Jeremy Sarber On Life & Scripture
Jeremy Sarber

The world should see our fruit

When a tree bears fruit, you can see it. You can reach out and take hold of it. You can taste it. When people look at us Christians, they should see the fruit of the Spirit.

The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22, 23). Fruit, of course, is tangible. When a tree bears fruit, you can see it. You can reach out and take hold of it. You can taste it. Regarding false prophets, Jesus said, You will recognize them by their fruits,” because every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit (Mt 7:15-17). The fruit one bears is recognizable. It’s perceivable.

When people look at us—and I’m speaking now to fellow Christians—they should see the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). They should detect a loving, joyful, peaceful disposition, and so on. We should express all of these attributes through our words and actions. Paul says, If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit (Gal 5:25). That command implies we won’t always march perfectly behind the Spirit, but it is what we strive for.

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle to bear the appropriate fruit as often as I should. It’s one thing, for example, to feel joyful, but it’s another to express joy in a perceivable way. I practically have a permanent poker face glued to my head. I’m nearly as far from a bubbly person as possible, yet I have a divine obligation to bear the fruit of joy. People should be able to say about me, That guy is full of joy.” People who know me well should be able to say, That guy is full of joy because of Christ. He’s joyful in any and every circumstance because he knows Christ.”

As a Christian, I have every reason to be joyful. The challenge, however, is preventing my flesh from letting the light of Christ shine from me, so that those around me may see that joy and give glory to our Father who is in heaven (Mt 5:16). We want others to see our good fruit and taste it for themselves.

Charles Spurgeon once asked, Do you believe that your sins are forgiven and that Christ has made a full atonement for them? Then what a joyful Christian you ought to be!”

Granted, we’re all a work in progress, but I pray we’ll strive to bear the whole fruit of the Spirit in our homes, jobs, and everywhere in between (Gal 5:22). The world is dark enough on its own.