Fruit of the Spirit

In Galatians 5, Paul lists the fruit of the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”(Galatians 5:22- 23) Through the Spirit, God develops within us the character foundations for living. As the Spirit moves in your life, He reveals Jesus’ character to you so that you become more and more like Him: loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, good, kind, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. These character qualities will make you fruitful in life.

Before Paul began discussing the fruit of the Spirit, he listed the works of the flesh. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.(Galatians 5:19-21) Notice I called them “works” (or deeds), not fruit. They are called works of the flesh, because when we do anything in our own power, the end result is “works”, or man’s attempts.

As the Holy Spirit leads you to maturity, what is the end result? Fruit, not works. Fruit is an indication of a systemic filling. The word “systemic” means that something goes all the way into the roots and fills everything throughout the whole system. When the Holy Spirit fills me, He moves into every area of my life: the way I think, the way I see, and the way I speak. In other words, I ambaptizo’d, or baptized, permeated, filled, and waterlogged with the Holy Spirit. I am changed. Instead of producing works of the flesh, I produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Let’s look at 2 Peter 1:4-10 (parentheses mine):

“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature (or become more like Him), having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (or the works of the flesh).” (verse 4)

Now watch this:

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith, supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge (In other words, “I want you to be knowledgeable about the gifts of the Spirit…”) and in your knowledge, self-control (Oh, that’s a fruit of the Spirit!), and in your self-control, perseverance (Ah, another character quality, or fruit!), and in your perseverance, godliness(And another…), and in your godliness, brotherly kindness (Hmm … more fruit…), and in your brotherly kindness, love (Are you seeing a pattern?)…

For if these qualities (What kind of qualities? Character qualities of Christ.) are yours and are increasing (or moving forward), they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind and shortsighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing for you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.” (verses 5-10)

What great verses! Peter said, “Be growing in the fruit of the Spirit, because as you do, you are neither useless, nor unfruitful, in the true knowledge of Christ and you become partakers of the divine nature.” In other words, as you grow with the Holy Spirit leading you and you cooperate with the fruit of the Spirit, you become more and more like Jesus.

Can I be a Christian and quench the Holy Spirit? Yes, it happens all the time. I quench the Holy Spirit, if I refuse to be loving, if I refuse to be reasonable, if I don’t want to be peaceful, if I’d rather be angry, then I am grieving the Holy Spirit. He is trying to produce something in my life and I’m moving in the opposite direction, rejecting His ways.

One of the best ways to delight the Holy Spirit is to partner with what He is producing in your life. If He is working to produce love, then be a loving person. Practice being loving, put effort into being loving. When you are cooperating in the fruit growing process, it delights the Holy Spirit.”

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