When we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are born again. This means we have a new life in Christ. The Bible verse that speaks directly about this is 2 Col. 6:17. It tells us that our old life is gone and we are a new creation in Christ. This means we are born again!
We once lived according to our flesh but now we are to live according to our spirit. We can read this but do we really understand what it means to live according to the spirit?
What are the Fruits of the Spirit?
The fruits of the spirit are nine different attributes we can receive when we’ve accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. They consist of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Each attribute fits together and is essential to glorifying the Lord through our life.
The 9 Fruits of the Spirit
1. Fruit of the Spirit Love
The love spoken here is agape love. It’s not emotional love. It’s the decision to love undeserving. It’s the love that Christ demonstrated. When we are walking in the spirit, we love God first, then we love our neighbors as ourselves (John 13:34-35). We will be known as disciples of Christ in the way that we love.
2. Fruit of the Spirit Joy
Our joy comes from being heirs with Christ. It is not based on our circumstances. It doesn’t come from what we have, it comes from who we are. God is bigger than our circumstances, do you believe that? We can have joy because of what Christ has done for us. Don’t allow your circumstances to take your joy.
3. Fruit of the Spirit Peace
The Bible tells us that trial and tribulation will come our way. This fruit of peace is not saying we will have a trouble-free life. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God”. We are to surrender to God and place our trust in Him. Walking in the spirit of peace means we trust God with our life, every day!
4. Fruit of the Spirit Longsuffering
God is longsuffering but He still loves us. He still blesses us and rewards us in obedience. This is not only about how we push through trials and tribulations. It’s how we handle these situations. The spirit of longsuffering is not just waiting out the trial but walking through it with joy and peace.
5. Fruit of the Spirit Kindness
Kindness is usually based on or mood or emotion at the time. christ did not base his kindness on these things. He loved us first (1 John 4:19). Our kindness should be demonstrated as Christ’s love for us. God is kind to us so we should be kind to others because of who we are in Him.
6. Fruit of the Spirit Goodness
This fruit is similar to kindness but this one includes generosity. Being generous is more than giving money. There are so many more ways to be generous. We can bless others by encouraging them, praying for them, thinking of them, etc. God gave us the most generous gift ever, the birth of Jesus!
7. Fruit of the Spirit Faithfulness
In the Bible, we see Jesus accusing the church of Ephesus of losing its first love (Rev. 2:1-6). The church had fallen and we are can fall into the same thing. We need to keep our eyes focused on the right things and seek Christ daily. We need to be faithful to what He has called us to do.
8. Fruit of the Spirit Gentleness
In the beatitudes, we read that the meek are blessed and they will inherit the earth (Matt.5:5). Meekness is not about your strength, it’s about controlling your strength. Are we willing to submit to the proper authority? We must be teachable and willing to say “Your will be done”.
9. Fruit of the Spirit Self-Control
The spirit of self-control is learning how to use all the other fruits. Can we control ourselves and love our neighbors as ourselves? Can we control using love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness for His Glory? We need to allow the spirit to work within us to help guide us.
How Do I Receive The Fruits of The Spirit in My Life?
If the Holy Spirit is living within you, you can possess the Fruits of the Spirit. To receive the Holy Spirit within you, you need to ask Jesus to become your personal Lord and Savior (Ephesians 1:13-14). The moment we are saved, we receive the Holy Spirit.
The Fruits of the Spirit are seeds that are planted once we surrender our lives to Jesus. Just like in nature, the seeds have everything for a plant to begin growing and make more fruit. A tree yields fruit when it’s planted in good soil. It must have a source of light and be watered until it matures. The stages of fruit start with a seed, then a seedling, then a sprout, then a fruit that is ripe and able to enjoy!
The process to bring a seed to full maturity takes time. It’s the same thing with our spiritual growth. We must plant ourselves in good soil and feed ourselves with God’s Truth so we can grow. Nurturing our growth consists of submitting our entire life under God’s authority and trusting Him. Our knowledge will grow by being in God’s Word and learning who He is so we can obey Him.
We also need to be apart of a spiritual community so we can grow with other believers. We need to continually repent of our sinful ways through the power of Christ. We are called to die to our old ways and become a new creation in Christ Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is a gift to those who believe. We don’t earn favor with the Lord by working. Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Our relationship with Jesus gives us the desire to be more like Him. This encourages us to be like Him. The Fruits of the Spirit in our lives is proof that we are changing to be more like Him. When we feed ourselves with God’s Word, we grow our relationship and produce more fruit.
How Can We Apply The Fruits of The Spirit?
It can be hard to apply the Fruits of the Spirit. Especially when we are allowing our flesh to dictate what we are doing. We usually do that when we are operating on feelings. If we know the Truth of God’s Word then we need to allow that to work in our lives rather than our feelings.
We can go out of our way to show love to others. This can be hard if you’ve been wronged by someone but the most important thing to remember is that you are serving the Lord. We can be more joyful by remembering what Jesus did on the cross for us. A true smile on your face can speak wonders. Being peaceful is such a comforting attribute. We can’t allow ourselves to be discontent. Remember that the Lord made you who you are for a reason and you should trust His plan for you.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “turn the other cheek”. That’s what I think of for longsuffering. It’s not just having patience but it’s being patient while enduring an insult. How hard is that? There are so many ways to be kind and good but one of the most needed ways of kindness is encouragement and openness. It’s not very often that someone will share and take the time to help. We can allow ourselves to become so busy that we forget to lend a helping hand.
Faithfulness and self-control are not the least of these. Each one is so important and makes a complete example of God’s love for us. Learning to stick with our word and admit our wrongs is hard to do. This flesh of ours can be hard to control but we can do it all in God’s strength.
Growing the Fruits of The Spirit is a Life-Long Process
Growing the fruits of the Spirit takes a lifetime. Once they become a part of us, we have to choose the path to growing them. We have to believe that we have been equipped with everything we need to nurture them. If we are intentional about growing the Fruits of the Spirit, we will see them becoming a part of our everyday life. Others will be impacted by the Fruits you’ve obtained and desire to have them as well. It’s a beautiful opening to share your testimony of faith. The Holy Spirit is working through us constantly and making changes in our lives every day.