Fruits of the Spirit Bible Study Galatians 5:22
“Fruits” of the Spirit is a metaphor that sums up the nine visible attributes of living a Christian lifestyle according to the Holy Spirit. Technically “fruits” plural should be called “fruit” singular. Because The Gift of Holy Spirit is like a tree that bears spiritual fruit in your life. So when you plant it in your heart, it takes root. When you nurture it, it grows and bear fruit. It bears one fruit of the spirit, not many “fruits”. It’s like a grape vine (singular) that grows many grapes (plural).
Jesus said in Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruit you shall know them.” What kind of fruit are you growing? Let’s look at each attribute of the fruit of the spirit a little more deeply. Below is a list of spiritual fruit that is the evidence of a good Christian lifestyle.
“Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance; against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 – Collectively, these are the spiritual fruit that all Christians should be producing in their lives when they live according to the Holy Spirit.
Let’s look at each fruits attributes a little more closely:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Love is the primary key to everything that is good. Along with temperance (self-control), love is a bookend that helps hold the other fruit in place. It is love that surpasses human understanding and causes a person to be filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19). Its divine characteristics are detailed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails“.
The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).
The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. Joy gives spiritual strength. Heb 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
A state of mutual harmony between people or groups. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Primarily, peace with God. When we are sinners doing the works of the flesh, we are rebels against God. When our rebellion ends and we are forgiven, then we are at peace. This kind of peace doesn’t come through laying around on vacation, entertainment, drugs, alcohol, sex or wealth. The spiritual fruit of peace results from being justified by faith.
Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified [made right; declared innocent or guiltless] through faith [in what Christ accomplished for us on the cross], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. We must learn to maintain peace in three important relationships:
- With God,
- With our fellow man,
- And with ourselves.
We maintain peace with God by believing and trusting Him and by not sinning. Maintain peace with our fellow man by not allowing strife to be a part of our relationships with other people. And enjoy peace with ourselves by being happy with who we are and by refusing to live in guilt or condemnation.
Long enduring patience; perseverance. Long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation. We are “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Colossians 1:11).
Long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation. Like when someone keeps making you angry or picking on you but just let it go and you maintain control. Longsuffering is love on trial. It enables you to be emotionally strong and forgive others. Colossians 3:13 says, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Moderate, kindly, amiable; absence of harshness or severity. We should live “in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left” (2 Cor 6:6-7).
Being moderate, kind; the absence of harshness or severity. The Apostle Paul illustrates gentleness by the example of a mother feeding her babies (I Thessalonians 2:7).
Moral excellence; virtue. “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
Moral excellence; virtue. God is the ultimate example of goodness. Goodness is holiness put into practice and results from knowing God. Goodness enables you to do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27) as well as those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). It is the goodness and grace of God that leads people to repentance. That’s why we need to be good to people. Our witness won’t have any power unless we are kind to others. Our calling is to be light in a dark world, and we must make up our minds that we are going to shine!
The Greek word used here is “pistis” and this word is common in secular Greek for trustworthiness, faithfulness and fidelity. So it is the characteristic of the person who is reliable. When we are manifesting the fruit of the holy spirit we are appearing in the image of Christ, who is the reflection of God. Therefore these attributes are Godly.
Deuteronomy 7:9 – “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments”. And in 1 Corinthians 1:9 –“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A better translation is faithfulness, the act of being faithful. Doing what you say you are going to do. Be someone people can trust because you are reliable. Webster’s Dictionary defines faithful as “maintaining allegiance; constant; loyal; marked by or showing a strong sense of duty or responsibility; conscientious; accurate; reliable; exact.
Humble and patient. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Gal 6:1).
Meekness is not being mousy or weak, but rather a servant-like submission to God and others in your care. Your spirit is free from rebellion and pride. Meekness or humility is defined as “freedom from pride and arrogance; modest estimation of our own worth.” Humility or meekness is the opposite of pride. The Bible says I Peter 5:5 that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. And Psalms 37:11 plainly states that “the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Moderation or self-restraint in action or statement; self-control. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Self-control; Moderation or self-restraint in action or statement; It is control over your entire being (body, soul and spirit). A person who has self-control is mild and calm, avoids extreme behavior, and exercises self-restraint in both actions and speech. After all, temperance and love are the bookends that hold all the other fruit in place.
Do you want to grow more Fruit of the Spirit?
Would you like to see those good qualities be more evident in your life?
The 5 Steps You Need to Take:
- It starts by being born again and then next by knowing that God is your sufficiency in all things. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
- Keep Christ in your heart. Listen to God. Take time to listen to what God is saying to you. We walk through life with constant noise. TV, stereo, cell phones, computers. Turn off the noise and listen to God for some time each day.
- Make sure you spend time each day in quality prayer. Not just a list of people to pray for, or begging God for special favors, but reading Scripture, and taking time to meditate on the areas in your life where you need to improve most, and talk to God about it. Begin every day by talking to God. Talk to God throughout the day too. Speak in tongues often.
- Choose one attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit each day and focus on it; work hard with it trying to make it more evident in your life. Pray for strength and guidance in your efforts to improve yourself.
- End your day by reflecting on the events of your day; what happened and how you reacted to it. Judge yourself by the fruit that you are producing, of the spirit and of the flesh. Be honest with yourself. Use that as your score card AND your road map toward Godliness.
I know how difficult it is to take this time out and be brutally honest with yourself, reflecting on your faults. Make sure you also reflect on your victories. I struggle with all of this as much as anyone. But the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages so it is very much worth your time and effort. If your focus is on God and you are following Christ as your leader, then your spiritual roots are growing deeper in the Lord every day. Continue growing and nurturing that spiritual tree of life inside you and soon you will see the Fruit of the Spirit developing and blossoming in your life. God will see it is good and He will bless you for it though His good grace.