“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the supernatural power of God manifesting in and through the believers. However, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is the supernatural character of God manifesting in and through the believers.
Unlike the gifts of the Holy Spirit which can manifest in or flow through the believers spontaneously, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is cultivated in the believers.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the outcome of the indwelling and working of the Holy Spirit in the believers and also the believers’ yielding to the Holy Spirit.
It is the Holy Spirit who produces His fruit in the believer’s born-again spirit. The believer is expected to simply bear, bring forth, or manifest the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit.
God said in His Word, “Your fruit is found in Me.” (Hos. 14:8 NKJV).
The root of the fruit of the Spirit is in God!
The Lord Jesus clearly states this truth.
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (NKJV).
The believers bear and abound in the fruit of the Holy Spirit as they abide in Christ, rooted and grounded in Christ’s love (Eph. 3:17-19).
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the evidence of the death of the old man (the embodiment of the sinful nature and life). Therefore, it is only those who have been united together with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection that can bear or manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:3-5).
The Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24 RSV).
It is interesting to note that although there are nine fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in the book of Galatians 5:22-23, yet they are listed as a single unit – one fruit of the Holy Spirit.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV).
Unlike the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21 which are many and varied; the fruit of the Holy Spirit although nine is spoken of in the singular signifying the oneness of the fruit. The fruit is not complete until all the nine are present.
Let us examine the fruit of the Spirit one after the other.
This is God’s kind of love (Agape love). It is the intrinsic attribute or nature of God. It is a divine, tender, pure, selfless, sacrificial, unconditional, and unending love. This kind of love is alien to man’s nature.
1 John 4:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (NKJV).
As a result of the fall, every one of us was born with a sinful and selfish nature. We were born with tendencies or inclinations to think only about ourselves, to seek out for and promote only our best interests or benefits in every situation, and to only please and indulge ourselves.
It is only the Holy Spirit who can produce a pure and selfless love in the hearts of the born-again believers. You can never have in your heart and manifest in your actions God’s kind of love if the Holy Spirit is not indwelling and working unhindered in your life.
Paul writes, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Rom. 5:5 NKJV).
Although the love of God is always present in the believers’ regenerated hearts, yet many believers are not experiencing and manifesting the pure, tender and selfless love of God in their thoughts, words, emotions, or character because of their unrenewed or carnal mind.
The carnal mind (being carnally or earthly minded) is a great hindrance to manifesting the love of God that the Holy Spirit has poured out into your regenerated heart. Why?
Paul reveals, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7 NKJV).
You will always struggle in vain to walk in God’s kind of love when you fail to put off the mind (the mindsets, values, patterns, imprints or lifestyles) of the old man (your unregenerate self), who has been crucified with Christ, and put on the mind of “the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24 NKJV).
The Holy Spirit has shed abroad or poured out God’s love into your regenerated heart, but without you renewing your mind according to God’s Word you will always struggle or fail to express or manifest God’s love freely and fully to others.
This is God’s kind of joy. This kind of joy is described in the Bible as “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Pet. 1:8 KJV).
It is an unfluctuating, unfailing, undefinable or undescribable gladness, lightness, brightness, or cheerfulness of heart. It is only the Holy Spirit who can produce this kind of pure, divine, or heavenly joy in the heart of a recreated man.
An unregenerate man cannot experience or manifest this kind of eternal joy, pleasure or satisfaction (Job. 14:1, 5:7, Eccl. 2:23).
There is nothing in this world that can give, impart or supply a deep, constant, unflunctuating, and unfailing joy, gladness, pleasure or satisfaction to a man’s heart. Nothing of this world can ever satisfy your heart completely, perfectly and constantly.
The Scripture warns, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money; nor he who loves wealth, with gain: this also is vanity.” (Eccl. 5:10 RSV).
The happiness or pleasure you may get from anything of this world is only temporary, transitory or passing; it will vanish away in times of troubles, trials or tribulations.
The Holy Spirit is constantly producing an enduring, unfailing and lasting joy, gladness or pleasure in you and thus your born-again spirit is always bubbling with joy unspeakable. Your born again spirit is always walking in the joy and comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31, Rom. 14:17).
Therefore, as a born-again believer you are capable of experiencing and manifesting joy always, unceasingly, or endlessly. This is why the Scripture commands you to:
“Rejoice always.” (1 Thess. 5:16 NKJV).
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philip. 4:4 NKJV).
This is God’s kind of peace. The Scripture describes this kind of peace as “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.” (Philip. 4:7 NKJV).
The peace the Holy Spirit produces in the believer’s heart is that which is beyond all human’s understanding. It is the calmness, serenity, or tranquility of heart that is not based on circumstances or happenings.
The Lord Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 NKJV).
The peace of God that the Holy Spirit produces in the believer’s regenerated heart is not an absence of trouble; rather, it is an absence of fear, worry, or anxiety in the believer’s heart even while in the midst of trouble or turmoil.
Many believers today are not constantly experiencing and manifesting the peace of God in their born-again spirits because they are carnally minded – setting, fixing or focusing their minds on themselves, on their challenges or circumstances, or on the happenings around them.
Beloved, it takes you being spiritually minded (setting, fixing or focusing your mind on God) to draw, release and experience in your soul and body the peace of God which is always available in your born-again spirit.
The Scripture amply states this truth.
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (NKJV).
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (NKJV).
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV).
It is not your storms, troubles, or challenges that are stopping or hindering you from experiencing and manifesting God’s kind of peace, but your mindset. If your mind is set, stayed or focused on God, the result will be life and peace.
Paul warns, “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6 RSV).
While in the midst of any storm, you can appropriate, experience and enjoy God’s peace by choosing not to worry but rather to pray and trust God.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 NLT).
Learn more about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the second part of this piece.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the divine, pure and unfailing love, joy and peace that the Holy Spirit is constantly producing in my heart. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to constantly bear or manifest Your fruit in my emotions and actions, in Jesus’ name. Amen.