In the Christian life, we are gifted with eternal life (our works cannot save us), but we can bear good fruits for our Lord and savior. There are a lot of misconceptions around the fruit of the spirit, coming out especially from modern Bibles that do not utilize the King James Version.
The misconceptions are covered in the following section.
Meaning of the Fruit of the Spirit
- The fruit of the Holy Spirit comes from yielding.
Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
The work of the Holy Spirit is a result that comes from the Spirit itself.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is a talent given by the Spirit for a certain Christian to use.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a result of yielding to the Spirit, not from selfish ambitions and not to fleshly desires.
- Notice that fruit here is in the singular form. It lists the oneness of all of those nine elements.
Without all nine elements of the spiritual fruit, one cannot be complete as a fruitful Christian.
Galatians 5:22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
- Fruits are better than gifts.
Philippians 4:17: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”
List of the Fruits
The reason why men should love God is that He is love.
1 John 4:8-10: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
If one truly loves God, he is going to have a love for His words.
John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
If men love God, they are going to make a big deal of the different words in over 200 different Bibles. They want the right word of God, don’t want the differences, and do not tolerate them.
The greatest commandment in the Bible is loving God and the brethren.
Matthew 22:37-40: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
John 13:35: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Why would Hollywood stars or millionaires take drugs and eventually kill themselves if they think that joy is found in this world?
John 15:10-11: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
True joy is having joy even in adversities.
Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
A Christian who went through the worst life can still have more joy than a lost soul who had the best life.
The hardship that one goes through is temporary and that hardship will turn into a blessing. God is going to use it for good and His payback of joy will far outweigh the temporary moment wherein one went through pain.
1 Peter 1:6-8: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”
The peace one needs is the peace that passeth all understanding. It satisfies a worried mind.
Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
In order to not let worries control a person, he should let the peace of God control him.
Colossians 3:15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
Unlike the troubles that this world is going through, one has peace in the midst of his troubles.
John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
- Longsuffering or Patience
Suffer means to put up with, to bear.
Long means for a long time.
Long suffering goes beyond being a patient person.
Colossians 1:11: “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”
In order to show much goodness toward a wicked person.
Romans 2:4: “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
If God shows that much longsuffering with men, they should show so much more to others.
Colossians 3:12-13: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
v 11 Gentleness in telling people how to get right with God.
1 Thessalonians 2:5-7: “For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:”
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12: “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
Churches are not gentle when they flatter members or aim for positivity with people.
The only reason men are alive today and are able to accomplish anything for God is because of His gentleness.
Psalm 18:35: “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
Men must have the gentleness of Christ. This does not mean that they should be gentle forever. There are times when they should approach more boldly like if a person won’t heed to their gentleness. There’s a limitation to that. After that gentleness, they must be bold.
2 Corinthians 10:1-2: “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.”
His goodness makes a Christian rich in good works.
1 Timothy 6:18: “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”
A Christian is warned to maintain good works. Otherwise, he’ll become unfruitful.
Titus 3:14: “And let our’s also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.”
A person who does not read and live by the Bible is incomplete in good works. The Bible gives one everything he needs to be furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
People who are lost can never have Christian faith until they hear the word of God.
Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
After salvation by faith, men can now begin to build upon their faith and grow as Christians.
2 Corinthians 10:15: “Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,”
The Holy Spirit can gift different measures of faith depending on one’s level of faith in Jesus Christ. Men can’t get the gifts until they get the fruits first, which is why fruits are far more important than gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:4-9: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;”
It’s very mild, calm, soothing, and humble.
It makes one’s anger mild. Anger and fits of rage are the opposite of meekness. It’s pride.
Meekness is total humility and says, “I am nothing, I am a sinner, a bum without God, why should I get angry about this when I deserve worse?”
Zephaniah 2:3: “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.”
Christians should not have partial meekness but show all meekness.
Titus 3:2: “To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
A Christian should have righteous anger, but it doesn’t mean that he should consistently be an angry man.
If a person is known as an angry man throughout the day, then it shows that he’s got an issue.
Ephesians 4:26: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
This fruit is especially important because if one doesn’t have this fruit, he’s going to miss one of the five crowns in Heaven.
The Incorruptible Crown.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
The more men know what God wants them to do, the more they know what to control within themselves. That’s a sign of the next level of spiritual maturity.
When they complain about the way things are carried out in the church, it shows a lack of self-control. Why complain about people who are striving for more spiritual things? It shows that they are yielding more to the flesh (and sinful desires) than to the Spirit, that’s why they have bad fruit.
2 Peter 1:6: “And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;”
Activity of the Fruits
1. Die to sin
Every sin one has in their life should be crucified in order to produce fruit.
John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
cf Romans 6:11: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
2. Men exist because they are to bear fruit.
Men exist because of Jesus Christ for without Him they cannot do anything.
John 15:2: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
If a person is not bringing forth fruit, then his existence is for naught.
Luke 13:9: “And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”
3. A fruitless Christian will not bear the favor of God.
If they are fruitless, they should not expect God to answer their prayers.
One can tell if a person is good or bad by their fruits.
Don’t mistake this with accomplishments, i.e. a lot of fruits. It’s not the quantity, but the quality. Don’t look at the size of the church or the number of subscribers or offerings. They must look at the quality and if it does not have evil fruits within.
Matthew 7:20: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Matthew 12:33: “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.”
4. A Christian tree cannot have evil and good fruits. God will not tolerate that.
James 3:10: “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
James 3:12: “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
5. The source of one’s fruits is found in God alone.
Hosea 14:8: “Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.”
John 15:4: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
Ephesians 3:17: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,”
6. To hear and love by the word of God
7. Being fruitful in a certain work will increase other fruits.
Don’t judge by the quantity, rather the quality; and when we do quality, the quantity follows.
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