Fruit of the Spirit
Updated: Feb 11
As we are stepping foot in another year, which is 2022. And as every year we could see many people making new year resolution either to change something about them or to build some habits in them. Now I’m not saying that it is wrong to do all that but what about our spiritual life? Are we making resolutions for our spiritual growth? Or are we just too fuzzed up with our physical being that we are not at all concerned about our spiritual being?
Today we are going to look at the concept of “Fruit of the Spirit” and how one could get them. We find about this in the letter of Paul to the Church of Galatia, where Paul was defending the grace gospel which was under attack.
In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Now we are going to look at all these virtues one by one. As it is important to know what impact and change they can do in one life.
1) Joy that overflows
One of the greatest marketing strategies ever employed was to position the kingdom of Satan as the place where the fun is and the kingdom of God as the place of gloom and misery. But the fruit of the Spirit is Joy. We could say that this is the joy of the spirit because it is higher joy than just the thrill of an exciting experience or a wonderful set of circumstances. It is a joy that can abide and remain, even when circumstances seem terrible. Paul knew this joy personally; he could sing when manacled in the dark prison dungeon (Acts 16:25). It is a joy that no one can take it away from us.
2) Peace that subdues
This peace is peace with God, peace with people, and it is positive peace, filled with blessing and goodness – not simply the absence of fighting.
We could say that this peace is a peace of the Spirit because it is higher peace than just what comes when everything is calm and settled. This is a peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). A peace which one could only find in Jesus (John 16:33).
3) Patience that subdues
Patience means that one can have love, joy, and peace even over a period of time when people and events annoy them. God is not quickly irritated with us (Romans 2:4, 9:22), so we should not be quickly irritated with others.
Also, the Greek word for patience is taken from a verb that means “ever tapping” or “never quitting.”
4) Kindness in action and a life full of virtue
The fruit kindness and goodness are closely connected that is why I’m covering them together. Kindness is loving your enemy, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you (Luke 6:27). I believe that a one small act of kindness can lead someone to Christ.
Now the goodness is related to the idea of generosity. Helping someone who is in need in any way possible you can.
5) Faith that prevails
The idea is that the Spirit of God works faithfulness in us, both to God and to people. It is the ability to serve God faithfully through the years and through the temptations of life is not something we achieve by heroic virtue. It comes from the Spirit.
We live by faith not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
6) Gentleness of heart
The word gentleness has the idea of being teachable, not having a superior attitude. Our conversation should always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that we may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6).
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
7) Strength of spirit
Our strength of the spirit is tested on circumstances that are mainly related to sexual sins. Having self-control is to prepare us for Christ’s return (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8), enable us to pray properly (1 Peter 4:7), and show resistance to Satan (1 Peter 5:8-9).
8) Divine Love
The first virtue mentioned by Paul is love but here I am mentioning it at last. It is mentioned at first as it encompasses all of the following. It may even be said that the following eight terms are just describing what love in action looks like. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to love in 1 Corinthians and it is also the part of the commandment which Jesus told us about.
You can read about love in the whole Bible and the love mentioned by Paul here is not just any other love it is the agape love, it has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live. It is God’s divine love for humanity.
Just to clear one thing that I'm not saying that one should not have the gifts of the spirit but I'm really trying to say that one could have gift of speaking in tongues but doesn't have kindness. So, my point is to first we should first ask for the fruit of the spirit rather than running for gifts of the spirit first.
Now the main question that arises is how one would get the fruit of the Spirit?
In Galatians 6:7-8, Paul says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
The main question we should ask ourselves from the above verse is, “What are we sowing in our Spirit, ‘good seeds’ or ‘seeds’ which bring destruction?”
“Good seeds” includes prayer, Bible study, quoting scripture, giving, loving, and dropping “seeds” every day from a life lived in our new creation life.
By dropping seeds, it means is to manifest the fruit you have received to others so that they can believe and you can share with them the treasure you have found in Christ Jesus.