dwell on their offense.  It is not long before they are falling into the works of the flesh as they handle things on their own.

Compare the qualities in your character.  If they look more like fruit, good job!  Continue in what your are doing.  But if you see any tendencies toward works of the flesh, you need to make a change and start hanging out with Jesus.

For further enlightenment, study John 15.

This post is Day 30 of my series, 31 Basics for Believers.  You can find all the posts here.

i'm doing it!

I'm linking my series to a whole passel of bloggers who are blogging on one subject for 31 days.  There are topics for everyone!  If you like to join in, visit the Nester at her blog, Nesting Place.


Joyful Reader said...

They shall know you by your fruit... your love, joy, peace, kindess, gentleness, self control...etc.

They will also know who you are by your works. That of not being of the Kingdom of God.

Great post Jerralea!

Susanne said...

It's funny that you posted on this today as I've been thinking a lot on the fruit of the Spirit lately. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I don't see it sometimes in my life. While I was rereading Gal 5:22-23 this last week the words "But the fruit of the Spirit" totally jumped out at me. Now I knew they were there but I really realized for the first time that it is the Holy Spirit's fruit, not mine and I can't work it up. It only comes as you said, by abiding in the Vine. Great post, Jerri!