The Bible talks about Christians having the fruit of the Spirit. What is it? Let’s learn from Galatians 5:16-18 and 22-25.
It is a fruit; growing it requires time and patience, and the means of growing this fruit are not always obvious. Moving mountains, giving to the poor, and speaking in tongues do not guarantee that one has the fruit of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13).
It is the fruit of the Spirit, implying it is from the Spirit, from faith in Christ.
It is a multifaceted fruit and includes the attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Having one attribute but lacking another is not the fruit of the Spirit.
For example, peace requires gentleness. This peace comes from knowing that God is in control, and we put ourselves in His hands. Worry and anxiety could sprout from our desire to control the future, which is born from arrogance. Peace attained through power isn’t the fruit.
Love requires being faithful, and faithfulness requires loyalty and courage. A partner who leaves you when you are in danger, or a friend who quits when you are attacked, doesn’t have love with faithfulness.
Self-control requires love and gentleness. Otherwise, we can become downright cruel. But self-control also should not be based in pride. Some say that boys shouldn’t cry because only girls cry. Such self-control distorts us.
Joy could help us make friends but to keep the good ones requires faithfulness.
Kindness and love require self-control. Without self-control, love could lead to indulgence, and tolerance could lead to lacking discipline and breaking promises. This isn’t the fruit.
Those who belong to Christ live by and walk with the Spirit, with their natural evil desires crucified. Then the fruit of the Spirit will gradually grow and create lasting change within us.
Adapted from a Tim Keller sermon: