A Methodist from Ghana who has been searching the scriptures to discover scriptural truth.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, self-control; against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Fruit of the Spirit
God is triune. That is, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the study of dispensations or dispensationalism, we are made to believe that God the Father and God the son have left us with the third person of the Godhead—the Holy Spirit—today to enable us walk in His righteous ways. The Holy Spirit mainly began His work after Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
The Holy Spirit comes to live with and in the life of every believer of Christ as promised in the holy scriptures. And the book of Galatians explicitly states the fruit (not fruits) which He (Holy Spirit) bears on the outside of that believer that He indwells. It is called fruit because all these characteristics must be found in the person having the spirit dwelling in him or her. You can't portray some and despise some. They are exhibited in a holistic manner. They are not mutually exclusive. For instance, you can't be loving and be haughty or not gentle at the same time. If that's you, then I am afraid, it is not the work of the Holy Spirit.
Let us consider the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the Christian.
The first fruit of the Spirit—no matter what translation of the Bible one uses. This love is from the Greek word Agape which means "the greatest form of love." There has not been a definite definition of love because of it's encompassing nature. Nevertheless, the Bible defines love as God. The very essence of God is love. God is love and whosoever loves is of God because that's precisely who He is—Love. The love of God is deep. The Bible says in Romans 8:38 and 39 that absolutely nothing can be able to separate us from the love of God—life, death, height, depth, angels, principalities, things present, things to come—none of these can.
You can read my article on "what true love is all about."
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It is from the Greek word Chara which means "gladness; cheerfulness, ever rejoicing." The will of God for man is to see man rejoicing with great joy. The Bible says in Luke 1 verse 14 that God told Zachariah, the husband of Elizabeth, that he will have joy and gladness, when they have a son, and that many will rejoice at his birth. God always want our hearts to be filled with exceeding joy. Jesus said that He has spoken this things to them, that His joy may be in them, and that their joy may be full. That's exactly what the Spirit does in lives. He completes our joy. The whole city of Samaria was filled with joy when the disciples did wonders and performed miracles in the name of Jesus Christ (Act 8:8). Are you looking for joy? Is your joy incomplete? Seek Jesus now and His Spirit will fill your heart with an inexpressible joy.
This peace is from the Greek word Eirene which means a state of tranquility, felicity, safety. In other words, the tranquil state of a soul assured of it's salvation through Jesus Christ, and so fearing nothing from God, content with it's earthly lot. This peace doesn't mean having possessions, security, absence of wars whatsoever. This is the peace which transcends all human understanding. Jesus, after his resurrection, says to His disciples, " Peace be unto you" whenever He appears unto them. Romans 5: 1 tells us that through Jesus Christ, we have peace with God. Jesus is peace. And the Spirit which is His promise to us bears this fruit. Romans 8:6 says that setting our mind on things of the flesh is death, but setting our mind on things of the spirit is life and peace. Do you have this peace? Let the peace of God rule in your hearts by surrendering your whole being unto Jesus Christ.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:7 (RSV)
Long-suffering is from the Greek word Makrothumia which means Patience, endurance, perseverance, steadfastness, fortitude, and slowness in avenging wrongs. Long-suffering or patience is the ability to tolerate nonsense, defeat, delay, and to wait for the fulfillment of promises and the like. Patience, the Bible says, can move mountains. And this is the patience that flows from the Spirit of God inside the believer. The story of Job is a typical illustration of steadfastness. The result is obvious. He had received in double his possessions after waiting on the Lord for so many years of tribulations and afflictions. James 5 exhorts each and everyone of us to be patient until the coming of the Lord (vs 7). But our patience can only be complete if you surrender to leading of the Holy Spirit, for from the Spirit flows long-suffering.
Don't think God is dead. The forbearance of God is to see you saved. He waits in patience because of salvation.
— Ernest Festus Awudey
Gentleness is from the Greek word Chrestotes which means moral goodness, moral excellence and integrity. It also means kindness. The gentleness of God is to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Bible says that no one can withstand the wrath of God. He is therefore kind or gentle towards us because He wants to bring us to repentance and to His saving grace. God therefore exhorts us to be kind towards one another (Colossians 3:12). Having high moral excellence—integrity. The Bible says that the integrity of the upright protects him. This gentleness can only become possible by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Faith is another fruit of the Spirit. It is from the Greek word Pistis which means conviction of the truth about something, with the included idea of trust. Hebrews 11 verse 1 explicitly defines faith. Faith is believing in the unseen. A strong assurance or believe that God exists. The kind of faith that move mountains is the faith that the Holy Spirit gives to all those who surrender to His leading. Read my article on "the role of faith in stepping into the supernatural" for my full exposition on faith.
Meekness is from the Greek word Praotes which means mildness, humility. Jesus was meek on earth because He has the indwelling of the Spirit. Philippians 2: 5-8 tells us that Jesus who was fully God, did not count equality with God, but condescended in the form of man, emptied himself, and took the form of a servant and humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. The result of meekness is that God will exalt you and you will inherit the earth ( Matthew 5:5). The Holy Spirit is our source of strength to remain meek, even if we are being overly exploited.
Temperance is from the Greek word Egkrateia which means self-control. One attitude in life which brings even successful men down is lack of self-control. Self-control or temperance is the virtue which enables one to master his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites, and have them put under subjection. I Peter 1:6 instructs us to "add to knowledge, self-control".
Let's therefore surrender our lives to God that we may have this values implanted right in our spirit and in our souls.
Remember that against these things, there is no law.
© 2020 Ernest Festus Awudey