What are the ‘fruit of the Spirit’?
Discover how God changes you from the inside out to become more like Jesus.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). In this first article, we’ll consider what the fruit of the Spirit are, and then tomorrow, we’ll look at the first fruit—love. As we take a look at each fruit, we hope you'll be excited by the way God can bring real change to your life.
Walk by the Spirit
In the New Testament letter to the church at Galatia, Paul, one of Jesus’ followers, uses a farming metaphor—the fruit of the Spirit—to talk about the way that the Holy Spirit works in us. Paul tells the Galatians that they are to “walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16, 25 ESV). Here’s why.
When believers walk by the Spirit, says Paul, they no longer give into those desires that are contrary to God’s will (Gal 5:16, ESV). Paul then contrasts the works of the flesh (Gal 5:20-21)—those things that are opposed to God’s will—with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24)—those things that are God’s will for us.
God wants believers to live lives that are pure, holy, and completely devoted to Him. The way that we do this is through incorporating the fruit of the Spirit into our lives.
How does this work?
There are at least three important things to know about the fruit of the Spirit:
1. First, the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—are Christian virtues (certain qualities that make us more like Jesus).
2. Second, the fruit of the Spirit are a result of God’s work in us. God gives us not only a new life, but a way to live that new life through the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do so. In another letter, Paul describes the Holy Spirit’s power that works in us as the same power that was used in raising Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:17-20). Now that’s power!
3. Third, we need to remember that we cannot cultivate these fruit in our own efforts; rather, we are to trust and depend on the Holy Spirit to help us in this task.
So in summary, the fruit of the Spirit are Christian virtues that come from God working through us through His Spirit. And their purpose is to make us more like Christ.
So how do we get more of this fruit in our lives? Tomorrow, we’ll answer that question as we take a look at the first fruit of the Holy Spirit, Love.