CAN ONE BE HEALED FROM ‘FRUITLESSNESS’ IN LIFE,
AND AGAIN BEAR SPIRITUAL FRUIT?
There is healing that make it so there is fruit possible again after a dry spiritual time.
Galatians 5:22-25 (KJV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is Holy Spirit produced. It is with purpose that Paul uses the word "Spirit", to denote that these fruit do not flow from our own nature. The virtues which he enumerates are produced only by the person of the Holy Spirit. Hence Paul does not let it be thought that they can come from our own hearts, even when regenerated.
This love is one that is for God and for other persons. On the meaning of the word love, 1 Corinthians 13:1 was written, and embodies far more than mankind could ever create.
In the love of God there will be joy. By the pardon of salvation from our sins, there comes a communion with the Redeemer. As we begin to serve Him, the joy continues.
This comes with realization of the reconciliation with God.
Romans 5:1 (KJV)
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
When we are in affliction and trial, and when injured by others, we choose now to suffer long, and not to seek to retaliate.
1 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV)
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
The word means goodness, kindness, benignity; unlike the harsh, mean temper. It is a mildness of temper, calmness of disposition, a politeness. The Holy Spirit sweetens the irritable; makes the heart kind; disposes us to make those near to us as happy as we can. This is a kind of politeness which is only authored by the Spirit.
This is the disposition to benefit others.
Romans 15:14 (KJV)
14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
This is a fidelity, a faithful person to his word and promises, a person who can be trusted. The Holy Spirit makes a person faithful to neighbour, to friend, mate, to child. All pretensions to being Spirit filled and to not have fidelity are deceitful.
This is the taking of offences as though they were not cumbersome. It is the accepting of the troubles in life, as though they are all going to ‘work together for good.’
This is self-control. It is derived from strength; and has reference to the power evil passions of all kinds. It speaks of self-rule of a person over the evil desires of his nature. We often think of abstinence from intoxicating drinks, but the word is much more extended in meaning. Temperance is dominion over all evil desires, a moderation to all indulgences, as well as abstinence from alcohol. Temperance makes a person moderate in all indulgences; teaches that person to restrain his passions, and to govern and to control his evil tendencies.
There is no law of God against these fruit. These things in a person should never be condemned. Law condemns sin and sin only. Those with the fruit of the Spirit are not sinning when they have the fruit of the Spirit. They have crucified the flesh, have yielded to the Spirit’s control. The Spirit has therefore put these fruit upon the ‘dead stick’ that is our life. We now have life in the dead rod.
This means, if we find a fruitless time, then we need to again begin and continue to live in the Spirit, so, naturally then, we are under the influence of these ‘fruit’ from the Spirit. This requires, as the passage above reminds us that our sins of intention cease, and if we fail, let it be unintentional, and be quickly repented. We profess not to be under the influence of the flesh; and to not be controlled by its appetites. Let us yield ourselves to his influences, and show that we are controlled by that Spirit. Then ‘fruit of the Holy Spirit’ again flows from our lives as naturally as water flows from a spring.
We have no life, no power, in ourselves. We could try to force love, joy, etc, but that is fleeting and carnal. Laughing at a funny sitcom, is not the ‘joy’ of the Holy Spirit. We need to bud, to blossom, to bear spiritual fruit and that only can be sourced inwardly from God.
The Spirit filled person is first a Christian by that same Holy Spirit. These fruit are therefore in that person. We are to ‘know’ whether a person is a Christian by these fruit. If the person has not this fruit, they are not saved by the Spirit. If we are Christian, and the fruit seems to have dissipated, then the flow from the Spirit is blocked, and needs re-opened.
Too often we judge an unrighteous judgment by believing that some one can be a Christian, and have all the opposites of these fruit. Either they were never saved, or they must have somehow lost that salvation.
THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S INITIAL WORK ON THE NEW CHILD OF GOD.
There is a subsequent work that we call the ‘INFILLING of the HOLY SPIRIT’, but that is for gifts to enable ministry. This first work is a change of nature, a change in one’s character.
Signs and wonders, gifts of the Spirit, do not prove one’s salvation. Someday, we find Jesus prophesied that some will claim to have had gifts, but Jesus still claims that He never knew them.
Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV)
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore, in living and walking in the Spirit, in being a Christian, it is great to have gifts, and be filled by the Holy Spirit. Yet, first and foremost, we must first make sure that the fruit is there to make the gifts useful to God, and to be sure we are truly saved.
Repentance and salvation has always been possible. The baptism of the Holy Spirit has been ‘subsequent’ to that gift, and is a gift of empowering.
John the Baptist said:
"I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER UNTO REPENTANCE; BUT HE THAT COMETH AFTER ME IS MIGHTIER THAT I, WHOSE SHOES I AM NOT WORTHY TO BEAR; HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND WITH FIRE:"
John the Baptist prophesied here that Jesus would "baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire." The word "baptidzo" of the Greek is used here. It means "to immerse, overwhelm, drown with." John the Baptist immersed in water as a symbol of repentance. Jesus would immerse in the Spirit to empower.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate immersion. Salvation does involve the Holy Spirit. He convicts, He shows and points to Jesus as the answer to sin and guilt. He then immerses one into Jesus, and the Lord dwells within, giving one the power to overcome sin, enlivening our spirit from its former state of death, making us ‘born again’.
John 7:38-39 (KJV)
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
After Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit back to become the ‘Advocate’, the ‘Comforter’, to the believers. It was to those in the upper room, the ones called, and dedicated to the request of Jesus to await one to empower them to be witnesses.
Acts 1:8 (KJV)
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The immersion of the Holy Spirit immersing us into Jesus is salvation. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, of Jesus immersing us into Him (the Holy Spirit) is the empowering for service. This is a subsequent event to salvation, although it may be seconds or minutes later. Sometimes, some Christians only receive the Holy Spirit immersing them into Jesus, and miss totally the wonderful subsequent experience. The Holy Spirit is still active in their lives, blessing them, convicting their errors and faults, leading us into righteousness.
Yet, the subsequent gift of immersion into the power of the Holy Spirit, like with the 120, is received by obedience to Jesus to ask and receive.
The very fact that the baptism of the Spirit has come testifies to the fact that Jesus has ascended to heaven and been glorified. We can rest assured that He did reach heaven by the fact that the Spirit did return. We need to take courage in the fact that the Spirit is being now poured out on all who wish to receive Him, because it is an experience that is intended to reassure us of the fact that Jesus is not dead, and buried-- but is at the right hand of the Father in heaven and interceding for us. The Holy Spirit glorifies this Jesus.
John 16:7-15 (KJV)
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
These verses show that the main purposes of the coming of the Spirit and of the experience of being baptized into Him is:
-reproof of sin, righteousness, and judgment
-guiding us into the truth
-showing us prophecies of what is to come
-glorification of Jesus
-speaking and revealing to us whatever
the Son and the Father speak concerning us
Many were invited to tarry in the upper room until the Holy Spirit came. At one time 500 saw Christ after His resurrection. Even if these 500 had been the only ones invited, 380 had either not gone to await the coming of the Spirit, or had left before the Spirit finally came. It is the same today. Many know about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and its availability. Few seek it. The 380 were undoubtedly saved, but were not anxious to await in the upper room for the subsequent gift of immersion into the Holy Spirit.
Some say, "How can I receive the Spirit when He already dwells within me?"
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the receiving of the Spirit into your life--all Christians have the Spirit working in their lives. At the baptism of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit completely fills your life. The word "baptize" in the classical Greek was used of a sunken, waterlogged ship. The Lord wants us to be more than:
born of the Spirit,
or used of the Spirit,
or regenerated of the Spirit
--He wants us to be waterlogged with the Spirit.
"HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME...OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER (the Holy Spirit)."
The subsequent event of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, not only follows salvation, but it also is a continuing, progressive, revelation of God’s power. Salvation brings one into the kingdom, and the subsequent infilling equips and enables ministry for the Lord in salvation.
We need the infilling, but we must not allow times of a lack of fruit ever be. The relationship with the Lord, maintained, sins repented and shunned, drawing closer daily to Jesus, pleases the Holy Spirit, and fruit flows from our lives thereby.