Crossroads: The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:1, 13-18, 22-25

Your Story

How do you see the fruit of the Spirit in your own life?

My Story and the Bible Story

I am a terrible liar. I’m really bad at it. I tried to lie about not talking during the fire drill when I was in the first grade (I definitely talked during the fire drill) and I got in trouble for lying. So I know that even if I could do something wrong without anyone knowing it, I would try my best not to because I would probably tell on myself. For instance, if nobody was around and there were really good cookies out on the table right before dinner, if I took one and ate it, I would probably tell my mom. I would feel guilty about lying and tell on myself. Paul would say that’s a good thing. Last week, we learned about how we are free in Christ. We are no longer under the law. Which is great news! But does that mean we can do whatever we want? Let’s find out what Paul has to say.

Read Galatians 5:1, 13-18, 22-25 (for older children, feel free to read all of verses 13-25). From the NIV: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You, my brothers (and sisters) were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no long. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Paul reminds us that we are free in Christ. But just because Christ has set us free, that doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want to. It doesn’t mean that we should go up to the someone at school, push them down, and say “Christ made me free so I can do what I want.” It doesn’t mean that you should be mean to your parents or rude to your siblings. Christ gave us freedom. And we are free to do all of those things. But God wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves. When Jesus came, he taught us to love God with everything we’ve got (our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our strength), and to love our neighbor as ourselves. So instead of being mean to others because we can be, we should love others as we love ourselves. And when we do that, when we follow God and do what God wants us to do, it’s like we are a tree that blooms. But instead of flowers or apples, we have the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When we follow God, we are free. But God wants us to choose to love, to choose to be joyful, to choose peace instead of fighting with others, to be patient instead of rude, to be kind, to be good, to be faithful to God, to be gentle with others, and to practice self-control. We are free in Christ. And when we live the fruit of the Spirit, we can help others find their freedom in Christ too.

Discussion and Prayer

  • Ask your children how they can show the fruit of the Spirit at school and in their neighborhood. How can they show God’s love to others?
  • Talk about how freedom is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a responsibility. Help your children understand that when you trust them with freedom, you still expect and want them to do the right thing, and that God is the same way.
  • Talk about how sometimes we make mistakes, but that God’s grace is always there for us. Make sure your children understand that none of us is perfect, and that freedom in Christ means that God doesn’t expect us to be.

Pray, thanking God for freedom in Christ and asking for help in living the fruit of the Spirit.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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