In this country, particularly in the antebellum and post-bellum south, many heinous evils were perpetuated against human beings considered by others to be inferior. Those evils were characterized in a song, “Strange Fruit”, made popular by singer Billie Holiday. This strange fruit is not limited to those who instituted such crimes against humanity, but is an out growth of the natural inclinations of humankind. However, the Christian believer, through the justification of Christ, is empowered to dispossess the natural person, and become implanted with the familiar fruit which contains love produced by the Holy Spirit.
God’s Holy Spirit produces this familiar fruit which consists of nine characteristics or attitudes; meaning that the pulp of this fruit, although a unity, is varied. And the first and primary taste which we experience is God’s agape love. How fitting this is, for this love is God Himself; it is a “Love Divine All Love Excelling”. Divine Love, unchanging, is poured out without merit, for transformation and animation of new life. This is the love that prompted Jesus to set His face like a flint to the suffering of the cross. Every Christian ought to be familiar with the fruit which contains this love produced by the Holy Spirit.
While on this Christian journey we should remain closely familiar with the fruit produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit, with love being one of it’s essential contents. By now we ought to have realized that the works and the abilities of the natural person are inadequate; all that we are capable of doing in the flesh will ultimately come to judgment and condemnation. On the other hand, that which the Spirit produces, through our relationship with God in Christ, can only gain an eternal consequence of success. Therefore, this fruit should be familiar to us. It is not produced for any special or exclusive group, but, should be evident in all Christians.
Particularly, since every Christian has the Spirit of Christ living within them, they should demonstrate their familiarity with the fruit’s contents of love. This love must be evidenced through their care and concern for the good and interests of other Christians and the world. As Christians, let us not turn again to that strange fruit; but, remain closely familiar with the fruit which contains love “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.