Promised Land Pentecostal Church

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Fruit of the Spirit

    Can a person without the indwelling of the Holy Ghost bear fruit of the Spirit?

    In his letter to the Galatians the Apostle Paul refers to nine attributes that a Christian possesses that has are known as the fruit of the Spirit.   These fruits include love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22).  Reactively, the term “fruit of the Spirit” will cause one to assume that unless someone is filled with the Holy Ghost they will not bear any fruit.  Yet, this belief can stir up controversy as many believers and non-believers exhibit love and other virtues of the Spirit without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. 

    The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed[1] meaning that the Spirit of God moved upon holy men of God and inspired them to write the Word[2].  Thereby, the Word of God is the written expression of the Spirit of God, which encompasses His will and mind.  God is a spirit and no man has seen Him, thus, it was necessary for the Scriptures to be penned to direct men toward His plan of salvation; “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”.

    Whereas, the Word of God is the written expression of the Spirit of God, the birth of Jesus Christ was the incarnation of that same Word; “And the Word was made flesh[3]”.  Jesus Christ is the Logos (written, constant) word as well as the Rhema (instant, personal) word.   The incarnation of the Word of God through Jesus Christ and the duality of His nature expresses that even the written Word that was inscribed upon tablets is alive.  

    The Word of God, written or spoken, has the power to bring life and for this very reasons it is labeled as the “incorruptible seed[4]”.  In His teachings Jesus uses the seed as a metaphor of God’s word being sown into the soils of men’s hearts to bear a fruit[5].   Fruit is produced by a seed both naturally and spiritual.  Since this is the case a person can bear fruits of the Spirit by planting the seed of righteousness within their hearts.  By submitting to the Word of God an individual allows the seed to grow and transform their thinking and behavior, which will ultimately reflect the virtues and characteristics of the Spirit.    

    Nonetheless, the aforementioned teaching does not explain how unbelievers are able to express the fruits of the Spirit.  The Apostle Paul explained in Romans that Gentiles, which did not have the law, by their human nature, fulfilled and obeyed aspects of the law[6].  The key in this text is “nature”.  Mankind’s nature is intertwined with the Spirit of God that made man a living soul in the Book of Genesis.  Adam was created in the image of God inheriting Godly virtues and qualities.  Thus, love, meekness, temperance, joy and the other fruits of the Spirit are in man’s birth nature. 

    The difference is not in the fruit between believer and non-believer it rest in the reproduction of the seed.  Fruit is not produced just for the satisfying pleasure of ingesting.  In fact, fruit is the protective barrier and the means by which seed is spread.  Regardless, of whether a believer (non-Holy Ghost filled) or a non-believer express the fruit of the Spirit the truest sense is in the reproduction of the single message of Salvation in another; this is why it is labeled “fruit” of the Spirit not “fruits”.   For spiritual reproduction to occur without deformity the believer must be filled with the Holy Ghost and preach the message as Peter preached being filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost when asked, “What shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost[7]”. 

    Notes:

    [1] 2Timothy 3:16

    [2] 2Peter 1:21

    [3] John 1:14

    [4] 1Peter 1:23

    [5] Matthew 13:31; Mark 4:26-29; Luke 8:4-15

    [6] Romans 2:14

    [7] Acts 2:37-38