Fruit of the Holy Spirit
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit according to the Epistle to the Galatians.
In these last days, they are many who disguise themselves as true servants of the Lord Jesus, many posse as wolf in sheep clothing but the words of the Lord states clear how to identify true servants of the Lord, and that is by their fruits. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:15-16).
But what are these fruits you should search for? Or what are the attributes that you should search for in the people of God. And are you pursuing the development of these attributes? Let’s take a look. The Apostle Paul described these attributes as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and calls it the fruit of the Spirit.
The development of these attributes does not come out finding the strength or the will power on your own but out of a constant pursuit of God and abiding in His word. Let’s look deeper into each attribute:
The first of the attributes listed, love. Listed first ( 1st ) I believe due to it’s importance and the weight this single attributes carry in the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s look on what is this love that God is commanding us to have:
- Unselfish, benevolent concern for another.
- The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love.
- Keeping no records of wrong against a brother (Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (1 Corinthians 6:7) , It is better to be cheated than be unloving).
- Not easily angered.
- Patient, Kind, Not Proud, Not self seeking, Does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
In this rough and cold world that we are living in ranging from social disorders, domestic violence, crime and financial struggles, many Christians seem to have lost their joy in the Lord. Due to this they are walking defeated due to the lack of strength that comes from having joy; the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
I seldom see people smile anymore, as if they are not happy, carrying around the weight of the world upon their shoulders. Having all their happiness and joy kicked right out of them. But the Lord is able to restore, heal and replenish all the joy that has been lost to this cold world.
Here are some other ways to look on Joy:
- Great Delight because God is faithful to his word.
- Being glad, knowing the Lord is working things out for you.
- Being cheerful despite how hopeless your situation may seem.
- Inner rejoicing because you know your life is sustained by Him.
With all the devastating activities happening today such as terrorism, lost of jobs and marriages ending in divorce it is every easy to lose our sense of peace. This attribute does not speak to just any peace but our peace in the Lord. For this peace that comes from God surpasses all understanding; And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:7).
The quality of peace can be described as follows:
- Tranquility of the Soul.
- Sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on His presence.
- The presence and experience of right relationships.
In this fast paced society this is a quality that all Christians must possess. Many people have been killed or seriously injured because someone lost his temper over something that was very trivial. Just look on the faces of people waiting in long lines at the supermarket, impatience can be seen painted all over their face. Road rage is another issue, many drivers are impatient when driving.
Many are short fused and as a result many lack patience operating in their lives. Relationships are ending due to a lack patience from a partner.
This quality must be developed into your personality, it calls for you to work with the Holy Spirit in developing this into you. The reason for this is that your own impatience will start to act up and try to override the patience that the Holy Spirit will try and transmit to you.
Here are some definitions on the word Long suffering:
- Patient endurance and steadfastness under provocation.
- Forbearance under ill-will, with no thought of retaliation.
- Ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment
With the lack of love and patience, many have lost the ability to treat persons with kindness and respect. The quality of love goes right along with that of kindness. Once the Holy Spirit begins to transmit His love into you, it will become much easier for you to show kindness to another.
Remember a kind word or action can really impact the life of another.
Here are some definitions on kindness:
- The steadfast love that maintains relationships through gracious aid in times of need.
- Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, affability.
- The ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience.
The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as “uprightness of heart and life.” Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.
Being filled with this moral characteristic will allow you to selflessly act on the behalf of others.
Many nonbelievers carefully watch and study some Christians because they know there is something really different about them. At first glance this is what a non believer will see and know that there is something different about you. Many times this is the quality that they look on that will draw them to Christ.
Having this quality just makes you good down to your very core. The things that you do for others you do not expect in return. Expecting in return will then cause a wavering in this quality.
Here are some other definitions of Goodness:
- Beneficence (The fact or quality of being kind or doing good)
- Ready to do good
- Love in Action
How grateful I am for Hebrews 11 that speaks about the men of faith, and due to their faith God honored His word towards them.
Due to a lack of faithfulness many marriages are ending in divorce and many are found not to be trustworthy. This beautiful quality is lacking in the world today and more the believers.
This is a quality that God holds in high regard, He expects us to be faithful in our relationship with Him, to our spouses and friends
Being faithful will not cause you to go back on your word.
You will not bail out of your marriage.
You will not abandon your children.
For better or for worse God has charge us to be faithful in all our relationships.
Here are some other definitions a Faithfulness:
For this let us look on the actions Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
There were times that He would engage and set people straight, like He did with some of the Scribes and Pharisees. But there were other times that He dealt with people very gently, with kindness and love.
He dealt with many kinds of people and He was gentle to all.
This is shear beauty, the perfect role model to imitate gentleness.
There is a time for tough love – but there are also times that just a gentle and loving touch is all that is really needed to properly handle a certain situation.
Here are some other definitions for Gentleness:
- Power and Strength under control.
- One who rules his spirit well (He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city – Proverbs 16:32).
- Kind Dispositon
The quality of self control can only be brought to full growth by the Holy Spirit working in you.
The reason for this is that we all have a certain amount of character flaws operating in our personalities. There are some bad and negative qualities that will have to go.
The Bible tells us that our spirits and our flesh will war against each other in this life. Our flesh wants immediate self-gratification at all costs and will stop at nothing to try and get it.
We all need God’s self-control operating in our lives and in our personalities if we are going to have any hope in getting cleaned up and properly sanctified to the degree that He would like to get us to in this life.
Here are some other Definitions on Self Control: