The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 1)

The Fruit of the SpiritText: Galatians 5:22-23

In these verses, Paul talked about the fruit of the Spirit. Several character traits are listed. They are the natural product of the Spirit’s influence on our lives. This affects our conduct as we “walk by the Spirit” (v. 16) and our decisions as we are “led by the Spirit” (v. 18). The Spirit influences us through the word that He revealed (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16). Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit will be produced as we follow the word of God.

Love

  • Greek word is different from romantic love or brotherly love – it signifies good will or benevolence; it is about putting others ahead of ourselves; more than a mere emotion; it necessarily involves action
  • Love will be demonstrated in our conduct in a couple of ways – love for God will be shown through obedience (John 14:15); love for others will be demonstrated in our actions to do good and not harm (Romans 13:10; 1 John 3:16)
  • Love will influence our decisions – we will consider how our actions affect others (Philippians 2:3-4); put them first

Joy

  • Means gladness or cheerfulness – opposite of sorrow; more than just happiness; it enables us to rejoice even in difficult and painful circumstances
  • Joy is demonstrated as we rejoice in the Lord in all things (Philippians 4:4) – praise, glorify, and worship Him; we can do this as we look for and find the good in the challenges we face (James 1:2-4)
  • Joy also influences our decisions – shapes the way we think about difficult circumstances; remember the example of Jesus (Hebrews 12:2); we will face difficulties (1 Peter 4:12), but we are to “keep on rejoicing” (1 Peter 4:13); this does not mean everything will turn out as we want it to in this life, but we have hope beyond it

Peace

  • Used to describe tranquility, security, harmony – “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ…” (Thayer)
  • Starts with us having peace with God (Romans 5:1) – possible through Jesus’ sacrifice (Romans 5:8-10); sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2); Jesus’ sacrifice makes forgiveness possible (Ephesians 2:11-16); we can have this peace despite the trouble we will face in life (John 16:33; Philippians 4:6-7); so trust in Him
  • Having peace with God should lead us to work to make peace with others (Matthew 5:9; Romans 14:19) – among our brethren, we are to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:3)

Conclusion

  • Each one of us can ask the question – Are these traits being produced in my life?
  • If we lack LOVE – go back to the word and be reminded of how we are to show this
  • If we lack JOY – go back to the word and be reminded of the many reasons we have to rejoice
  • If we lack PEACE – remember our peace with Christ and how we should pursue that with others
  • In everything we do, it comes down to following the word that the Spirit revealed – Are we doing this?

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