The Greek word for fruit is καρπός, (or figuratively) everything done in true partnership with Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is used to describe to us the produce or product of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in each of us. We cannot produce this fruit ourselves, only the Holy Spirit can produce this fruit. As we grow, in the Spirit, all the characteristics of Christ will be evident in our lives.
Just as actual fruit takes time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit also takes time to grow in our lives. We must constantly work to rid our lives of the “weeds” of our old sinful natures that choke us out the work of the Spirit.
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13. The Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to reject those old sinful desires. We can say “no” to sin and accept the “way out” God faithfully provides by following the Holy Spirit’s leading.
As we give the Spirit more control of our lives, He begins to do in and through us what only He can do – to shape us and grow us to be more Christ-like (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
What are the fruits of the Spirit?
Biblical love is a choice, not a feeling. It expresses itself in loving ways and always seeks the welfare of others. Biblical love is dependent on the giver’s character, not emotion. For instance, a mature believer demonstrating love will not exercise his or her freedom if that action might harm another Christian in some way. Love chooses to set aside one’s own preferences, desires, and sometimes even needs to put the other person first.
Sometimes we Christians tend to downplay the meaning of joy. It is a feeling of gladness based on our circumstances. Sadly, the world’s joy cannot last because it is based on physical circumstances. But the joy of the Lord is established in our spiritual, eternal circumstances. As we cling to Jesus, abiding our relationship with Him, we experience the fullness of joy.
The world doesn’t offer much peace. Just look around. The world cannot give it because the world doesn’t know the One who is peace. But for those who have the Spirit of peace within us, the peace of Christ is possible, no matter our circumstances. We must reject the chaos of the world and embrace God’s peace.
We don’t see much patience in the world today, not even in the church. Maybe part of the reason is our fast-paced, want-it-now culture. But Christians have everything we need to be patient because we have the Holy Spirit living in us longing to display His character to those around us. Patient people put up with circumstances and other people, even when severely tried. Patient people display endurance, long-suffering, and perseverance.
Goodness presents the picture of one who not only possesses moral goodness and integrity, but also generously expresses it in the way they act toward others. This “goodness in action” reflects God’s kindness and goodness toward us.
To be faithful is to be reliable or trustworthy. For the Christian, this is faithfulness specifically to the Saviour who redeemed us. Christian faithfulness therefore, is continued and consistent submission and obedience to the same Spirit who provides the ability for us to be faithful.
Closely linked to humility, gentleness is grace of the soul. It is not weakness, but instead it is strength under control. Gentleness, being the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest, is a key ingredient in unity and peace within the body of Christ.
The last characteristic in the fruit of the Spirit points us back to the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21. Those of us with the indwelling Holy Spirit has the strength to control our sinful desires, to say “no” to our flesh. Self-control gives us the power to say “yes” to the Spirit and foster a beautiful, bountiful harvest of spiritual fruit!
The last I wrote on this subject, I spoke about a song, an earworm, that I had playing in my mind over and over. Well, 2 days later and it’s still there. The song, “Shallow,” a duet by Lady Gaga…
I have, for the last three mornings, woken up with a song in my mind….Watch this space for a post for anyone who feels far from the shallows… Jesus can bring you back from the shallow and into the deep…
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 One of our greatest enemies can be Pride. Pride can make us ignore truth, pride can make us separate from others, pride can lead to our…