Darrin Patrick – The Growth of Fruit

Darrin Patrick – The Growth of Fruit

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the annual Advance the Church conference in Raleigh. One of the highlights for me was hearing a talk by Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey in St. Louis, MO, on the spiritual condition of Christian leaders. It was a much-needed reminder for me and for many of us in the meeting. Here’s the podcast link. If you don’t have time to listen to the message, at least check out some of these highlights.
Galatians 5:16-26
  • Most of us are fighting for our character with religious activities. But in Galatians, Paul is fighting against this idea of legalistic religiosity.

1. Fruit Grows Wholistically

  • Biblical fruit equals spiritual maturity.
  • v.22 – “the fruit of the Spirit is…” It doesn’t say “fruits are.” The verb is singular. It means that all of these are intrinsically connected. They grow together. When the Spirit is in charge, all of the fruit should be growing. Like a cluster of fruit, it all grows together.
  • But what about when it seems like some fruit comes more natural than others? The answer lies in the difference between personality fruit and spiritual fruit.
  • The way you measure your spiritual maturity is not by comparing yourself to others or to your personality. It’s measured by comparing yourself to Jesus.
  • “You’re only as strong as your weakest fruit.” Tim Keller

2.  Fruit Grows Internally

  • You cannot legislate internal fruit.
  • The law can discourage, but it cannot deal with the root. Only the Spirit can do that.
  • The law can tweak behavior, but it can’t change our hearts.
  • The law can affect consequences, but not character.

But, how do I know if I’m developing the fruit of the Spirit? Ask those closest to you. Spiritual people will rebuke one another in love.