“Hear this, Christian: Your count of your own fruit will always be low. It is not yours to number. If it were, you’d always be off. You would count some things as fruit which God does’t, and many others you wouldn’t count at all as God does. The Vinedresser, God our Father, counts and harvests His fruit. The works of the flesh, these are obvious, St. Paul says. That word “obvious” does not describe the fruit of His Spirit.
“His fruit is not obvious to our eyes, but known only by faith. Sometimes patience looks like passivity or indifference. Sometimes joy looks like being drunk or high, even crying or grief. Kindness can be mistaken for some kind of cunning ulterior motive. Gentleness can appear to be weakness. Self-control can be mistaken for fear and cowardice. The list goes on, and it goes both ways. This fruit is seldom obvious nor rightly honored for what it is.
“What is obvious is that we still sin. Despite our best, most sincere efforts and contrary intentions at times, we still sin. The comfort in this passage is not found in your fruit. The comfort in this passage is surely not found in your flesh, either. But here is great comfort for you, Christian…
A sermon on Isaiah 64:4-8 and Galatians 5:17-18
With reference to Formula of Concord, Article VI. “The Third Use of the Law,” par. 6-8
No. 3 of 8 in our Midweek Lent Sermon Series