In this lesson, we will learn about the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-26. This lesson relates to pre-teens and teens and by the end of this lesson, they should have learnt about the following:
- The Christian as a fruitful plant
- The importance of Christian Character
- The role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life
BIBLE PASSAGE: Galatians 5: 22-26
MEMORY VERSE: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
Paul had just returned to Antioch after eighteen months on his first missionary journey, spreading the good news of the gospel and starting churches in various cities.
In Antioch, he receives news that the churches he had started in Galatia had fallen into false teaching that Gentile Christians needed to follow the Mosaic law in order to be saved.
Paul writes to the Galatians to exercise their new spiritual freedom properly. True freedom comes from faith in Christ, and as such, the Galatians are no longer slaves to sin or bound by the constraints of the Jewish law. Paul writes to “stand firm” in their freedom and make use of it in a way that glorifies God. Freedom wasn’t a spiritual license to do what they want, but to live according to their new identity in Christ and by the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is a good indicator of whether someone is living in a way that pleases God and rooted in Christ.
KEY POINTS FROM THE PASSAGE
WORK OF THE FLESH VERSUS FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (GALATIANS 5:22)
The Bible tells us that there is a difference between the “works of the flesh” and the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). The works of the flesh are those things that are done without the help or guidance of the Holy Spirit. They are often things that we do out of our own selfish desires or sinful nature. The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, is something that is produced by the Holy Spirit working in our lives. It is the evidence of His presence in our lives, and it is something that is done out of love and obedience to God.
IMPORTANCE OF FRUIT BEARING (GALATIANS 5:22-26)
Paul says that fruit should be evident in the life of a believer. It is a natural outcome of a life that is surrendered to Christ.
Jesus also often spoke about bearing fruit. In John 15:1-17, Jesus talks about how a branch that doesn’t bear fruit is cut off and thrown away. He also talks about how we need to remain in Him to bear fruit.
In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus talks about how we will know false prophets by their fruit and says that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. So, the fruit that we bear reflects what is inside of us. If we are full of Jesus, then we will bear good fruit.
We don’t produce good fruit to earn our salvation, but because we are saved and rooted in Jesus.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
What does it look like to bear good fruit? In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists nine specific fruits that should be evident in the life of a follower of Christ. These fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The Bible teaches that God is Love (1 John 4:16), which means that as His children we should have love in us. This love is distinct from the love that exists in our society in that it’s not based on merit or any such condition, it’s pure, selfless, and sacrificial. God demonstrated this to us by sending Jesus to take our place on the cross, at a time when we least deserved it (Romans 5:8).
There are three main areas where we ought to display love; to God, our fellow believers, and the people around us. Our love for God is expressed in our submission, obedience to His word, and selfless service. Towards other Christians, love is demonstrated in caring, sharing, and praying for one another. Meanwhile, we show love to people in our society as we share our possession, extend, and share the Gospel.
As a believer, joy is not something that we experience only in the good times but even in the midst of trials and sorrows, we can have joy. This joy comes from knowing that we are loved by God and that He has a plan for our lives. God is with us and will never leave us. His love for us is perfect and complete.
To have joy in the Lord is to have a special contentment and happiness in our hearts that comes from the Lord. It’s not based on our circumstances or what’s happening around us but rather what’s happening inside us. The joy of the Lord is our strength and it’s what enables us to face anything and everything in this life. It’s a supernatural joy that can’t be found anywhere else.
As Christians, we are called to live a life of peace. This doesn’t mean that we won’t have conflict or problems, but it does mean that we can find peace amid chaos.
Jesus declares “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). There’s a kind of peace that comes from having the latest modern security gadgets, a well-paying job, health, wealth and so on. However, this peace is conditional and temporary.
Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
As believers, we are also called to live at peace with everyone, as much as possible (Romans 12:18). This doesn’t mean that we will always agree with everyone but means that we are to actively pursue peace in our relationships. A peaceable spirit is not easily angered, is not quick to take offense, and is not easily agitated (Proverbs 14:29; 16:32; 19:11; 29:8). Pursuing peace means being intentional in our relationships and putting others first.
We see countless examples in scripture of God’s faithfulness to those who are patient. Abraham, Moses, and Joseph all waited many years for God to fulfil his promises to them, and in each case, God’s timing was perfect.
When we are patient, we demonstrate our trust in God and His perfect plan for our lives. We give God the opportunity to work in us and mould us into the people He wants us to be.
Patience is not always easy. But we are instructed to “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.” (James 5:7). Romans, says “be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” (Romans 12:12). In Isaiah 40:31, we are reminded that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary”.
Being kind means being considerate and thoughtful towards others. The Bible tells us to “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). When we are kind, we are reflecting the character of God. Whether it’s our family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers, we are called to show kindness. And not just any kind of kindness, but the kind of kindness that is sacrificial and selfless, the kind of kindness that Jesus showed.
The Bible tells us that God is good, and that His goodness should be reflected in our lives. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” When we live our lives in a way that reflects the goodness of God, we are living out our faith.
Goodness is not just about trying to do good things but having a good heart. It is about being faithful, trustworthy, and having integrity. It is about being a person of your word. It is about being honest and upright.
Faithfulness is being loyal to someone or something. It is being reliable, committed, and trustworthy. It is staying true to what you said you would do. It is being constant and steadfast, even when it is hard.
When we are faithful, we are living out the Spirit’s fruit in our lives. We serve a God who is always faithful to His promises and so we too should be faithful.
Gentleness is often overlooked in today’s society. We are called to be tender-hearted, even in a harsh and violent world. When our lives are marked by gentleness, it is a testimony to the power of God at work in us. Gentleness is not a weakness. Rather, it is a strength of character that allows us to handle difficult situations and people with grace and compassion.
Paul’s final mention of fruit in his list of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. Paul sums up his point that we are free from the law, but that is not an excuse to sin.
A lack of self-control can lead to all sorts of problems, both for the individual and for society.
Self-control is the ability to control our thoughts, emotions, and actions. It is the ability to say no to our flesh and follow the Spirit.
YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
FRUIT TASTE TEST
- Check for Allergies
- Put a blindfold on one of the children and feed them different fruits.
- See how many they can guess right.
- Give each kid a chance to participate.
FRUIT AND SPOON RACE
- This game is a simple twist on an egg and spoon race.
- Give each player a fruit to balance on a spoon.
- Players should race to the finish line.
- Players can only move forward while the fruit is on the spoon.
- Any time the fruit drops, they must remain in the same spot until it is back on the spoon.
FRUIT SALAD GROUP GAME
- Choose 4 fruits like: apples, pears, bananas, and grapes.
- Assign at least three players to each of the fruits.
- Place chairs in a circle, one less than the number of children.
- One child will be “it” in the middle and will call out one or two of the fruits at a time.
- Those children must change seats with someone else.
- ‘it’ can also say, “Fruit Basket”, and all the children must change seats with someone.
- The player who is ‘it’ can also try to steal a seat during any movement, and the player who remains standing will be “it”.
- Split children into groups. Give each group a random fruit.
- Have another table with some random food items. In turns teams can pick an item one by one.
- Once each team has four or more items, they must create something to eat using all the items and fruit.