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The Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit comes automatically when we yield to the Holy Spirit.

The gifts come in demonstration. The fruit comes in holiness.

Love is the first of the nine fruit listed in Gal. 5. But it also seems to be a comprehensive term which includes all the eight which follow, as if the following eight add a definition of that love. Joy is the charismatic love in the middle of grief or sorrow—love rejoices in the truth. Peace is the love of God operating in conflict and turmoil—love is not easily provoked. Patience is the love of God in trial and testing—love bears all things. Gentleness is the love of God in the voice of authority and of power—love vaunts not itself. Goodness or benevolence is God’s love toward the less fortunate—love is kind. Faith acquires living force to the extent that it is active in love—love believes all God’s promises. Meekness is the knowledge of God’s love at moments of personal achievement—love is not puffed up. Self-control is God’s love in the presence of temporal blessing—love does not behave unseemly.

We have just described the Sprit-filled life. This supreme love dares and does the impossible. It will still remain firm when the last selfish act, the last cruel ambition, the last deed of hate has been done. Love lies at the root of all nobility, goodness, or heroism. The fruit is an indication that the life of the plant is vital and that the true purpose for which the plant exists is being realized. The fruit is for the benefit and sustenance of other living things. There is no natural process by which a plant devours or absorbs the fruit it bears. If we are concerned with what fruit-bearing may do for us, we are probably misguided in the whole purpose of fruit-bearing.

Image: Jakub Kapusnak

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, MEV). The Holy Spirit uses the human “vine” to produce spiritual fruit that will minister to others. The fruit may benefit the Spirit-filled Christian producing the fruit, but basically it is to enrich the lives of others and to glorify the Son of God Himself. As a result of constant union with Christ, submitting to His prunings, and as a result of the life of the Holy Spirit flowing through us, the fruit in us will ripen in profusion.




Read each of the chapters in the series: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithmeekness, and self-control.

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Category: Spirit, Winter 2018

About the Author: James F. Linzey is the chief editor of the Modern English Version Bible translation. His graduate education is a degree in religious studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. His undergraduate degree from Southern California College is a BA in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in religion. He is the author of numerous articles and books. He is a speaker, recording artist, State Chaplain for the California Military Officers’ Association, and retired Army chaplain. Twitter: @JimLinzey

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