“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NKJV).
Naturally, a tree is known by the fruit it bears. Similarly, a Christian is known by the fruit he bears.
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (NKJV).
Therefore, it is a contradiction in terms to be called a Christian and yet not bear or manifest Christ-like character (the fruit of the Holy Spirit).
The Lord Jesus clearly said to His disciples, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV).
Although nine, yet the fruit of the Holy Spirit is one. This is why the Scripture states that, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23 NKJV).
In the first part of this piece we examined three of the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit that every true believer in Christ must constantly evince, express or manifest. Let us recap them briefly.
The Holy Spirit has shed abroad or poured out God’s kind of love (Agape love) into the regenerated heart of every believer in Christ (Rom. 5:5).
This love is the pure, tender, compassionate and selfless devotion to the well-being of others. It is the sacrificing of oneself and things for the benefits of others, just as Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross for our benefits.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (NKJV).
The believer’s born-again spirit is constantly bubbling with heavenly joy because he is always in God’s presence (Psa. 16:11). The joy the Holy Spirit produces in the believer’s recreated spirit is an unflunctuating, unfailing, inexpressible or unutterable gladness, lightness, brightness, or cheerfulness of heart (1 Pet. 1:8).
This is why the Scripture commands every believer to: “Rejoice always.” (1 Thess. 5:16 NKJV). “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philip. 4:4 NKJV).
Joy unspeakable and full of glory is always available in your born-again spirit; you simply need to acknowledge, appropriate or draw it out by being spiritually minded – focusing or staying your mind on God and His promises, and not on yourself, on your adversary, challenges or circumstances (Jer. 15:16).
The peace the believer has in his born again spirit is “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.” (Philip. 4:7 NKJV). It is the calmness, serenity, or tranquility of heart that is not based on circumstances or happenings.
You will naturally experience in your mind and emotions the perfect and constant peace of God in your born-again spirit when you consciously and continuously stayed or focused your mind on God (Rom. 8:6, Isa. 26:3 NKJV).
Let us now proceed to examine three more fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The Scripture describes God as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” (Exo. 34:6 NKJV).
God is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression.
18 ‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ (NKJV).
The Psalmist also testifies, “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” (Psa. 86:15 NKJV).
Longsuffering is essentially the nature or attribute of God. The Scripture describes the longsuffering of God as our salvation. We are admonished to “consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…” (2 Pet. 3:14-15 NKJV).
Because your born-again spirit lives in union with the Holy Spirit your spirit also is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth as God (1 Cor. 6:17).
As a believer, you have been strengthened with all might in your spirit by the Holy Spirit “for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” (Col. 1:11 NKJV). Therefore, you can bear for long with the frailties, weaknesses and provocations of others just as God bears long with yours.
Likewise, you can patiently endure injustice, denial of your rights, ostracism, suffering or persecution for the sake of Christ with joy and without murmuring, complaining, or threatening, just like Christ, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” (1 Pet. 2:23 NKJV).
Like Paul, every believer has been called to “show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” (1 Tim. 1:16 NKJV).
This is called the “Kindness of God” in the Bible (1 Sam. 20:14, 2 Sam. 9:3, Tit. 3:4). It is also called “Everlasting Kindness” (Isa. 54:8). The kindness of God is great, constant, and enduring!
10 For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. (NKJV).
The Psalmist testifies, “For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” (Psa. 117:2 NKJV).
Every believer has received the kindness of God through the Lord Jesus Christ (Tit. 3:4-6). The believers are also partakers of God’s kind or gentle nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
The Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, “I am gentle and lowly in heart…” (Matt. 11:29 NKJV). The Holy Spirit is also depicted or portrayed as a “Dove” in the Bible to reveal his gentleness (Matt. 3:16).
The born-again spirit of the believer is also described as “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet. 3:4). Therefore, every believer can manifest the gentleness or kindness of God to others.
Paul admonishes us to do so.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV).
The earth is full of the goodness of God (Psa. 33:5). The goodness of God is great and it endures continually (Neh. 9:25, Psa. 52:1, Isa. 63:7). It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Rom. 2:4, 11:22).
Paul states that the born-again believers are already “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge…” (Rom. 15:14 NKJV).
Your born again spirit is full of the goodness of God and is always seeking to express or manifest it to others. Therefore, you can love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you as commanded by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:44.
Beloved, by reason of your spiritual union with Jesus Christ, your born-again spirit is naturally loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle and good. Your recreated spirit has the same nature or character with Christ (1 Cor. 6:17, 1 John 4:17).
The Holy Spirit is constantly producing His fruit in your spirit. Your born-again spirit does not lack any of the fruit, nature or character of God.
Why then are you not constantly bearing or manifesting the fruit of the Spirit?
Because of your unrenewed or carnal mind!
Because of the mind of the old man in you!
The carnal mind is hostile to God and will therefore always reject, oppose, or hinder you from experiencing and manifesting the divine graces that are constantly and abundantly available in your regenerated heart or spirit (Rom. 8:7). Therefore, it is a must for you to renew your mind according to the truths of God’s Word.
Learn more about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the third part of this piece.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for creating in me a loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle and good spirit. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to constantly express or manifest the new godly nature of my spirit in Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.