The Fruit of
the Spirit - Gal. 5:22-23
5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness,
self-control; against such things there is no law." Now, quick,
without looking, how many fruit are there of the Spirit? Take a
guess and then count to see if you got it right. Did you get it
right? Did you get nine? If you did, you're wrong because there is
only ONE fruit of the Spirit, that's right, just one. In Greek the
word for "fruit" is "karpos" and it is in the singular. So, to
translate this a little loosely, it could read like this. "But
the single fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness,
self-control..." This means that all of these graces listed are
one group that go together as a unit.
Now, this little tidbit of information is important. First of
all, notice that the fruit of the Spirit is just that, of the
Spirit. It is not your fruit, but the fruit of the Spirit of God.
This is because God is love (1 John 4:8) and He lives in the
believer (John 14:23). This means that it is the work of God the
Holy Spirit in you to bear this fruit. Of course, you cooperate
with God in bearing this fruit and you absolutely need to seek to
develop it, but it is God who is "...at work in you, both to will
and to work for His good pleasure," (Phil. 2:13). Of course, we
know that it is God's good pleasure that you love and bear the fruit
Second, if it is all one fruit, then all the nine things listed
there are already yours in the Spirit of God. In other words, all
nine things are really one thing that you have because the Holy
Spirit indwells you -- if you are a Christian, that is. You see, if
you are loving, then will you not have joy? If you are loving, will
you not also have peace? If you are loving, will you not also be
patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self controlled? It
could easily be said that love is the tree that bears the fruit of
joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and
self control. If you have love, the love of God in your heart
because of your belief and faith in Jesus and His sacrifice, then
all the other graces listed there are yours too. You just need to
But, when you examine yourself you might notice that some of
the fruit (speaking of individual aspects of love here) are not all
that well developed. You might be kind and good, but need to work
on your patience. You might have great joy and peace but need work
on self-control and gentleness. None of us are perfect and we all
have areas of improvement. But, all Christians have the Spirit of
God and therefore, they have the fruit of the Spirit of God in
them. It is there, if only in developing form, but it is there.
Now, this is important. Why is it there? I want you to focus
on this following point. The fruit of the Spirit of God is in you
because, if you are a Christian, you have been bought with a price.
You have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, God in flesh (john
1:1,14), who died on the cross for your sins (1 Pet. 2:24). It is
only because of what Jesus did that you can ever hope to be good, or
gentle, or kind, or patient, or loving, or anything. You cannot
truly live these things without the Spirit of God in you.
Finally, it is by faith that you walk before God (Hab. 2:4).
It is by faith that you seek the Lord and seek to manifest the love
of His Spirit in you. It is important because the unbelievers need
to see those graces working in you. They are an evidence of your
conversion and a testimony of God's indwelling.
So, ask yourself if you are loving or trying to show love not
only to God but also to people. Then, go back and count those fruit
again. When you get to "one", stop and ask the Lord to develop that
in your heart.
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