What is the Fruit of the Spirit?
The Bible describes it as 9 fruits (characteristics) in 1. We can have these fruits in our lives.
In the Bible we read about the fruit of the Spirit that we, as Christians, should exhibit in our lives. This fruit is not just one fruit. It is 9 attitudes or characteristics that should personify who we are.
This fruit is produced in the believer through the Holy Spirit living within us.
What is that fruit, the characteristics that others should readily see in our lives?
Galatians 5: 22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
This may seem like a long and impossible list, but with God all things are possible, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us produce this fruit in our lives.
Let’s dig into these characteristics one at a time. We’ll begin with Love. Love is something that begins on the inside of us. It is not only the first characteristic on the list, but it is described throughout the Bible as being the most important.
We typically think of love as an emotion or an intense feeling of deep affection.
But the love spoken of in this verse is agape love. The type of love that God has for each of us. We are God’s beloved. What a beautiful thought!
This type of love is self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christlike, devoted and is a choice.
Let’s look at a few verses that describe God’s love for us:
Our Heavenly Father is love. His love is unchanging. He will always love us. We can trust His love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
I John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Now, let’s look at a few verses that describe how we are to love:
What does this kind of love look like in our real life? It is:
Does not expect something in return
Does deeds on behalf of another
John 15:2 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
I John 3:17 But whoso has this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
Finally, let’s look at a few verses that describe how we are able to show this kind of love:
This love is possible because of the believer’s yielding to Christ. God’s love is transforming. It can transform us. We can live the fruit of the spirit because the Holy Spirit enables us to do so.
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.
John 14:25 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
One Simple Example
A friend of mine recently described showing this kind of love in a very simple way:
Holding the door open for someone without expecting a thank you.
That was it – in a nutshell. I’m sure most of us often hold the door open for other people. Sometimes those people say thank you and sometimes they don’t. Does it disappoint or irritate us when they don’t? We didn’t hold the door for the thank you, we held it because we are showing love as God has instructed us.
Do people know we are Christians by the love we show?
People only know what they see. Do our lives show love? Do we show love toward others?
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
As we go through our day, may we be reminded that we are to have love for others. May we show it in big ways and in small ways. Let others see Jesus’ love in us.
What are some other simple examples of ways to show this love to others in our daily lives? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.