The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 2)

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.

Patience

  • Means endurance, steadfastness, and perseverance; especially as shown in bearing troubles and ills (Strong’s) – it is about persevering through trials without abandoning our faith; instead, we continue to hope in Christ
  • Patience begins by having an unwavering trust in the Lord and His promises (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5) – we have a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3) that will be realized when the Lord returns (1 Peter 1:13)
  • Despite this hope, we will face trouble here (1 Corinthians 15:19) – persecution (2 Timothy 3:12) and tribulation (Acts 14:22); only through “faith and patience” will we “inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12); recognize trials as “momentary, light affliction” (2 Corinthians 4:17) and fix our eyes on Christ (Hebrews 12:2)

Kindness

  • Means moral goodness and integrity (Thayer) – often used to describe the kindness God shows us; it is about more than just a favorable attitude toward others; it is about actively doing good to them
  • To show kindness to others, we need to remember the kindness God has shown us (1 Peter 2:3) – Jesus offered the invitation to take on His yoke because His “yoke is easy” (Matthew 11:30); the word “easy” is from the same Greek word for kindness; favor is seen in His teaching/guidance
  • We can show kindness to others by providing help to those who need it – more than just thinking about it (James 2:15-16); this help could be of a material or financial nature (James 2:15-16); it could be that emotional support or encouragement is needed (Ephesians 4:29)

Goodness

  • Word means uprightness of heart and life (Thayer) – related to the previous trait (kindness); the difference is that kindness is about how we treat others and goodness is about our personal conduct
  • We first need to recognize God as the standard of what is good (Luke 18:19) – be like Him (Matthew 5:48); Jesus left us a perfect example (1 Peter 2:21-22); we must work to overcome sin in our lives
  • Goodness is also demonstrated by doing good works – as God defines them (2 Timothy 3:16-17; cf. Matthew 7:22-23); to do what is good/right, we need to see what the word of God instructs/authorizes us to do; our goodness cannot be superficial, but must be from the heart (Proverbs 4:23)

Conclusion

  • Each one of us can ask the question – Are these traits being produced in my life?
  • If we lack PATIENCE – go back to the word and be reminded of the reason for our hope in Christ
  • If we lack KINDNESS – go back to the word and be reminded of the kindness God has shown us
  • If we lack GOODNESS – go back to the word and see what is good and follow it from the heart
  • In everything we do, it comes down to following the word that the Spirit revealed – Are we doing this?

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