The Fruit of the Spirit Gal. 5:22-23 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The fruit of the Spirit is spiritual and therefore much different than something that is carnal or emotional. Without the Spirit of God in you, you are hopeless to manifest any of these characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. Since they are fruit, they should grow and mature with time. Since they are fruit they can rot or be choked by encroaching vines, if neglected. Since they are fruit, they are often imitated like fake apples in a bowl on a coffee table.
The fruit of the Spirit includes:
Love – Rom 5:5 it is the love of God. The same love that God has for us manifests itself in us so that we can love others exactly as God loves us. This love is not lust. Its strength is not in a feeling. It is not emotional and fickle. It is sacrificial and giving love.
Joy – Neh 8:10 it is the joy of the Lord. It manifests itself in trial and affliction [2 Cor 8:1-4]. It is not emotional and doesn’t require a stimulus to cause you to feel joy. Joy is what was set before Christ when he went to the cross.
Peace – Phil 4:6-7 it is the peace of God. It passes all understanding and it keeps your heart and mind. There is a war with the devil and a war with the flesh through which you can have peace. There are noises, chaos and distractions all around us but this peace prevails. This is perfect peace [Is 26:3]. It is the peace that allowed Jesus to sleep through a raging storm and it is the peace he used to calm the storm [Mk 4:39].
Longsuffering – Ex 34:6 it is the longsuffering of God. It is the ability to put up with or suffer through something for a long time without faltering [Col 3:12].
Gentleness – Ps 18:35 it is the gentleness of God. It comes from the Spirit through the wisdom of God [Jas 3:17]. Just as gentle horses are often gentle because of the gentle riders who handle them so we are made gentle by the gentleness of God who lives in us.
Goodness – Ex 34:6 it is the goodness of God [Rom 2:4]. Men are not good [Ecc 7:20]. However, his goodness is what allows us to be good. In other words you don’t “do” good and then hope to “be” good. The Spirit makes you good and then you do good.
Faith – Eph 2:8 it is the faith of Christ [Gal 2:16]. The words of God are given to us by inspiration of the Spirit of God and they manifest in us unfeigned faith [Rom 10:17; 1 Tim 1:5]. Faith is what allows you to see the unseen when you believe the words of God [Heb 11:1].
Meekness – Matt 11:29 it is the meekness of Christ. Jesus was meek and he was the Spirit incarnate. Moses was meek but his meekness came from the Spirit [Num 12:3; Num 11:24-25; Deut 34:9]. Meekness makes you humbly responsive to God’s every command. Jesus said, “I do always those things that please him.”
Temperance – Jn 4:32 it is the temperance of Christ. He never stopped short in the ministry because he couldn’t control his appetites [Mk 3:20]. We must, through the Spirit, keep the body under subjection [1 Cor 9:25-27]. We are crucified with Christ. That way the flesh doesn’t get in the way of what the Spirit is doing. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Conclusion: These nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit produce in you godliness and with godliness comes contentment. When you have the fruit of the Spirit there is nothing else you need. With these, you’ll be where God wants you to be, when God wants you to be there, doing what the Lord wants you doing, the way he wants you to do it.