"The Fruit of the Spirit Is . . ."
A woman, driving her vehicle, was pulled over by a few
squad cars, and, when the police came out, they had their
guns drawn. The woman was shocked. What had she done?
"You were weaving in and out of traffic," one officer
said, "making obscene gestures to other drivers and cursing
"For that," she replied, "you pull out your guns?"
"Well," the officer said, "we saw the bumper sticker,
which said you were a Christian, and we just assumed the car
had been stolen."
This silly story brings out an important point:
Christians, by their very profession, are held up to a high
moral standard. After all, look at the One whom they profess
as their model, Jesus Christ.
How, then, should Christians live? How should we act in
public and at home? The key is found in Galatians
5:22, 23, the subject of this quarter. "But the fruit of
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is
We are going to look at this "fruit of the Spirit"; that
is, we are going to look at what happens to those whose lives
are surrendered to God and who thus allow the Holy Spirit to
work in them. " 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit' " (John
3:6, NKJV). The fruit of the Spirit is what grows in
us when we are born of the Spirit; it is what happens when we
are "born again."
Notice, Paul says that "The fruit of the Spirit is . . ."
He's talking in the singular. Paul is not talking about
separate traits that operate independently of one another but
about a single reality. The fruit of the Spirit is what the
Holy Spirit creates within us; it defines the type of person
we are to become in Jesus.
The fruit of the Spirit is like a precious jewel with many
facets. Each facet is a characteristic of Jesus and
represents a quality that He wants to produce in our lives.
This is the heart of the matter. God's purpose is to make us
like Jesus, and He has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us in
order to make that change happen.
You will see as we study these lessons that the fruit of
the Spirit is not a theory, though we have made it a study.
It is not a lifestyle, though a person who is cultivating the
fruit of the Spirit will not live as he or she did before.
Instead, the fruit of the Spirit is a change of being. "Old
things are passed away; behold, all things are become
Cor. 5:17). The fruit of the Spirit is the "new" in
the life of a person who has passed from death unto life
John 3:14) in Christ.
The purpose of this quarter's lessons is not to focus on
how we can become more patient or more loving or more gentle
or more faithful, but on how we can let the Holy Spirit make
us more like Jesus, who is patience, love, gentleness, and
You will be challenged to cultivate the graces of the
fruit of the Spirit at all times, but especially at home. We
will see that the key is surrender, a willingness to die to
self and live for God and for others. Finally, we will see
that all that we do, we must do under the realization that we
are sinners in need of the covering grace of Christ, who
loves us whether the harvest seems plentiful or sparse. We
must never forget that the fruit of the Spirit is just
that—the "fruit," the result of salvation, not the means. The
means is always Jesus and what He has done for us, which we
claim by faith.
Pastor Richard O'Ffill, an author and speaker, has
worked for the church on three continents, including seven
years at the General Conference headquarters. He now resides
in Orlando, Florida.
Contents: (all lessons may not be
Giardina Sabbath School Study
Jerry Giardina of Pecos, Texas, assisted by
his wife, Cheryl, prepares a series of helps to accompany the
Sabbath School lesson. He includes all related scripture and
most EGW quotations. Jerry has chosen the "New King James
Version" of the scriptures this quarter. It is used with
permission. The study helps are linked
from each lesson and links to the whole quarter's Helps are
provided here. in two versions: Wordprocessing as an RTF
file and HTML (Web Pages).
Last updated on December 27, 2009
Office: 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD
Clifford R. Goldstein
Soraya L. Homayouni
Lea Alexander Greve
Pacific Press Coordinator
Paul A. Hey
Art Director and Illustrator:
Copyright © 2010 by the
Office of the Adult Bible Study Guide, General Conference of
Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.
SSNET Web Site Home page
Directory of Sabbath School
Bible Study materials
Archive of previous Adult
Sabbath School Bible Study Guides
Prepared for the Internet by the SSNET Web