We have been talking about how to let the new believer know that their life is going to be different. The goal is to be clear and biblical, and yet not frighten them with a list of does or don’ts, and not create an incorrect picture of who God is.
One way is to let them know about the fruits of the Spirit. It is biblical, it is encouraging, and it lets them know they are not alone on this journey.
It assumes that the new believer at least knows there is a Spirit, and that at conversion they were granted this amazing gift of the indwelling of God’s Spirit to help them on their journey.
I would say something like this:
“Just as a healthy tree produces fruit, so also the life of a healthy follower of Jesus will change, and those changes are called “fruit.” Paul writes to the church in Galatia: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV). Another translation says, “the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives” (TNIV).
“You may already have started to experience these types of changes. In a situation in which you formerly would never have responded with love, there is the beginning of love. Where there was only sadness, now there is joy, at lest some joy. Where there had been only frustration, now there is patience. These “fruits” are the result of God the Spirit working in you, and that is why the path of discipleship is different from the easy road. The path is different because you are different, and God is doing a new work within you.”
What do you think? Is there anything else the new believer needs to know about the changes that are coming? So far we have covered three:
- Their baptism symbolized a dying with Christ to their old life, and a being raised to a new kind of life.
- They were changed at the gate, and changed people will live changed lives.
- God gives each one of us his Spirit, who will help us to start changing