THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”– Galatians 5:22-23

Contrasted to the acts of the sinful nature is a single-minded lifestyle called “the fruit of the Spirit.”  This is produced in God’s children as they allow the Spirit to so direct and influence their lives that they destroy sin’s power, especially the acts of the sinful nature, and walk in fellowship with God – Rom. 8:5-14; 2 Cor. 6:6; Eph. 4:2-3; 5:9; Col. 3:12-15; 2 Pet. 1:4-9.  The fruit of the Spirit includes:

“Love” – a caring for and seeking the highest good of another person without  motive of personal gain.

“Joy” – the feeling of gladness based on the love, grace, blessings, promises and nearness of God that belong to those who believe in Christ – Ps. 119:16; 2 Cor. 6:10; 12:9; 1 Pet. 1:8; Phil. 1:14.
“Peace” – the rest of heart and mind based on the knowledge that all is well between the believer and his or her heavenly Father, resulting in freedom from the turmoil of anxiety – Rom. 15:33; Phil. 4:7; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20.
“Patience”– endurance, long suffering; being slow to anger or despair –Eph. 4:2; 2 Tim. 3:10; Heb. 13:20.
“Kindness” – not wanting to hurt anyone or cause them pain – Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12; 1Pet. 2:3.
“Goodness” – zeal for truth and righteousness and a hatred of evil; it can be expressed in acts of kindness – Luke 7:37-50, or in rebuking and correcting evil – Mt. 21:12-13.
“Faithfulness” – firm and unswerving loyalty to a person to whom one is united by promise, commitment, trust and honesty – Mt. 23:23; Rom. 3:3; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:2; 4:7; Titus 2:10.
“Gentleness” – restraint coupled with strength and courage; it describes a person who can be angry when anger is needed and humbly submissive when submission is needed – 2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:15; for gentleness in Jesus, compare Mt. 11:29 with Mt. 23 with Mk. 3:5; in Paul, compare 2 Cor.10:1 with 10:4-6 and Gal. 19, in Moses compare Num. 12:3 with Ex. 32:19-20.
“Self-control” – mastering one’s desire and passions, including faithfulness to one’s marriage vows; also purity – 1 Cor. 7:9; 9:25; Tit. 1:8; 2:5. 
Paul’s final comment about the fruit of the Spirit indicates that there are no restrictions to the lifestyle indicated here.  Christians can – in fact, must – practice these virtues over and over again; they will never discover a law prohibiting them from living according to these principles.

STAY BLESSED

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