I’ve always wanted to study the fruit of the Spirit, in Galatians 5:22 & 23. Different Bible translations and paraphrases are interesting to look up. The image below is from The Message Bible, a paraphrase. The nine fruit listed in the New King James Bible is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
The apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians. He uses the metaphor of ‘fruit’ when writing about 9 of the character traits of a Christian. There are actually more than 9 throughout Scripture. Living God’s way requires us to ‘Walk in the Spirit’ and not in the flesh. (See Galatians 5:19-21 for some of the works of the flesh)
We cannot produce godly fruit on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us. Once we have accepted God’s gift of Salvation, it is our responsibility to listen to the Spirit to know what to do. For example, have you ever felt a nudge to do something nice for someone but didn’t do it? Then later you remembered and felt bad? That is the Holy Spirit teaching you. Our flesh doesn’t want to do nice things for others. It’s the Holy Spirit living in us that convicts us and teaches us.
Fruit is the natural result of growth.
A fruitful Christian life comes from our devotion to God. The basics are Bible reading and prayer. Every day as we read and pray, God is working in us through the Holy Spirit to make us in His image. I don’t understand it, but trust His word which says that is what is happening when we obey the ‘still small voice’, even though we do not want to.
The right motive comes from devotion to God. We want to please Him, not sin against Him. Joseph didn’t sin with Potiphar’s wife because of Potiphar. Joseph didn’t want to sin again God. See Genesis 39:9
“Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Notice the verse does not say the “fruits” of the Spirit, but fruit. The fruit, or result, of the Spirit working in our lives is that we become not just some but all of these things: more loving, more patient, more faithful, and so forth. This verse is not a to-do list for us to work through, but a description of the transformation that occurs when God’s Spirit begins to work in us. ~Keri Wyatt Kent
Some fruit is more difficult to apply than others. Take the fruit of ‘Kindness’ for example. Do you know someone that shows kindness no matter what? They may have been blessed with this trait but will have to work extra hard, through prayer and Bible study, to grow in a more difficult trait. A person who is blessed with kindness may have a difficult time with self-control in some areas.
Growth is never finished. Growth is progressive.
Paul wrote that he “pressed on” in Philippians 3:12.
He worked at it. He pressed on. He didn’t give up. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why do I bother to try?” Because as a devoted Christian, I desire to be led and taught by the Holy Spirit to live my best Christian life. I don’t always get it right. I fail daily. We won’t be perfected until we meet Jesus in Heaven, but until then, we trust the Holy Spirit to help us. My prayer is for others to desire this also. I’m so glad you’re here so we can learn together. Please subscribe below so you don’t miss a new update by email.
Which godly character traits are easier for you? Which are harder?