The Fruit of the Spirit
Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
The fruit of the Spirit comes from God and is to be practiced by believers as a result of their relationship with Jesus Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Holy Spirit. The fruit is singular in number but with nine elements. 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.”
1. Related to God:
—Love: A self-sacrificing, self-denying, and Christ-like love, which is the foundation of all other graces. This is agape love. All fruit results from agape love. I Corinthians 13.
—Joy: Deep, abiding inner rejoicing in the Lord. Joy comes from the Lord by focusing on Him. Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Psalm 95:1: “O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Isaiah 51:11: “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Christians have so much to rejoice in and look forward to!
2. Related to Man - Loving others with the love of Christ flowing through us:
—Long suffering: Patient endurance despite provocation. Ephesians 4:1-3: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
3. Related to Self - Our inner being under God’s sovereign control:
—Faith: Fidelity. Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 4:5: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
The only way to produce the fruit of the Spirit is through a relationship with the Holy Spirit. This involves daily yielding to God. How does one yield to God?
2. You must feed on the Word of God. Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
3. You must pray. Ask God for help when temptation comes. 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
4. You must avoid all appearances of evil. I Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
5. You must ask other Christians for help. Galatians 6:1-2: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
We are to produce spiritual fruit, but we cannot do it without God. We need to walk by faith and allow God to transform us by His grace. Galatians 5:25: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”