Updated: Oct 20, 2022
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
As I was finishing up my Armor of God series, I thought about what I would write about next. I came across the fruit of the spirit and thought that would be a good study to do. There are nine fruits of the Spirit mentioned: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Why are they called fruit of the Spirit? We often think of fruit in regard to plants, but it can also be used to indicate the gain, or produce, from something. In this case, these nine items are what the Holy Spirit produces in a Christian. It does not come instantly, but takes time to grow and flourish, along with nutrients. If a Christian is not walking with the Lord and seeking His will, the Spirit’s work in his life will be weak, and the fruit will quickly wither.
When God lists items in the Bible, they are usually in a particular order. Looking at this list, it seems that a fruit is produced by the previous one. The first is love, and usually comes quickly after a Christian is saved. “We love him, because he first loved us.” With that love comes joy. A person without love usually does not have a happy personality. Nor does someone who is in sin and out of the will of God. Therefore, joy is evidence of a close and pure walk with God, which will bring along peace. Longsuffering is in close relation to patience. Speaking from experience here, but someone without peace usually has an easier time snapping back at people and losing their patience. So once peace is in a Christian’s life, longsuffering soon follows and brings along gentleness. Someone who is patient won’t be as harsh or violent, since they can control their emotions. Gentleness brings along goodness, which in turns carries faith. With true faith in God, a Christian realizes how their “righteousness is as filthy rags”, and learns to be humble and meek. That finally brings along temperance, which is basically a control of emotion and desire.
As you can see, the fruit of the Spirit is not just in some random order that Paul decided to put them in. It is a timeline of the Christian’s walk and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Each one is hinged on the other.
I’ll look at each one, starting with love, and working down the list. I am quite busy with work and other activities, so it may take time for me to get to each one. But I hope they’ll be a blessing to you. I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the fruit of the Spirit.