How hard does a peach tree work to make peaches? Well, it doesn't, of course. It's a peach tree.
I've heard that illustration so many times in my life, but I do have to ask;
Are the fruits of the spirit, like love, joy, meekness, are they a choice or natural?
Maybe I'm the only one, but I've been taught that love is not merely a feeling, but that you actively chose to love someone, in a true Christlike manner. (Kinda talking about romantic love, but this really applies to all relationships in our life). So, if we are bearing fruit as a Christian, do we still have a choice in bearing fruit? If a Christian is not evidencing a certain fruit, are they really a Christian?
I was very convicted this past week that I am not a generally meek person. I love to argue for argument's sake. Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit, but it is certainly not a strong point for me. But does a fruit bearing tree ever struggle with producing less then excellent fruit?
Galatians 5:25 says "if we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit". It could also be translated as "since we have been given life by the Spirit, we ought to manifest that life in our walk". In our natural born state of being unsaved, we have no life. We are completely dead and are unable to produce any fruit of any kind. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we are given life. Colossians 2:13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" Our life as Christians is not mere physical life given to every creature that draws breath on this planet, but rather the complete and satisfying life of eternity, never to end, always to be in fellowship with our Creator. We are animated by the Holy Spirit unto life and good works, which God has set that we as Christians should do.
But God did not create robots. We are not reprogrammed at salvation to just spew out joy, peace, patience, goodness. It is a result of gratitude and love that we are constantly looking to know Him more and be more like Him. As we have the Holy Spirit giving us life in us, we ought to act like it. The thing about love is that it compels us. We act toward the object of our love in a manner that is not in our natural being. In this case, we show the fruits of the Spirit.
It is not in us to produce the fruit as dead creatures, but only through the life of the Holy Spirit.
Some say, though, that fruit can be imitated. Have you ever had a strawberry right off of the bush? Compare that to strawberry candy. Though there is some resemblance, it is so poor that no one who has had the fruit will have any difficulty telling the difference.
Because of Him,