The fruit of the Spirit is a singular fruit. Its various qualities are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness, temperance. All of these manifest themselves in you in the same proportion.
All of these are qualities of God’s character. God is love, 1 Jn 4:8. Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you”, Jn 15:11. And he said, “my peace I give unto you”, Jn 14:27.
According to Jn 15:1-8, you must abide in Christ and his words must abide in you for you to bear this fruit, and you must walking in the Spirit, Gal 5:16. Christians that don’t have this fruit are not abiding in Christ, his words are not abiding in them, and they are not walking in the Spirit.
Love – 1 Jn 4:8, God is love. So this is not natural affection. This is godly love. When you have this love, you love Jesus, Jn 14:15, 23, his words, Ps 119:163-167, and the brethren, 1 Jn 4:20-5:2, and you don’t love the world, Jas 2:15-17, Jas 4:4. This is why we can love our wives as Christ loved the church, Eph 5:25.
The love that is the fruit of the Spirit is a love that does not need to be reciprocated. In 2 Cor 12:15 Paul wrote, “the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved”. Jesus loved the rich ruler who turned him down, Mk 10:21. And we can even love our enemies, Matt 5:44.
Joy – Jn 15:11 my joy. Jesus spoke of his joy right before going to the cross, Heb 12:2. In Acts 20:24 Paul told the Ephesian elders, “that I might finish my course with joy”, 2 Cor 11:23-30.
The joy of the Lord is manifested in affliction, 2 Cor 8:2, 1 Thes 1:6. That’s how we can rejoice evermore, 1 Thes 5:16. When Nehemiah told the Jews that the joy of the Lord is your strength, Neh 8:10, they were in the midst of a great trial.
Peace – Jn 14:27 my peace. Jesus said this before going to the cross. When he appeared to them after his resurrection, he said, “Peace be unto you”, Jn 20:19. In Acts 27:22-25 the Lord gave Paul peace in the midst of that horrible storm. He didn’t have to wait for Jesus to say “Peace, be still”, Mark 4:39.
Get to the place of peace first before dealing with your situation. The peace is experienced in the trial, Phil 4:6-7. See Ps 3:5-6 with Ps 4:8. The Lord is the one who gives you peace, sleep, and safety. Is 26:3 shows us that we have perfect peace when our mind is stayed on the Lord.
For the next lesson in this three-part series, see Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness.