What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; There is no law against these things!”
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
Naturally speaking, for a tree to produce good fruit, several key elements must occur. The weather must be right for that type of tree, the tree must have access to needed nutrients and it must be cared for and properly pruned. We’ve learned through our own family gardening experiences that even when most things are equal, some trees will flourish while others will wither away. We also learned not all seeds are created equal. The same type of seeds may not take root, even in the same soil. What may be too much sun or water for one tree, may not be enough for another. The same applies to our spiritual lives. How then do we ensure that we are a spiritual tree that bears good fruit?
The key – Jesus.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
John 15:1-6 ESV
Abiding in Jesus and the Word allows His seeds to fill our hearts, minds and souls. We will never lack the needed elements to grow when our lives are rooted in Jesus and the Word. The seeds and weeds of the world will continually try to creep in and take root, but we must protect our spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to prune the areas of life that cause division with Him.
Merriam – Webster’s dictionary defines Abide: to bear patiently; to endure without yielding; to wait for; to accept without objections; to remain stable or in a fixed state; to continue in place; and to conform.
We must strive to be unwavering believers who seek and abide in Jesus through all seasons of life. Will we be perfect? No. Will we miss the mark? Sure. Will we focus on the problems more than Jesus? Sometimes. But, we will persist, we will dust ourselves off and continue to pursue Jesus through all our imperfections. Why? Because we are not alone. Jesus send us the Holy Spirit to comfort and counsel us. (John 14:16, 26; 15:26)
As we grow and abide in Jesus, the fruits of the Spirit will be evident in our lives. The Holy Spirit is at work, making our hearts a home for the Father and the Son.
In Galatians Chapter 5, Paul is speaking to the church riddled with confusion about whether they needed to obey the law of Judaism. To circumcise or not circumcise that was the question of the day. Paul discussed this topic and others while concluding that a life led by the Spirit will ultimately be identified by the content of our character.
The original Greek word, καρπός, where “fruit” was derived for this text usually means: Edible fruit or vegetables; Offspring; Deed; Actions; Results; Profit
There will be visible evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives through the manifestation of the fruits of the spirit. We will quite literally be known by our fruits. We will be known by our actions and our reactions. We will be known by our deeds.
The Passion Translation reads as follows:
“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you IS divine love in all its varied expressions:
Joy that overflows
Peace that subdues
Patience that endures
Kindness in action
A life full of virtue
Faith that prevails
Gentleness of heart, and
Strength of the spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
Galatians 5: 22-23 TPT
To further clarify, the Strong Concordance defines each fruit as:
- Love: affection or benevolence (goodwill)
- Joy: cheerfulness, calm delight
- Peace: literally or figuratively; by implication, prosperity
- Patience (Longsuffering): longanimity, forbearance, or fortitude
- Gentleness: usefulness, morally excellence (in character or demeanor)
- Goodness: virtue or beneficence
- Faith: persuasion, credence, moral conviction (of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher) especially reliance upon Christ for Salvation
- Gentleness (meekness): humility
- Self-Control: temperance (especially continence)
It is during our daily life, where the Spirit bears witness to these things.
How are we responding to the News? Peace or Distress
How do we respond to uncertainty? Faith or Fear
How do we respond to unkind words? Love or Unkindness
Are we reactive? Do we live in joy and self-control?
Are we screaming from the rooftops like others if something doesn’t go our way?
When the Holy Spirit is our companion, our lives will begin to reflect more of Him and more of Jesus. It will be in the content of our character and not the religious check-list, that will show we are new creations in Christ. It is the manifestation of these fruits in our lives that will lead others to the path of Jesus and salvation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Continue here for Who is the Holy Spirit
Continue here for Gifts of the Holy Spirit