Galatians 5: 22 - 23 says that
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.
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Galatians 5: 22-23
Ephesians 5: 9-10
2 Peter 1: 3-12
Ephesians 6: 11-18
2 Peter 1: 4 says these things make us share the nature of God.
The fruit is mentioned in the following lists:
- Fruit. The attributes of the Spirit. The character of God that we will have as children of God and good citizens of heaven.
- Armor. The attributes we need to resist Satan. It is very significant that the weapons that we will use to fight Satan are our permanent characters.
- Beatitudes. The characteristics of the saints listed by Jesus in the sermon on the mount
- Spirit Of The Commandments. The spirit of the law of love. It is the commandments that we will obey. It is people who obey the law that the Spirit is trying to create.
All of God's laws are based on love.
- The Divine Nature. The fruit are the nature of God, our evidence of perfection.
Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1: 3-4, 8)
- The Promise (Eternal). The promise is to write the law into our minds and heart.
- Fruitful (Permanent). The divine nature is the fruit of the Spirit. Darkness is unfruitful.
for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth,
trying to learn what is pleasing to God.
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.
(Ephesians 5: 9-11)
- Useful (Temporary). The gifts of the Spirit are given so that we can work for God.
But someone may say, "You have faith, and I have works;
show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works"
(James 2: 18)
|Fruit ||Armor ||Beatitudes ||Commandments ||Divine Nature |
|Galatians 5: 22 ||Ephesians 6: 11-18 ||Matthew 5 ||Exodus 20 ||2 Peter 1: 3-12 |
|Love, joy ||- || ||- ||All || Love |
|-||Salvation ||Helmet ||- ||- || Life |
|Moral ||Righteousness||Breastplate||Righteousness ||All || Moral excellence |
|Truth ||Truth ||Belt||- ||Do not lie || Truth |
|Faithful ||Faith ||Shield||- ||- || Diligent Faith |
|Goodness ||- ||Pure in heart ||Adultery || Godliness |
|Self control ||- ||- ||Do not steal. |
Do not covet.
| Self control |
|Gentle, kind ||Meek ||Merciful || Brotherly kindness |
|Peace ||Peace ||Shoes||Peace makers ||Do not kill || Grace and peace |
|Patience ||Perseverance, prayer||Alert ||Persecuted||- || Perseverance |
|Learn what pleases God. (Knowledge)||Word of God ||Sword ||Salt of the earth |
Light of the world
|The first four commandments||Knowledge |
Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit is our armor and protection against evil. They make us share the divine nature of God which is obedient to the laws of God.
The Better Way
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul calls these the better way - they are far superior to the spectacular gifts.
While the gifts will expire at the Second Coming, the Fruit will last forever.
The fruit are permanent changes in us that is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit.
While we may have only some of the gifts of the Spirit, we must have all of the fruit.
The development of the fruit is God's method of fulfilling the covenant by writing the law in our hearts.
These things are more important than the law. Why?
The law (Ten Commandments) is still in effect, but it is inadequate. It is written for sinners not for those who want to share God's nature.
If you notice the law, it is very limited. It is written in negative words.
They law can only tell you what you cannot do, it cannot tell you what you should do
because that list will never end.
If the law listed ten good things that people should do, then people could assume
that any other good thing is unnecessary.
Therefore, the law does not attempt to tell you what you can do.
That is why Jesus calls it the perfect law of liberty. You are free to do good!
The law can never describe the full dimension of good.
While the law can tell you not to steal, it does not tell you to give generously of what
you earned legally. It cannot legislate kindness.
It cannot put a quantity on kindness.
Yet, if a person lived only by the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law
He is guilty of breaking the law of Love.
The fruit of the Spirit is the moral and spiritual aspect of the law.
The Fruit And The Gifts
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things
pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin.
(Hebrews 5: 1)
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God gave Christ as a gift. His gift of life protects us from the past. It justifies us.
If you knew the gift of God and who is was who says to you,
"Give Me a drink", you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. (John 4: 10)
Christ gave the Holy Spirit as a Gift. His fruit sanctifies us because it leads to obedience to the word.
Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ ... and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2: 38)
Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth. (John 17: 17)
The Holy Spirit gives many spiritual gifts to the church (Hebrews 2: 4). This fruit multiplies us.
The fruit is given to the believer who is being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
The gifts are given to the believer as they become a part of the body of Christ.
The fruit is given to be fruitful, the gifts are given to be useful (2 Peter 1: 8).
Christ gave us the Gift of the Holy Spirit and the gift of eternal life. The Holy Spirit is a gift who comes with many gifts.
These secondary gifts are temporary and are available to the believer only.
Everything else is eternal and is available to all humans.
But some fruit are given as gifts to both the believer and unbeliever.
God gives a measure of faith to everyone (Romans 1: 19 and Romans 12: 3).
because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (Romans 1: 19)
God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12: 3)
The Sign To The World
Many people believe that the sign of the presence of God, and the sign of the Holy Spirit
are the miraculous gifts. Others focus on the gift of tongues.
But John 17 clearly states the only sign that God wants to show the world as proof of His love.
It is our love and unity. This happens only because of the mature fruit of the Spirit.
That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they may also be in Us,
so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know
that You sent Me, and loved them even as You loved Me.
(John 17: 21, 23)
The Fruit And The New Covenant
God promised a better covenant, built on better sacrifices.
A part of this better way is to write the law of God into our minds and hearts.
To take away the heart of stone.
To accomplish this He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us God's ways, to write the law in our hearts
and to make us obedient to God.
The result of this process is that we have the nature of God in the fruit of the Spirit.
By this Jesus magnifies the law.
Instead of abandoning the Ten Commandments, He shows how inadequate they are to describe the behavior of people who will live in heaven.
The Ten Commandments are designed for people who want to continually do evil.
It is the minimum standard.
- Love. All the law and prophets were based on two principles of love.
| Holy Spirit|| Self|
| Fruit|| Famine|
| Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible for us to produce the righteousness of God|
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. (Deuteronomy 30: 6; Luke 10: 27)
- Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19: 18,34. Matthew 22: 37,39)
- Truth. You should not lie by refusing to clarify a mistake or by telling an untruth. But you should also encourage, praise and complement.
- Goodness, Righteousness. Moral, pure in heart
- Gentleness, Kindness . Instead of stealing, learn how to give.
- Mercy. Forgiving and forgetting. It is this quality of God that has given us another chance.
- Peace. One who advocates peace must be willing to sacrifice pride and the need to feel justified.
- Joy. True joy comes from realizing that God is in control, no matter how the situation seems.
- Self Control. Do not be self centered. Do not focus on immediate gratification.
- Patience. Waiting without losing faith. To put our lives in perspective, we need to see the world from the perspective and time table of God.
- Learn What Pleases God. Show kindness to God. Make Him happy that you are alive.
What pleases God is for us to keep His commandments and to love each other.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6: 8)
Study to show yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15
||Time: 12 minutes
Print: 3 pages
Updated : August 30, 2004
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)