Imagine the most vibrantly red, juicy, incredibly flavorful tomato you have ever eaten. Maybe you ate it all by itself because it was that good. I know I’ve done this. The best tomatoes (and fruit in general) are produced when the plant has the rich soil, vital nutrients, and attentive care it needs for proper growth. Similarly, as born-again believers, we can cultivate a spiritually rich environment in our lives where fruit—fruit of the spirit—can abound.
In the world of plants, we can identify a plant by the kind of fruit it produces. If a plant produces tomatoes, we know it is a tomato plant. If a person produces fruit of the spirit, then we know that person is born again of God’s spirit. We can cultivate fruit of the spirit in our lives because we received God’s gift of holy spirit in us when we were born again. God’s seed, that gift of holy spirit inside of us, allows fruit of the spirit to be produced. But it is our responsibility to provide a spiritually healthy environment with the right nutrients and the proper care needed for growth.
As born-again believers, what kind of fruit of the spirit can we produce? Thankfully, God makes it clear in His Word what fruit of the spirit looks like.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
We see in these verses that there are nine fruit of the spirit we can produce: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (believing), meekness, and temperance.
Walking by the spirit promotes a spiritually healthy environment for fruit of the spirit to grow and flourish. Walking by the flesh produces the works of the flesh, which do not promote a healthy environment for fruit of the spirit.
This I say then, Walk in [by] the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
In contrast to walking by the flesh, we walk by the spirit, which includes walking by the written revelation of God’s Word and operating the nine manifestations of the gift of holy spirit we received when we were born again. I Corinthians 12 explains that these nine manifestations are speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith (manifestation of believing), miracles, and gifts of healings.
When we walk by the spirit by operating these nine manifestations, we will produce the fruit of the spirit. In nature, the quality of the fruit demonstrates the quality of the plant, and we can see the same principle spiritually. The fruit of the spirit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (believing), meekness, and temperance—are produced as a result of us walking by the spirit and are evidence of the quality of our spiritual lives.
We can expect to cultivate that beautiful fruit, the fruit of the spirit that will enrich our lives, as we walk by the spirit, operating the nine manifestations. The next time you see a perfectly ripe tomato, think of the fruit of the spirit we can produce and the quality of life we can enjoy—a life overflowing with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (believing), meekness, and temperance. That fruit will be the evidence to everyone we encounter that we have rich and vibrant Christian lives, cultivated from walking by the Word of God and operating the nine manifestations of holy spirit, for we are born-again children of God.