When we think of fruit, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a tasty treat.
But the fruits of the Spirit are a little more complicated than that. When the Holy Spirit is present in a Christian's life, the result of that presence is the fruit of the Spirit. According to the Bible, everyone who believes in Christ receives the Holy Spirit.
One of the primary purposes of developing the fruit of the Spirit is to invite the Holy Spirit into your life.
In this article, we’re going to go over the nine fruits of the Spirit and how you can develop them in your life.
The fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23, is made up of the following nine qualities or gifts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The full verse says:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such things, there's no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-24).
Usually, when we translate the Greek word "καρπός," it means edible fruits and vegetables. However, it can also be translated as a deed, action, result, profit, etc.
Fruit is regarded as a good thing in agriculture because it’s the result of hard work and careful cultivation. In our modern world, the term "fruit" might be used to explain the results of our efforts, as in the phrase "fruit of our labor."
Even if we don’t produce a literal harvest, we still get to see the fruits of our labor when we receive a paycheck, complete a project, or even conceive a child.
The results of the spiritual fruit in a believer’s life are the nine gifts from Galatians: Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There are different variations of the fruits of the Spirit. But in scripture, there are only nine.
The nine fruits of the Spirit are as follows:
Love for God and others is the result of receiving God’s perfect love. Some say that God is love itself. The more love we feel, the closer to God we become.
Joy’s official definition is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. But in the context of the verse, it’s more like a state of being undisturbed by the negative things in life.
Peace of spirit comes from knowing we can rely on God. Instead of focusing on their fears about the future, Christians trust in the Holy Spirit to see them through it.
Forbearance isn't a word commonly used today. It has a Greek root, deriving from two words meaning long and passion. Through the fruit of the Holy Spirit, we can wait longer instead of giving in to instant gratification. As a result, we become “long-tempered” rather than “short-tempered.”
Kindness is the willingness to put others before ourselves. Christ and the Heavenly Father highly value kindness. When we show kindness, we resemble God's kindness, for He is the God of hope and benignity.
Goodness is widely considered to be the opposite of evil. When we think of goodness, it’s not about going after earthly fame and fortune but rather avoiding evil and embracing what's right.
Faithfulness is the ability to depend on God and to trust Him based on our confidence in His faith in us, His children. The New Testament defines faith as believing in God and believing Jesus Christ to be the Messiah who saved us by providing eternal life through His sacrifice.
Gentleness is to be mild in behavior, forgiving rather than angry, gracious rather than vengeful. A gentle person should have a meekness like Christ Himself, who said, "I am gentle and humble of heart" (Matthew 11:29). Jesus never insisted on having His own way but yielded to others for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
Self-control is the ability to control one’s body, mind, and spirit, both physically and mentally, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Self-control refers to both chastity and sobriety, as well as moderation in eating and drinking.
Jesus said in John 15:1-5:
"Every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you'll bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
Incorporating the fruits of the Spirit into your life isn’t complicated so long as you’re driven by a desire to serve God and our savior Christ.
Pray to God for His confirmation of your desire to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit and surrender to Him. This may have to be done over a period of time, depending on your closeness to God and how you personally hear His voice.
Ephesians 4:1-2 states:
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
Once you’ve heard from God, you must ensure that you are volunteering or serving Him correctly. Sometimes we can think we’re utilizing the fruits of the Spirit, but in reality, we’re only using them to serve ourselves. When you use the fruits of the Spirit for selfish reasons, then they’re being used in vain.
If you need extra help, consider conducting a Bible study. You can never go wrong with reading devotional Bible verses in God's word.
It’s of utmost importance in Christian life to be aware of your intentions and serve God with your natural talents so that you’ll truly be open to receive any gift He may bring.
"What you've learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4).
In the aftermath of being converted and reading about the fruit of the Spirit, many Christians strive to become better throughout their lives.
They strive to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit through their own strength, but it doesn't work very well. A sense of peace and harmony may develop in them, but at some point, they may fall short.
It’s hard to keep up these practices over an extended period of time on our own. But if we turn to God for strength, we cannot go wrong. No matter what we do, the Father always forgives us, picks us up, and helps us carry on.
We're God's greenhouse that nurtures His spiritual fruits.