The Apostle Paul, in writing the epistle to the churches in Galatia, was doing so to correct several areas, one of which was the false teaching that the Law of Moses was still to be followed (particularly circumcision) in the life of the Gentile believers. In the 5th chapter, Paul focuses in on what it means to have a life dedicated to the Lord, by the work of Jesus on the cross and the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believer
In chapter 5:19-21, Paul compares the lust of the flesh, as “works”, (ἐργα [erga]). In Galatians 5:22-23, he parallels the result of the work Holy Spirit in the believer’s life and “fruit.” “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Fruit is often used as a metaphor for a “good.” In the New Testament, and specifically in this passage, fruit is associated with a good outcome (Matt. 3:8; 7:16; John 4:36; 15:8; Rom. 1:13; 6:21). Paul’s writing conveys several uses for fruit: Fruit of light (Ephesians 5:9), fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11), fruit of labour (Philippians 1:22), fruit of the lips (Hebrews 13:15). According to Paul, fruit is normally result of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the believer. Paul looks at the believer as a beautiful, fruit producing tree, with gorgeous, beautiful and satisfying fruit upon it.
It is important to note that Paul refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer as “fruit” and not “fruits.” Therefore, when the believer dies to himself (Galatians 2:20), the Holy Spirit exhibits all nine of these traits. It is not a best of 9 traits, but a culmination of each of these.
Paul declares that the result of the work of the Spirit in the heart of a Christian is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Therefore, if the Christian would exhibit these fruit, he would be imitating the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God.
God is love – Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:13
God is joy – 1 Timothy 1:6; Nehemiah 8:10; Matthew 25:21
God is peace – Isaiah 9:6; John 16:33
God is longsuffering – Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15; Romans 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:16
God is gentle – Luke 6:35; 2 Timothy 2:24
God is goodness – Psalm 25:8; 33:5
God is faith – Psalm 89:1; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 6:23
God is meekness – Psalm 18:35; Matthew 11:29; 2 Corinthians 10:1
God is Temperance – Galatians 5:23
Therefore, the believer is to walk in the Spirit, in the very nature of God. There is a battle within, between the lust of the flesh and the work of the Holy Spirit in our life. We are to be clean before the Lord, not falling for the desires of the wicked heart. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer will keep them clean and acceptable unto the LORD.
Let us live our live that it will be pleasing unto Him!
If you have some verses to add to the attributes of God as used in the listing of the Fruit of the Spirit, let me know what verses or passages you have found as showing the nature of God.
One thought on “The Fruit of the Spirit”
Thanks Bolin, I needed that.