What is the Fruit of the Spirit

What is this fruit of the Spirit?

There are several references to the fruit of the Spirit in the Bible.

(Gal 5:22-23 NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(Col 3:12 NIV) Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

(2 Pet 1:5-8 NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; {6} and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; {7} and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. {8} For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The list of virtues that God intended for us to put on is by no means exhaustively listed in these verses. Nonetheless, these verses give us a good starting point to study the good virtues that a Christian needs to put on.

Why are we to put on the fruit of the Spirit?

It is a commandment from God.

(Eph 4:22-24 NIV) You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; {23} to be made new in the attitude of your minds; {24} and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Verse 22 urges all Christians to put off our old self which is sinful. Putting off the old self alone is not good enough. God does not intend for us to be a vacuum or a neutral being. The study of the fruit of the Spirit concerns putting on the new self which Christ intended for all Christians to have.

Question : Why are these virtues important?

(2 Pet 1:5-8 NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; {6} and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; {7} and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. {8} For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But the point is that a Christian must make an effort to add virtues to his life not to earn salvation but to glorify God.

(1 Tim 4:8 NIV) For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

How are we to put on the fruit of the Spirit?

(1 Tim 4:7 NIV) Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

(Heb 12:14 NIV) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

(Titus 1:1 NIV) Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness-

(2 Cor 3:18 NKJV) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

(Phil 2:13 NIV) for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

(1 Th 3:13 NIV) May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

We have misunderstood the term living by faith to mean that no effort on our part is needed to put on the virtues of God.

(Gal 2:20 NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

(2 Pet 1:3 NIV) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

What are our rewards for putting on the fruit of the Spirit?

(1 Tim 6:6 KJV) But godliness with contentment is great gain.

(1 Tim 4:7-8 NIV) Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. {8} For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

This verse says that godliness has value for all things, not just for the life to come but also for the present life. Think of what

Others

(2 Tim 3:1-5 NIV) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. {2} People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, {3} without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, {4} treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Do not try to master all the positive traits of godliness at once. If you do so, your efforts would be too scattered and you may not make any significant progress in any area. In such times, it is easy for the devil to discourage you in your desire to be more godly.

Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you one or two traits which He wants you to work towards. These may well be the ones you have most difficulty in. Work on these first and monitor your progress. When you feel comfortable with these, you may then move on.

(2 Tim 3:1-5 NIV) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. {2} People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, {3} without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, {4} treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.