16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [g]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you [h]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:[i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [k]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also [l]walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
So the fruit of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control;
And this when these qualities are exhibited they are: the outward expression of an inner faith.
We are going to start in what may seem like an odd place to study the fruit of the spirit. Check out Judges 13-16
Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, so that the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines forty years.
2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had borne no children. 3 Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son. 4 Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. 5 For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. And I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”1
6 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man or woman makes a [a]special vow, the vow of a[b]Nazirite, to [c]dedicate himself to the Lord, 3 he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. 4 All the days of his [d]separation he shall not eat anything that is produced by the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skin.
5 ‘All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to theLord; he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.
6 ‘All the days of his separation to the Lord he shall not go near to a dead person. 7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father or for his mother, for his brother or for his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. 8 All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord.
Going back to Judges: Samson was a special dude set apart by God, for God. Vs 13:24 his parents obeyed God, and the next thing we learn is that Samson is of marrying age and we learn he’s not as interested in being a Nazarite as his parents are. The coolest part of Judges 14 to me is that we see the outward expression of Samson’s gift from God.
14:1-6 “Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 So he came [a]back and told his father and[b]mother, “I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now, therefore, get her for me as a wife.” 3 Then his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your [c]relatives, or among all [d]our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she [e]looks good to me.”4 However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.
5 Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him. 6 The Spirit of the Lord [f]came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.”
“Outwardly, God’s favor is on Samson and God still uses him-this is a mysterious thing. Internally, a hurricane is brewing. Both of the outward and inward scenes of Samsons’ life are happening at the same time.” The Comeback Louie Giglio
Go back to Galatians 5:26 Samson was given a special gift from God. Even in his darker moments, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him.
I’m fast forwarding a bunch here, but you can go back and read the whole story for yourself. Samson fell in love with Delilah and eventually he tells her that his strength comes from his hair. She cuts it off while he was sleeping and in verse 20-24 we read of Samson’s fate. Judges 16:21
Spiritual fruit contains the seeds required to reproduce even more fruit. Man-made (seedless watermelon) or artificial fruit is lifeless and cannot reproduce. However, for seed to be spread, the fruit must die.
Giglio says “Samson was so focused on the external use of God’s power that he missed out on the internal exercise of God’s power. He was always thinking about what God would do to someone else. He never stopped to think that he had an internal situation that could bring all his plans to a screeching halt. He never said, “God, as much as I’ve needed your power to kill the Enemy, I need your power to fix me. It’s not enough that power goes out from me; I need the power of God to work in me.”
He goes on to say “Strangely, God was still using Samson even during Samson’s low points. The man still operated in some of the gifting and empowering and calling that God had placed upon his life even while battling this internal hurricane.”
And here’s the thing…if this could happen with Samson, then it most certainly can happen with us. It’s possible that we are faking the fruit of the Spirit outwardly. We might have everyone around us fooled…but we haven’t fooled God.
God has a bigger plan, and He will use any situation He pleases to for His glory. He will use any situation for his glory.
I think we need to consider with the fruit of the Spirit and abiding in Christ is that this is an active process that takes attention, surrender and sometimes guidance. As sisters in Christ, we need to be encouraging each other to further develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and extending grace to each other in the process. Growth is a process, and it takes tending.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He[a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [c]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so[d]prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
So the fruit of the Spirit is the outward growth that is seen when we abide in God.
What does it mean to abide? REMAIN CONNECTED TO, DWELL
The contrasts in Samson’s life and the life Jesus was explaining the disciples are pretty significant. To me, this is the key to the fruit of the Spirit. Not only is this fruit an outward expression of an inward faith, but it is also the connection to God and staying close, dwelling with Him that allows our joy to be full. And joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit!
Samson’s death fulfilled the prophecy for his life. Unfortunately, Samson used his gifts from God to get his own way, rather than to glorify God. We don’t have Nazarites anymore, Jesus death and resurrection created a path for us all to be equally able to be indwelt with the Holy Spirit and to use our gifts to glorify God.
Similarly to Samson though we have to choice to act in a way that outwardly shows one aspect of our character while inwardly a hurricane brews. We can abide in God, seeking to let our inward and outward characteristics match, or not. We can choose to honor God in our life or in our death or not at all.