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 5:22-23 (ESV)
The novel I am writing and this series of blog posts, is inspired by this scripture. In my story I’ve named the tree the Spirit Tree.
Even though there is no mention of a tree in this verse, the imagery of fruit implies some kind of tree or plant. Maybe the Spirit Tree is a misnomer, as we are the tree on which the fruit grows. The Holy Spirit is the source, just like the river in the scriptures of my previous posts.
So how do we apply this scripture? Does the fruit automatically appear when we become believers? Let’s look at a few more scriptures.
Let your roots grow down into him (Jesus,) and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.Colossians 2:7 (NLT)
Here the imagery is of roots and growth. The source of our faith, growth, and strength is Jesus. (Think Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – one God – one source.) The fruit in our lives is thankfulness. I don’t believe the nine fruit of the Spirit is an all inclusive list, as the scripture in Galatians reads “such things.” Regardless, let’s move to the next example.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)
Again we see the imagery of roots, growth, and strength. The source is God; his resources, his Spirit, his abiding presence, and his love.
We have a symbiotic relationship with God, as we grow our roots in him, as we build our life on him, and as he makes his home in us, that is how the fruit begins to grow, that is how we become strong in faith and overflow with thankfulness. Becoming deeply rooted in God will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Grace & Peace,