This is a small 72-page book. However sometimes, big and profound things come in small packages. There are very few books addressing the topic, “The Fruit of the Holy Spirit”. Many people think, that there is no connection between the Gospel and the Spirit filled life. For some people this topic is only for the super spiritual, extra ordinary Christians. But, this is a wonderful, easy and much needed book for our lives, no matter what stage we are in.
This book is not just a brief exposition of each of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and some applications. It is saturated with the Gospel. It also shows us from the Old Testament of God’s great plan to send Christ and give us His Spirit. This book is divided into 5 chapters. It’s not that there isn’t anything practical in this book, but all of the practical “how to” is grounded in the “how awesome”.
The author first talks about godliness and then, connects it to the fruit of the Spirit. So, to be godly, in other words, is to have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. But, here is the secret and probably the most important quote from the book, “Godliness comes through faith in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit – not through our own works to amass a stockpile of good works from which we can somehow improve our standing before God… Rather, when a sinner looks to Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit produces godliness in him”.
The first chapter is an overview of the big picture of the Bible; how we lost everything under the first Adam and how the second Adam has brought in His Kingdom and made us part of it. Just as the Holy Spirit was active in the first creation, so now, in Christ, the Spirit is active in preparing us for the ultimate restoration of all things. The Second chapter shows how words like bondage, freedom, redemption and being led are deeply rooted in the Old Testament, especially in the Exodus story. The author does a good job proving how the pillar of fire and cloud is connected to the Spirit’s leading of Israel to Canaan. Believers can look to the same Holy Spirit as He leads us to the Jerusalem above.
The third chapter traces the theme of “fruit bearing” in the O T. Where Israel failed to produce fruit (Isaiah 5), the faithful Servant Jesus Christ pleased the Father fully on our behalf. Now, our only hope of being fruitful is to be In Christ and His Spirit within us. In the fourth chapter, the author in a pastoral manner, explains each of the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh are from our old bondage under Adam, and the fruit of the Spirit is God’s great working in us as a result of the Gospel. The fruit of the Spirit ultimately is the Spirit conforming us to the image of Christ.
The last chapter deals with how exactly the fruit of the Spirit is produced in our lives. Dr J V Fesko points the readers to the means of grace. God has ordained it and when we use His Word, Prayer, Sacraments and Church Fellowship, our lives will be more fruitful for God’s glory. Reading through this small book has been refreshing and encouraging for me and I trust it will bless all those who read it. By Pastor V Sasane