The Fruit of The Spirit
A Sermon on John 1:12-13
12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The fruits of the Spirit are core to the nature of the Christian – love, joy, peace, patience, etc. These characteristics should be in the Christian and increasing. They have a tremendous impact on oneself, others, and in service to God. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores this subject in this sermon on John 1:12–13, he challenges the listener to examine the real fruit exposed when a person is under pressure. A true Christian will demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. As a Christian faces suffering, trial, discipline, and persecution, it will reveal the nature that is being built within. Do trials and sufferings produce perseverance, longsuffering, and hope? When one is cut, do they bleed the fruit of the Spirit? When they are reviled, do they revile in return? Does the Christian entrust themselves to God who judges justly? Do the pressures of life reveal a growing patience, kindness, and meekness that is growing in the soul? Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on some of the most referenced fruits of the Spirit, illustrating and applying each one to the life of the Christian. He exhorts the Christian to carefully and prayerfully examine their own life to see whether the pressures of life reveal a new creation in the soul or a soul in need of new life.
- The passage under consideration is John 1:12-13 which states that those who believe in Jesus are given the power to become children of God.
- The central message of the incarnation and Jesus coming into the world was so that those who believe in him can become children of God.
- The most important thing in life is knowing that we are children of God through faith in Jesus. This is meant to be known and enjoyed in this life.
- We are examining ourselves to make sure we are truly children of God. The tests are to give assurance, not cause discomfort, though they may reveal uncomfortable truths.
- We have looked at our relationship to the Son and Father. Now we consider our relationship to the Holy Spirit. Specifically, we are looking at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
- The fruit of the Spirit is singular, with multiple aspects. They are interrelated and hard to have one without the others.
- The fruit of the Spirit refers to graces, not gifts. Gifts can be counterfeited, graces cannot. The fruit is a more sensitive test than gifts or knowledge.
- The first group of the fruit of the Spirit refers to our essential nature: love, joy, peace. These are deep, fundamental characteristics, not superficial.
- The second group refers to our relationships with others: longsuffering, gentleness, goodness. The test emerges in how we deal with others.
- Longsuffering means patience, even when suffering injustice. We see examples in Christ and Paul. It shows the depth of our love, joy and peace.
- Gentleness or kindness means not hitting back, forgiving, and handling others gently. It does not mean spinelessness or avoiding truth. We see Christ's example.
- Goodness means desiring others' good and doing good to them even if they do evil to us. We see Christ's teaching in Matthew 5:43-48.
- The third group refers to our character before God: faithfulness, meekness, temperance.
- Faithfulness means dependability, reliability and loyalty, not fitfulness. The Spirit produces stability and depth of character.
- Meekness means humility before God and others, not thinking too highly of oneself. We see examples in Moses, Christ, and Paul. The meek are less sensitive to criticism because they know the truth about themselves.
- Temperance means self-control, discipline, and ordered living. The Spirit enables this, not taking away our temperament but controlling it. We see Paul's instruction to Timothy.
The Book of John
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.