22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
When the Holy Spirit is in control of your life, as a Christian, the evidence of that will be nine characteristics in your daily life, your daily routine. If the Spirit is not in control, these will not be evident. Fruit is something visible, tangible, you can see it, and it is obvious. However, there may be some of these that you are struggling with individually. There may be an area where you have given Christ control, but another area where you are struggling. The Holy Spirit may convict you of some area where there is still not a Holy Spirit control. Examine your hearts and ask, “Is there one of these areas in which I need a God intervention, a revival, a new passion for?” What constitutes spiritual fruit?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love’ (Galatians 5:22)
This is unconditional love that can only come from God and a relationship with Him. Love is not a feeling; it is a choice. Love is something you do; it’s an action. That love begins with your relationship with God and overflows into other relationships. If the Holy Spirit is in control of you, you will have this kind of love; and it will be directed even at those with whom are difficult.
“The fruit of the Spirit is joy” (Galatians 5:22)
Joy is different than happiness. Happiness is based on what happens, circumstances that are favorable. Joy, on the other hand, is based upon an unchanging relationship with Jesus Christ. In Scripture joy is seen as something that brings us strength (Nehemiah) and is a fruit that Satan constantly attempts to steal. A joyful Christian is the best advertisement for Christianity, and Satan knows it. Common thieves of joy are worry, fear, un-forgiveness, circumstances, pain, and relationship issues. But when the Holy Spirit is in control of your life, there is an inner gladness that transcends anything that happens to you.
“The fruit of the Spirit is Peace” (Galatians 5:22)
Peace is the awareness of the presence of God in your life and that He is in control of your life and circumstances. Peace is not the absence of trouble. It knows that God has everything in your life under control (Philippians 4:6-7). Peace is present when a believer understands that everything that happens must pass through the hands of a loving Heavenly Father when you are walking in the center of the will of God.
“The fruit of the Spirit is patience” (Galatians 5:22)
Patience is the active waiting on God’s timing. It is bearing with people and attempting to give people the benefit of the doubt. Patience responds instead of reacts. Patience leaves the results to God, trusting His timing. Patience refuses to take matters into your own hands once you have turned it over to God. It is the choice to hang in there once you have a promise from God. Patience surrenders your desire to rush ahead of God.
“The fruit of the Spirit is kindness” (Galatians 5:22)
Kindness is a considerate and sweet disposition. You are concerned for people and express it. It is tactful honesty and is sensitive to people and their circumstances. Kindness finds a need and meets it. Itfinds a hurt and seeks to bring healing. It is thoughtfulness as opposed to rudeness, harshness, and un-tactfulness The Holy Spirit’s control places the desire for kindness within you. Kindness demands a humility and servant spirit, which happens when the Holy Spirit reigns.
“The fruit of the Spirit is…goodness” (Galatians 5:22)
Goodness is moral and spiritual excellence, possessing moral and ethical values; and integrity, character, and credibility are demonstrated. Goodness is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do according to what God said. You seek to do what is right because it pleases God, not in order to receive the accolades from others. Goodness won’t get you into heaven, but if you are truly a believer, you will practice loving actions and attitudes.
“The fruit of the Spirit is …faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22)
Faithfulness is being reliable and dependable consistently. You can be counted on to follow through with the commitment or promise you made. You do what you say regardless of feelings, inconvenience, moods, or desires. Circumstances can change, but your commitment to doing what you said yes to remains regardless. Faithfulness is the quality that comes from the Holy Spirit that you can be counted on.
“The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness” (Galatians 5:23)
Gentleness is also the word for meekness. It is the picture of a strong, wild horse that has been brought under control. Gentleness is power and tenderness under the Holy Spirit’s control. It is being humble and responding kindly even when others are hurtful. It is being understanding, friendly, teachable, respectful, and willing to admit when you are wrong.
“The fruit of the Spirit is…self control” (Galatians 5:23)
Self-control is the result of being Spirit-controlled. It is daily yielding to God’s authority in your life. It is responding in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, in the right spirit.