What are the Fruits of the Holy Spirit?
What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? What is the purpose of the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Galatians 5:22-23 says: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control…
According to Galatians 5:22-23 the fruit of the Spirit consists of 9 godly virtues which are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The fruit of the Spirit is visible evidence that a Christian is indeed walking with Jesus or walking in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 says: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:25 says: If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Therefore when we daily manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our Christian life, we also reflect the nature and character of Jesus Christ through these 9 virtues.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to help us to gradually and practically become more like Jesus Christ; the duty of the Holy Spirit is to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.
So from the moment we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we also receive the Holy Spirit.
Therefore the fruit of the Holy Spirit presents evidence that we are indeed spiritually converted by the Holy Spirit, from unsaved individuals who lived according to the flesh, to transformed Christians who now walk by the Spirit.
In total contrast to the fruit of the Spirit there is what the Scripture calls “the works of the flesh”.
Galatians 5:19-21 says: Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
According to Galatians 5:21 those who rebelliously and unrepentantly live according to the works of the flesh “will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
However “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Individuals who belong to Christ will enter the kingdom of God.
The 9 Fruits Explained
This fruit comes from the Greek word “agape”. It is a sacrificial kind of love. It is the type of love that motivated God to send His only begotten Son to take away the sins of the world (John 3:16).
This type of love is not just a “feeling” or an “emotion”. This type of love displays the nature and character of God because God is love (1 John 4:8).
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 best defines love when it says: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
The Greek word for “joy” in reference to the fruit of the Spirit is “Chara”.
This joy is more than just an emotional feeling that is based on external events. This type of joy comes from within and it is based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. This type of joy remains despite the negativity of external circumstances. This type of joy is sourced from Christ and through having a relationship with Him.
Nehemiah 8:10 says “… for the joy of the Lord is your strength”
Acts 13:52 says “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
The peace of the Holy Spirit is the state of resting in the Lord. It is when you’re in a state of calm and assurance that everything is under God’s control despite the external or surrounding circumstances.
The Greek word for Peace is “eirene”, which expresses the idea of inward calmness, completeness, or tranquility that is unaffected by the outward circumstances. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of outward chaos.
This kind of peace is sourced from the Holy Spirit through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
In John 14:27-28 Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Philippians 4:6-7 says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
The Greek word for Patience is “makrothumia”. This Greek word denotes longsuffering, endurance, and fortitude.
We live in the information and technological age where everything needs to be done instantly or at the touch-of-a-button. As a result, people can no longer learn to be patient.
However patience or longsuffering is an attribute of God that every Christian should have.
Romans 12:12 says: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Ephesians 4:2 NIV says: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Kindness is acting for the good of people whether the people deserve it or not and without particularly judging them. Kindness is defined as having or displaying a friendly, generous, and compassionate nature.
Matthew 14:14 says: When He went ashore He (Jesus) saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Ephesians 4:32 says: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Goodness comes from the Greek word “agathosune”, and can be defined as something that is desired or approved of. When something is good, it means that it is morally right or excellent; righteousness.
As Christians we are called to live a life of goodness or righteousness. The only way we can become righteous is when we have the righteousness of Jesus imputed on us by personally receiving Him as Lord and Saviour.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says: For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God
As Christians we can display the goodness of God when we walk in the Spirit and obey the word of God.
The fruit of faithfulness relates to commitment and loyalty. We are called to be faithful to God and to obeying His word. In all that we do, God comes first and God alone must be glorified.
Our worship and loyalty belongs to God and nobody else.
For example in Luke 16:10-13 Jesus says: “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
8. GENTLENESS / HUMILITY
The Greek word for gentleness is “prautes”, is also commonly known as meekness or humility. Gentleness / humility is a virtue of God and it is a fruit of the Spirit that is available in our lives as Christians.
Jesus Christ the Son of God was the most humble Person to walk the earth. Philippians 2:5-8 says: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
In our own lives, we are to produce humility through the influence of the Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:3-4 says: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 Peter 5:5-6 says: Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you
Galatians 6:1 says: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Self-control is the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions, impulses and desires, especially in difficult situations;
The Greek word for self-control is “egkrateia”, which means having command or “mastery over” or possession of, “one’s own behavior.”
Displaying self-control is possible through the guidance of the Holy Spirit because it is only by the Spirit of God that we are able to resist the impulses to perform the works of the flesh.
2 Timothy 1:7 says: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Titus 2:12 says: Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
True Christian believers are recognized by the fruit that they bear. The Bible says a good tree will bear good fruit, but a bad tree will bear bad fruit.
In Matthew 7:16-20 Jesus says: You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is evidence that we are walking with Christ. When we become born again, the 9 attributes mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 must become a reality as we continue to grow in our relationship with God.