Fruit of the Spirit
The Fruit of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit, God's active love and work within and through us so we bear and convey His Fruit.
This means we add to as in supplement His Fruit, God's love for us, which we are given and then we are to build by faith so we are able to bear this to others. This is a cooperative endeavor that happens by our relationship with Christ as we grow by faith in Him. What we add too and what He then multiplies. This is that active pursuit of Love as a spiritual Fruit that is built from our collaboration that we have with God to produce real godly character and commitment. It gives us the fiber of our moral center that stretches throughout our being, embracing and holding together our relationships and opportunities when it is sealed as a choice and commitment, and not just a feeling. The Fruit of the Spirit will synergistically combines with the other godly characters of our Lord to promote our ability to relate and grow in our faith, relations, to be better to and for Him as well as others as well as ourselves (John 1:1,14; 14:23; Gal. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 John 4:8).
When we grieve Him, we push aside the One who is the agent to us of the work of Christ for our present life. On the basis of the finished, passive work of Christ (that is, His suffering on the cross), and on the basis of the active obedience of Christ (that is, His keeping the law perfectly through His life), the fruits are there. They are there to flow out through the agency of the Holy Spirit through us into the external world. The fruits are normal; not to have them is not to have the Christian life which should be considered usual. There are oceans of grace which wait. Orchard upon orchard waits; vineyard upon vineyard of fruit waits. There is only one reason why they do not flow out through the Christian's life, and that is that the instrumentality of faith is not being used. This is to quench the Holy Spirit. When we sin in this sense, we sin twice: we sin in the sin, and this is serious, as it is against the law and the character of God Himself, our Father; but at the same time we sin by omission, because we have not raised the empty hands of faith for the gift that is there. - Francis Schaeffer
What does the work and empowerment of the Spirit mean to you?
The Fruit of the Spirit is described as a fruit, because it is made up of more than one substance; it has juice, pulp, peal, core, segments, and seeds, all held together by a skin or rind, and attached to the tree by a stem where its nutrients flow in. If you just eat of the pulp or juice and throw out the rest, how can you use the seeds to grow more? If you take the fruit off the vine, it will wither and rot; if the vine is not cared for, the tree will die. So it is with the Fruit of the Spirit. God makes it and it requires our growth of faith that necessitates our tending, and it is more than just one substance; all of its substances combined are greater than the sum of its parts.
Love desires to seek and apply what God has to say.
This will enable us to appreciate our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and, of course, our family and others around us. Love is taking the initiative to build up and meet the needs of others, without expecting anything in return.
Joy will allow us to enjoy our relationship with Christ.
This will allow us to enjoy His creation, others, and our circumstances, with an expression of delight, and real, authentic happiness from and with harmony with God and others.
Allowing tranquility to be our tone and control our composure.
This is surrendering and yielding ourselves to the Lord, to be in His control, for He is our ultimate peace! This will be fueled from our harmonious relationship with God, handing over control of our heart, will, and mind to Him. Once we make real peace with God, we will be able to make and maintain peace with others.
Patience is showing tolerance and fortitude.
This is even accepting difficult situations from them, and God, without making demands or conditions. Patience allows us to endure a less than desirable situation, to make us better, more useful, and even optimistic and prudent. Hence, its other name, longsuffering. It allows us to put up with others who get on our nerves, without losing other characteristics of grace.
Kindness is the medium through which Christ's love becomes tangible.
This is practicing benevolence and a loving attitude towards others. Kindness is the essence that shows the world that we are a Christian, like the fragrance coming from a flower. It is being convicted with God's Word, and then modeling it to others. Kindness is the subject to the object of who we are in Christ!
Goodness is the engagement of love!
This displays integrity, honesty and compassion to others, and allows us to do the right thing. It is doing the right thing, even when it does not feel like we should, as Joseph did. He was betrayed and sold as a slave, yet, he chose to make his situation into something good, and to help and treat others better than he needed to. Goodness is the model for people to repent and accept Christ.
Faithfulness is the gluing fruit that will preserve our faith.
This is the application of our faith in action, fused with being dependable. It is not faith itself, rather, the fruit and character of faith. It is the glue that holds the other characters of the Spirit, and identify God's will, so we can be dependable and trusting to God and others. Faith is the one fruit that we give to God, whereas faithfulness and the other fruits, virtues and characters are from the Spirit working in us! Faithfulness is authenticity, the power and motivation for Christian living. Because God is trustworthy with us, we can be faith-worthy in Him!
Gentleness is the character that will show the Love of Christ.
This is the character that will show calmness, personal care, and tenderness in meeting the needs of others. It is to be more than just a personality; it is to be who we are, from the work of the Spirit within us.
Self-Control is allowing God to be in control of your will and heart.
Thiis is seeking the Spirit to enable us. Then we will know what not to do, and guard the areas in which we are weak. This will allow us to have discipline and restraint, with obedience to God and others. It is not allowing distractions to derail or remove us from His will and plan, so we will not be held back from what Christ called us to do.
Our faith must have a response to it! Yes we may be saved, but what good is it if we do not have gratitude or allow the continual effectual work of the Spirit within us. To do nothing with our faith development means we are not being transformed and not being led or empowered by the Fruit of the Spirit. Do not let this happen to you or your church!