- The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – We see in Eph 2:10 that true believers are God’s “workmanship”, which means “the fruit (or product) of a workman’s labor”. We also see in Gal 5:22-26 that true believers are governed by the “fruit” (or product) of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. We can see the fruit of Spirit demonstrated in life of Paul in 2 Tim 3:10. Col 3:12-15 helps to define the qualities that God infuses into the life of each of His elect. There is “no law” against these nine fruit of the Spirit because they reflect the righteous nature of God Himself.
Gal 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
2 Tim 3:10 “But thou hast fully known my [Paul’s] doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,”
Col 3:12-15 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
2 Peter 1:5-10 “…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [or love]. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
- Love – It is interesting how God starts off this list of “fruit” with “love”. Of course, the greatest demonstration of love is found in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. There is no greater love than for God to become sin on behalf of His people, the elect, and to suffer the equivalent of eternity in Hell for them. As a result, God reveals that love is the chief hallmark of the Christian. Because love is a “fruit” of the Holy Spirit, God’s agape love, which is also translated as “charity” in the King James Bible, is manifested in the lives of His people in various ways, as described in 1 Cor 13:4-8a. There is also another aspect of God’s love as found in Rom 13:10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Rom 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Mark 12:30-31 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
1 Cor 13:4-8a “Charity [Love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…”
- Joy – God chose His people that He might indwell them throughout eternity. The good tidings that the “angel”, or messenger, announced in Luke 2 is referring to the the Gospel of salvation that God joyfully performed. God goes to great lengths to emphasize the “joy” that He would ultimately experience in Lord Jesus after enduring the wrath of God. This same “joy” God posses towards his children would also be the precious possession of every child of God, which is a direct result of the incomprehensible salvation that God has granted and as a fruit of the Spirit. While the unsaved find joy in the pleasures and riches of this world, a believer finds Joy in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost as Rom 14:17 points out. A Christian finds within his soul a constant, overflowing appreciation for all that God has done for him in the past, at present, and for eternity. Not only a believer rejoices in Salvation, but also can indeed rejoice in the midst of adversity and suffering knowing that God uses trials and temptations in their lives to test and strengthen their Faith, as Jam 1 affirms.
Luke.2:10-11 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Zep 3:17 “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Hab 3:18 “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Rom 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat [food] and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
Jam 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
- Peace – The Lord Jesus came to this earth on a mission of “peace” – but not in the physical sense that most people imagine. The reason Christ is named the “Prince of Peace” is because He came to bring eternal peace to fallen man by ending the state of perpetual warfare that exists between God and man. Christ has brought us Peace from the Guilt of Sin, Peace from Spiritual Death, Peace from Hell. The believer recognizes that God has saved him to serve – that is, to be a witness to those around him who remain prisoners in Satan’s kingdom and enemies of God. God commands all of His saints to “go ye into all the world” and to “shew mercy” to the lost by being “ambassadors for Christ” and proclaiming the “Gospel of Peace”. How is one to love their neighbours? By wanting the very best for them spiritually – the salvation of their souls.
Eph 2:14-17 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”
Isa 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Rom 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Cor 5:18-20 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Rom 10:15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
- Longsuffering – The “longsuffering”, or patience, of God can be readily seen throughout the Bible. The fact that God “went with” the rebellious Israelites, as He led them for 40 years through the wilderness, is indeed a picture of the longsuffering nature and lovingkindness of such a magnanimous God! The Greek word for “suffereth long” in 1 Cor 13:4-8a, is also translated as “patience” and is closely related to God’s forgiveness. Actually, it is astounding that God is so patient with rebellious man. 1 Pet 3:20-21 speaking of the ark, representing God’s salvation program, demonstrates God’s longsuffering. With the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God admonishes us to be patient, likewise, towards one another by reproving, rebuking, exhorting with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Num 14:18 “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
1 Pet 3:20-21 “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure [water = the Gospel] whereunto even
baptism [the washing away of our sins] doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
2 Pet 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Col 3:12-15 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another…”
2 Tim 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
- Gentleness – Those to whom God has graciously given the gift of salvation do not, in any way, merit such eternal kindness and blessing nor can they claim any credit for it. We must never forget that these individuals were spiritually dead, under the wrath of God, and deserving of everlasting punishment in Hell until God saved them by the miracle of the New Birth, as we see from Eph 2:5 and 7. Following the pattern of their Master, those who are part of the eternal church are equipped with the fruit of “gentleness”, or kindness. We see that God is “kind” even to unthankful and evil people in Luke 6:35. In Eph 4:32 true believers are instructed to mirror the kindness that God has shown to them by being kind to one another.
Eph 2:5 and 7 “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)… That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
Tit 3:4-5 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
Luke 6:35 “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
Eph 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
- Goodness – Indeed, God’s goodness as well as all His other divine attributes reveal His magnificent, glorious, and inscrutable majesty. His goodness is portrayed throughout the Bible in hundreds of verses. God’s goodness is also uniquely associated with His mercy in a number of passages. Rom 2:4 immediately helps us to see the reason for this – God’s “goodness” leads His elect to repentance. Not only is God inherently good, but He bestows His goodness upon His creatures, and salvation is the highest expression of His infinite goodness. Salvation is the greatest gift anybody can receive because no human being deserves it. Isa 52:7 announces the greatest demonstration of God’s goodness as found in the Gospel – that is, the whole Bible. Eph 5:9 gives us an excellent description of “goodness” as one of three main categories of the fruit of the Spirit: Remember that “priests” and “saints” are both synonyms for the children of God. God’s people will receive His “goodness and mercy” all the days of their lives – which is forevermore, as Psa 23:6 declares.
Psa 86:5 “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
Psa 145:9 “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
Rom 2:4 “or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
Isa 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
Eph 5:8-11 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
2 Chr. 6:41 “Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.”
- Faith – “Faith” is synonymous with the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is called “Faithful” in Rev 19:11. What was the “work of faith” in 2 The 1:11, or rather, “the work of Christ” or “the Saving Faith” or “the faith of Christ” that He so faithfully performed? Isa 53:11 reveals: “He [referring to the Father] shall see of the travail [or work] of his [Christ’s] soul, and shall be satisfied: by his [Christ’s] knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he [Christ] shall bear their iniquities”. Every believer receives “faith” as a result of salvation and is the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, everyone who has experienced the new birth will understand the meaning of Faith. After someone becomes saved, he is commanded to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7).
Rev 19:11 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
2 The 1:11 “Wherefore also we pray always for you [believers], that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power…”
Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Col 2:11-12 “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
Php 3:9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
Rom 10:17 “… so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Heb 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
1 Pet 1:5 “[Believers] Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
- Meekness – The Bible gives us some wonderful pictures of the “meek”, or those who have inherited the quality of “meekness”. As we ponder this word “meekness”, we are reminded of the Lord Jesus, the Ultimate Servant, who uttered these words in Mat 11:29: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. Mat 21:5 also portrays the Lord Jesus in such a fashion. Moses, as a great type of Christ, is described in Num 12:3 as very meek, above all the men. “Meekness” is associated with those who are true believers – those who have received with meekness “the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls…”. The child of God is to exhibit the attitude described in Eph 4:2, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”. Meekness is also one of the “the qualities of a servant” as set forth in 2 Tim 2:24-25.
Mat 21:5 “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King [Lord Jesus Christ] cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”
Num 12:3 “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.”
Jam 1:21 “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
2 Tim 2:24-25 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”
- Temperance – “Temperance”, or “self-control”, is a remarkable fruit of the Spirit that motivates the true follower of Jesus Christ to forsake sin and follow the commands of Scripture. Paul likens the Christian life to a race for which an athlete trains. Following the rules and employing self-control and discipline are key factors in athletic competition as well as in the “Christian race,” as Paul states, “… I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection”. There exists an internal struggle between the believer’s new, resurrected soul (in which he never sins) and his body (that still lusts after sin because it has not yet become saved), as Paul explains in Rom 7:18-19. Thus, the true Christian’s biggest obstacle is himself! The solution lies in the fact that God is at work in the believer’s life to “… will and to do of His good pleasure”, so that obedience reigns, and the lusts of our bodies are dominated by the Word of God, as is seen in the phrase, “… and bring it into subjection”. The idea expressed here is to make the body a “servant” (or a slave). Those who have been redeemed are the servants of God, and they live to do His divine bidding, as Rom 6:12 affirms, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof”.
1 Cor 9:24-27 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Rom 7:18-19 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me [in soul]; but how to perform that which is good I find not [in my body]. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
Eph 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ!”