"The Fruit of the Spirit"
The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ's control; we can't obtain them by trying to get them without His help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to Him — the True Vine.
Desiring and seeking the Fruit of the Spirit
is not anything like working man's steps six
and seven. We're not asking God to
remove defects of character from our old man
— we're surrendering to the supernatural
work of the Holy Spirit to create Christ's
character in the new man! We humbly
submit to His work of replacing our old man
sinfulness with His Fruit.
We must know Jesus, love Jesus, remember
Jesus, and imitate Jesus. As a result, we will
fulfill the intended purpose of the God's law:
to love God and our neighbors.
This page was last updated: March 11, 2015
The Fruit of the Spirit ...
"If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word;
and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
He who does not love Me
does not keep My words;
and the word which you
hear is not Mine but
the Father's who sent Me.
"These things I have spoken
to you while being
present with you.
But the Helper, the Holy
Spirit, whom the Father
will send in My name,
He will teach you all things,
and bring to your
remembrance all things
that I said to you."
John 14:23-26 NKJV
"If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit."
Galatians 5:23-25 NKJV
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen."
2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV
"I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing."
John 15:5 NKJV
Living Sacrifices to God
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God."
Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
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"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is
being renewed day by day.
For our light affliction,
which is but for a
moment, is working for
us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight
of glory, while we do
not look at the things
which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary,
but the things which are
not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were
bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your
body and in your spirit,
which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV
Which of these qualities do you want the
Spirit to produce in you?
The characteristics of Spiritual Fruit fall into categories.
The first three are inward and can come from God alone:
- Love (agape) — Love as shown by Jesus, whose love is self-sacrificing and unchanging, and as demonstrated by God who sent His Son to save sinners. Love forms the foundation for all the other fruit listed. Else- where, love itself is broken down into various components (see "Love IS ..."), so that "love" turns out to bear little resemblance to the emotional meaning so often given to the word.
- Joy (chara) — An inner rejoicing that abides despite outer circumstances. This characteristic has little to do with happiness and can exist in times of unhappiness. It is a deep and nourishing satisfaction that continues even when a life situation seems empty and unsatisfying. Our relation- ship with God through Christ remains strong even in the deserts and valleys of living.
- Peace (eirene) — An inner quietness and trust in God's sovereignty and justice, even in the face of adverse circumstances. This is a profound agreement with the truth that God, not we, remains in charge of the universe.
The next three concern each believer's relationships with others:
- Longsuffering (makrothumia) — Patiently putting up with people who continually irritate us.
The Holy Spirit's work in us increases our endurance.
- Kindness (chrestotes) — Acting charitably, benevolently
toward others, as God did toward us. Kindness takes
the initiative in responding to other people's needs.
- Goodness (agathosune) — Reaching out to do good
to others, even if they don't deserve it. Goodness
does not react to evil, but absorbs the offense
and responds with positive action.
The last three fruit present more general
character traits that ought to guide our lives:
- Faithfulness (pistis) — Reliable, trustworthy.
- Gentleness (prautes) — Humble, considerate of others, submissive to God and His Word. Even when anger is the appropriate response, as when Jesus cleared the temple, gentleness keeps the expression of anger headed in the right direction. Gentleness applies even force in the correct way.
- Self-control (egkrateia) — Mastery over sinful human desires and their lack of restraint. Ironically, our sinful desires, which promise self-fulfillment and power, inevitably lead us to slavery. When we surrender to the Holy Spirit, initially we feel as though we have lost control, but he leads us to the exercise of self-control that would be impossible in our own strength.