But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV).
There is nine fruit that Christians can expect our lives to exemplify as we grow in God. Called the fruit of the Spirit, they come from being filled with the Spirit of God as we live a clean and holy life in Him.
Love is the first listed fruit of the Spirit. We must love others just as God first loved us. 1 John 4:7-8 (KJV) says:
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Joy is the next fruit of the Spirit. The KJV dictionary defines joy as the passion or emotion excited by the acquisition of good. The joy that comes through fellowship with God has nothing to do with one’s natural circumstances; it is present in us because of our relationship with Christ. Even when things around us appear to be going wrong, the joy that lies within us only increases. Joy is present when we are going through trials and tribulations. Joy even has a positive outcome, which is profoundly enriching and fulfilling happiness.
The next listed fruit of the Spirit is peace. Peace is described as a state of quiet or tranquility, freedom from disturbance or agitation, heavenly rest, and Heaven’s happiness. According to Mark 4:39, Jesus spoke to a wind disturbance and commanded it to be still.
39 and he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Jesus can speak to troublesome storms or winds in our lives as well and command them to be still. Once Jesus has spoken peace and delivered us from a negative situation, that experience builds confidence in us, letting us know that He can do it again if needed.
Following peace in the list of the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering. To be long-suffering means to bear or endure injuries or provocations for a long time. It also means being patient and not easily provoked. Just as God has been patient and longsuffering with us, we are to display that same characteristic towards our fellowman.
The next fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. Gentleness refers to being mild, meek, or soft. It is the opposite of being rough, harsh, or severe. The gentle individual has a gentle nature, temper, or disposition. He has a gentle manner, address, or voice. Gentleness may be thought of as manifested kindness. It can be seen when it is present in one’s life.
Goodness is the next fruit of the Spirit. It refers to having the characteristic of being honorable, fair, or flawless, as a man of good fame or report. The servants who managed the Lord’s monies well in Matt 25:21 received rewards for their excellent work. In like manner, we desire to have God call us good. Ultimately, we want to hear these words from God as we enter Heaven:
Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Matt. 25:23).
The next fruit of the Spirit is faith. As defined in the KJV Dictionary, faith is a firm belief in God’s truth and His Word. Hebrew 11:1 defines faith in this way:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
It is impossible to please God without faith, according to Hebrew 11:6. And, since our goal is to please God, we want faith to grow and flourish in our lives.
6 But without faith, it is impossible to please him:
The eighth fruit of the Spirit is meekness, a characteristic that God highly values. This fruit is discussed in Matthew 5:5:
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Meekness is demonstrated outwardly as a combination of gentleness and humility. A meek individual demonstrates a genuinely humble attitude towards God and his fellow man. Occasionally, the meek individual may be misunderstood, but it is essential to know that meekness is not weakness!
The final fruit of the Spirit is temperance or self-control. It refers to one’s ability to exert control over one’s human nature and its wishes to satisfy personal desires. Self-control is essential if we are to overcome sin as a way of life. The ability to control oneself is an excellent virtue because the flesh or natural man can, at times, act like a child out of control. A Holy Ghost-filled individual can speak to the flesh, just as a parent would speak to a wayward child. We can get in a mirror and use the Word of God with power and authority, commanding the natural man to come subject to the Word of God! Just as Jesus spoke to the raging sea in Mark 4:39 and caused it to become calm, we can bring our flesh under subjection to our Spirit by the Word of God, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
As we manifest the fruit of the Spirit, God will enable us to help others be saved, baptized with the Holy Ghost, and live for the Lord. The souls that will be drawn to Him through our lives are the fruit that God will expect of us as we stand before Him in Glory. May God bless us all to see an increase in the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thank You as He manifests His Presence in our lives through the fruit of the Spirit. We desire to produce much fruit for You. In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.