26. How does the spirit in us bear fruit and multiplies?
There are three ways by which the spirit in us bears fruit. The third of these is also the way by which the spirit multiplies among us.
The first way by which the spirit bears fruit in us is the one referred to in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” This is the fruit in ourselves. The spirit produces all these good things in us. Before these were called virtues or good habits produced by the spirit in us. Now more and more people call these values or attitudes or dispositions in life.
As the fruit of the spirit we become loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled. We now have a sense of direction in our life, we feel fulfilled and happy.
The second way by which the spirit produces fruit in us is the one referred to in Philippians 1:9-11, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” The spirit produces the good things in what we do, fruits of righteous works, the good works we do to others (Ephesians 2:10).
As the fruit of the spirit we are moved to do good to others. We are forgiving of others, helpful and considerate of them.
The third way by which the spirit bears fruit in us is the one referred to in John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”
It is the fruit of reproducing the spirit in others. It is multiplying the spirit through the seed, the Word of God. In Luke 8:4-12 where we got the explanation that the seed is the Word of God (verse 11) Jesus said that the seed yields a hundredfold (verse 6). The literal mathematical meaning is that the grain produces a hundred grains. It multiplies itself a hundredfold. Of course this is not meant to be taken literally. It simply means that the spirit produces other spirit beings, more numerous than itself.
As the fruit of the spirit we sow the seed of God’s Word in the hearts of those around us: by teaching, preaching, witnessing, seminars, workshops, a word of advice, reading the Bible in public or in small groups, serving others, etc.
We need to note that these are fruits of the spirit in us and others. They are normal, natural outcome of the life of the spirit in us. They are not produced by reminding us of our duty or obligation of keeping the proper attitudes in life, of doing good to others, or of sharing the faith with them. They are not a way of acting as we pose before a camera. They are simply produced in us and through us as we continue to abide in Jesus. And this abiding in Jesus is the work of the spirit itself. “And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Thus spiritual development begins as a seed of God (his Word) which fertilizes the image of God in us—the egg cell of the spirit in us—grows with conception, is born, grows as a spirit being, matures and bears fruit.
27. Is there an end to spiritual development?
There is no end to spiritual development. Physical development ends with death. Also psychological development ends with death. We stop thinking with our brain. But there is no end to spiritual development. Even in the next life we will not end our spiritual development. We will always grow as spirits and bear more and more the fruit of the spirit. We will keep on loving God and others more and more, enjoying their fellowship without end.
There is also no end to learning about spiritual development. There is always something to learn about this kind of development.
28. Finally, as a parting and summarizing question, in what does the growth or development of the spiritual life consist?
It consists in knowing more and more Jesus Christ, as expressed by Peter the Apostle in the ending of his second Letter: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
What we have done so far is just to have a primer on spiritual development. This primer presented only the basics of this spiritual development. There are still many things we have to learn. Every week hopefully there will be one post or article here to make us advance in our spiritual development.
Here are my other blogs which may be o help to you:
http://bit.ly/spiritworld for knowing more about spirituality or spiritual realities
http://bit.ly/alterhealthcare for your health
http://bit.ly/novotrends for learning about the new trends around us
http://bit.ly/bepaidonline for earning some income from the Internet
Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website http://bit.ly/anewchrist. To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website http://bit.ly/ebookanewearth. I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.