“But The Fruit Of The Spirit Is …”

“… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Gal. 5:22-24). What a wondrous list is given of those who demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit! The list exhibits those who are selfless; the characteristics of those who have crucified their selfish aim and interests. Loving and walking after the Spirit produces …

• LOVE. The whole law was summed up in two commands: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, thy soul, thy mind.” The second command is, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” One who loves God, loves Him because He first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19); loves His law (Ps. 119:97); loves His church just as Christ did (Eph. 5:25-27). And, if one loves God, he loves his neighbor for John wrote, “If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar” (1 Jn. 4:20).

• JOY. God desires that His people be happy. Happy in forgiveness (Acts 8:4-8). Gladness in worship (Ps. 122:1). Joy in suffering for the cause of Christ (Acts 5:41).

• PEACE. For those who seek to please God, Christ offers a peace that passeth understanding; a peace not of this world (Phil. 4:7; Jn. 14:27). This peace of God fills our hearts and guards our thoughts (Ph. 4:7).

• LONG-SUFFERING. Life has its trials. Some of the trials we experience come to us because we are humans; some come to us because we are Christians. In either instances the fruit of the Spirit bears endurance — one who patiently, uncomplainingly accepts whatever trials comes because he is certain God will give him strength to endure.

• KINDNESS. We reveal who is our father by how we treat others. Jesus had compassion on those around Him in affliction; we read that we are sons of God by the kindness we show to those we can minister to. When we are inclined to shrug off the needs of others, remember the parable of the two debtors. “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8).

• GOODNESS. The Bible sparingly uses the word “good” in regard to men. One such man who is so described is Barnabas. His goodness was seen in his selling his possessions and giving it to help needy saints; in pleading for Jerusalem brethren to accept Saul after his conversion; in seeking Paul to help in edifying the infant church at Antioch, yes and even in not completely abandoning John Mark but giving him another chance to prove himself (Acts 5:36f; 9:27; 11:22-26; 15:36).

• FAITHFULNESS. As the word suggests, a faithful man is a man full of faith and one knows his faith by his demonstration of it. James wrote. “Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith and I have works. Show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works, will show thee my faith” (Jam. 2:18).

• MEEKNESS. Jesus was meek and lowly. His disciples are also. Pride leads to a fall but the meek man has a humble attitude about himself. He labors, but his does not seek to call attention to himself. He seeks to glorify God by his meekness of life.

• SELF CONTROL. Solomon wrote, “He that ruleth his spirit is mightier than he that taketh a city” (Pro. 16:32). Paul buffeted his body, he urges us to do the same: “Everyone who contendeth in the gains exerciseth self-control in all things” (1 Cor. 9:27; 2 Tim. 2:5). One who learns to control himself has won one of life’s greatest conflicts!

Against such there is no law. God is honored when His children bear the fruit of the spirit. Let us all try daily to glorify God in our worship; with our deeds and by enthroning Him in our hearts!

Jim McDonald