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“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”—Galatians 5:19–23 (NIV)
What kind of fruit do you get if you plant a mango tree? You guessed it . . . mangos! You know what you won’t get? Bananas or peaches or apples. This should be obvious, right?
Friends, I don’t think you’re dumb. I know you understand how trees and fruits work. But I want to make this as clear as I possibly can so we can see the biblical truth here. In the same way I can’t expect a mango tree to produce oranges, I also can’t expect my life to produce the fruit of the Spirit if I’m sowing seeds of the flesh.
In John 3:6 (NIV), Jesus says, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Translation: Only the Spirit in us can produce the fruit of the Spirit. A life that is rooted in the Spirit will see the Spirit produce His fruit in and through our lives. Deep gospel roots produce ripe gospel fruit.
A life that is walking in step with the Spirit—a life the Spirit is working in—will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It will naturally flow from a heart that is submitted and surrendered to Him.
On the flip side, it will be obvious when a life is not submitted to the Spirit, when the Holy Spirit is not working in a life. How? Because that life will NOT produce the fruit of the Spirit. It will produce the fruit of the flesh: immorality, envy, dissension, hatred, rage, jealousy, and idolatry.
At times, a life that is in step with the Spirit may fall into jealousy or rage or lust or idolatry. However, it will not be a consistent lifestyle. The Spirit does not produce sin or a sinful lifestyle in us. He can only produce that which is good and godly.
Now, please don’t take this message and begin evaluating everyone around you to determine whether they’re walking in the Spirit or in the flesh. Use it as a tool of self-examination to determine where you are and whether or not you are submitted unto the Spirit and allowing Him to work in and through you.
DIG: Describe someone who is walking in step with the Spirit. What does their life look like?
DISCOVER: How can you identify fruit in your life?
DO: Do some self-examination today. Are you walking in the Spirit and producing good fruit?
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.