Fruits of the Spirit vs fruits of the Flesh?
This 2020 spring and summer will be different in many ways because of COVID-19. But, what will not change are the flowers that bloom and the fruits that will be harvested. Degree and extent of their distribution maybe affected, but their continued presence will be felt and welcome.
Preference as to what fruits to have and eat is a craving that comes to each one of us. Some salivate just by thinking of lychee, pineapple, grapes, banana, avocado, apple, honeydew, strawberry, honeydew, watermelon, Asian fruits like rambutan, sugar apple, pulasan, etc. Being diverse, they can have different tastes and same fruit can taste differently depending upon ripeness.
But no one can eat it, unless it is in season and has the ability and resource to have it. Nor can it exist, unless there is a seed that develops into a vine or tree, then branches from where the fruit comes out of.
The preceding statements are sending a pattern in nature with spiritual import, as in Romans 1:20 “…being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Similarly, this being true for fruits in nature, so it is for fruits of the flesh and fruits of the spirit.
Fruits or actions taken by the flesh can be good like exercising, working in your job, building, manufacturing, helping on manual chores, etc. But, what is evil coming from “flesh” is heretofore described:
Galatians 5:19-21 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
And so are actions or fruits of the “spirit-of-man” are good like what Job and Jesus Christ did on their own without the Holy Spirit’s in-dwelling. But, what God requires are good works that come with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and therefore fruits thereof. They are therefore “works as guided by the Holy Spirit” and not “by anyone’s works so no one can boast”.
And the the fruits of spirit are, as in Galatians 5:22-23.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
.”Now, how do we bear fruits of the Spirit?
Growth and development
For anyone to “bear fruits of the flesh and fruits of the Holy Spirit” there has to be a person from where the fruits will emanate. No one gets to have a “flesh-body” for it to show “fruits of the flesh” unless it first formed and developed to maturity from a starting point.
Physical human embryology teaches material growth and development. Every human being undergoes this process, one way or another. There are stages in this process that has a timeline, otherwise fetal malformation develops that may result in spontaneous abortion. Among many sperms, only one is able to fertilize one egg among many at a particular point in time to become a zygote(monofetal gestation). Occasionally, many eggs can be fertilized by one sperm resulting in multifetal gestation. This then undergoes a period of maturation until it becomes viable for delivery out of the mother’s womb. While intra-uterine, it is functionally alive being nourished through maternal/fetal circulation-respiration via the placenta that provides conduit for exchange of nutritional needs and gases. It is also learning from its “amniotic surroundings” how to respond to stimuli, though primordial that action maybe. To be independent of this attachment, at delivery, the fetus has to breath-in atmospheric air spontaneously; otherwise it is “dead on arrival” (no pun intended).
Similarly, no one gets to have a “spirit-body” for it to show “fruits of the spirit” unless it first formed and developed to maturity from a starting point. Spiritual human embryology also teaches spiritual growth and development. But, before any man can go through this process, there has to be a “seed” that started it all, as in:
Genesis 22:18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice”, (NKJV)
This was further identified by Paul in Galatians 3:16 as ; “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.”. He is the only person destined to have started this process.
YHVH Elohim (Lord God), the Creator God, incarnated into man-Jesus (the seed) at “appointed-time” as planned and agreed to, in an “unwritten covenant” between the “Father/Ancient of Days” and YHVH Elohim, even before the foundation of the world. He is the one prophesied as the “seed of Abraham” (the person” by which “all nations will be blessed” and by whom the “promises to Abraham” will be fulfilled. And, for that to happen, man-Jesus like any child had to grow develop and mature. But, he was the first, aka., the author-finisher/trailblazer, to be the first recipient of the gift of Holy Spirit given by the Father at river Jordan. Embryologically speaking, Jesus was the first “ovum”, aka , “spirit-of-man” that the Holy Spirit “fertilized” to become a “spiritual zygote”, a monozygotic monofetal gestation. He then developed spiritually into a vine or tree and bore “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, at his season, while on earth. With his death that reconciled mankind to the Father, he resurrected with “spirit-body” then called “Son of God” to receive the Holy Spirit of power from him to be subsequently given to those predestined at time appointed. He first breathe this power (Holy Spirit) into his disciples, to in-dwell in them as “polyzygotic multifetal gestation”, then to others at Pentecost. This Holy Spirit specifically resides in the “spirit-of-man”, the “real you”. And, this is how the person “develops, grows and mature spiritually” in the “spiritual womb”(of the church) bearing the “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, which takes time and experiential learning. While in the “womb of the church”, in a pregnant woman, the children are developing as “begotten children” until maturity when it is “born as sons/daughters of God.”,
Lifelong wrestle, struggle and overcoming
The in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit takes place in the “temple not made by hands “, i.e. in the “spirit-of-man”, aka “breath of life”. As a “Comforter/Advocate”, it guides and empowers the man to choose good, rather than evil. As Jesus was guided and empowered to follow, not his own will, but that of the Father, so must we. There will be “pull of the flesh” by tempting us towards evil and the Holy Spirit will pull us away by guiding us towards good.
This struggle between the “spirit-of-man with in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit” and the flesh is not the same as the intrinsic and inextricable relationships between the “pre-frontal cortex and the amygdala” that develop wisdom. A choice will be given to us, and with consequences either way, as in
Deuteronomy 30:15 “
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil” (KJV)
And, it is only ourselves that have freewill, to decide which way to go with consequences, as in:
Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (NKJV).
Galatians 5:17-18 “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (meaning under the law to suffer eternal death).
And, aside from intrinsic temptations to satisfy the desires of the flesh, evil forces in the dark world will tempt us to follow the sinful desires of the flesh.
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, (i.e. people) but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”
Like any natural fruit that comes through natural processes, so are “fruits of the flesh and fruits of the Holy Spirit”, at season.
Human embryology shows how physical humans start with a “sperm fertilizing an egg” into a zygote and to develop through growth and developmental process before they can act and materialize to do good or evil.
Similarly, YHVH ELOHIM(Lord God) had to incarnate into man-Jesus as the “promised seed “, revealed at “appointed time”. And, as “the seed”, he was the first human to receive (as an ovum) the Holy Spirit. He then developed spiritually with this in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in his “spirit-of-man”. He was the “monozygotic unifetal gestation”. He did not follow his “own will” but denied his own reasoning and desire to live, followed the guidance of his Father through the Holy Spirit, as he advised us to do likewise, as in
Luke 9:23-24 New International Version (NIV) “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it”
As Jesus wanted us to follow him as he followed the Father, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so is this the same principle apostle Paul taught us, as in I Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Notice, that altogether, it goes back towards the direction of the Father so all of us will be “one” with him.
After his death and resurrection, he then received as a gift from the Father the promised power, aka advocate, (Holy Spirit)to be given subsequently to others, to “spiritually fertilize many ova, as “multifetal gestation” in his church’s womb. Jesus is the “seed”, i.e., the person that made it possible to receive this “empowering spirit of power”,aka, the”spiritual sperm” that will fertilize many ova”, aka “spirit-of-man”. He never had that power to give for others before, until that resurrection as promised by the Father as a gift to all of us.
Those to whom the “Seed/Jesus”, through spiritual power (aka, Holy Spirit), in-dwells in each “spirit-of-man”, they will hbe guided to be “one with the Father”, as Jesus is, to be altogether “sons of God” and “kingdom of God” , “priests of the Most High..”. This is a process that occurs among “spiritual zygotes in multifetal gestation” that mature, grow and develop “in the womb”, an experiential struggle against inherent “pull of their flesh” but also against “evil forces of the dark world”.
God is very patient to each one as in 2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”.
However, if after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit that will empower them to overcome evil, instead they go back to their evil ways, God’s patience will be reached and then as it is written,
2 Peter 2:22 “Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” This is “spiritual self-induced abortion”.
Only those who are overcomers will be transformed “in a twinkling of an eye” from temporary mortal bodies to immortal eternal bodies to rule with Jesus at his second coming and beyond.
God bless 🙏😇
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Original post: May 23, 2020
Dedicated to all those who chose to “stay-at-home” and those who chose to “open up their business, go back to work”, as both choices have pros/cons and consequences. This is a time for reflection about our future and destiny.
Critiques are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org